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Illhauesern (Municipality, Haut-Rhin, France)

Last modified: 2013-08-31 by ivan sache
Keywords: haut-rhin | illhauesern | fish (white) | trout |
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[Flag of Illhauesern]

Flag of Illhauesern - Image by Ivan Sache, 18 November 2012

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Presentation of Illhauesern

The municipality of Illhauesern (742 inhabitants in 2008; 1,046 ha) is located 15 km north of Colmar, on the confluence of rivers Fecht and Ill.

Illhauesern was mentioned for the first time in 1482 as "zu den hüseren an der Yllen gelegen" (in Lower German, "the houses located along the Ill"); however, a suspension bridge already existed here in the 14th century. Most of the villagers lived from fish and crawfish fishing, which was regulated as soon as 1530 by the "Regulation of River Ill". The other source of income was boat transportation of wine and grain to Strasbourg.
Illhauesern was made an independent municipality in 1833, as recalled by a milestone erected at the entrance of the village. In the 19th century, other activities developed in the village, such as shipyards, extraction of river sand and gravel, cultivation of tobacco and cabbage, etc.
The village was mostly destroyed at the end of the Second World War during the bombings of the bridge over the Ill, being eventually liberated on 25 January 1945.

Illhauesern owes its national and international fame to Auberge de l'Ill (The Ill's Inn, website), venerated for decades as a shrine of French gastronomy.
Auberge de l'Arbre Vert (The Green Tree's Inn) was established more than 150 years ago by the Haeberlin family nearby their farm. The inn was soon cherished by gourmets and gastronomes from all over Alsace and further; the industrial Armand Peugeot elected the inn as his "headquarters" for game meals.
Paul Haeberlin (1923-2008, obituary) served his apprenticeship as a cook in the neighbouring town of Ribeauvillé with the master chef Édouard Weber, a former cook at the courts of the Tsar of Russia and of the King of Greece. Destroyed during the 1945 bombings, the family inn was quickly rebuilt and renamed Auberge de l'Ill. Paul Haeberlin took the leadership, together with his brother Jean-Pierre, a noted painter who took in charge the restaurant's interior design.
In 1952, the Haeberlin were awarded a one-star ranking in the Michelin Guide, increased to a two-star ranking in 1957 and, eventually, to a three-star ranking in 1967. Auberge de l'Ill has maintained this top ranking since then, being one of the oldest three-starred restaurants in France.
In 2008, Marc Haeberlin (b. 1954), trained by Paul Bocuse and the Troisgros brothers, to name a few, succeeded his father Paul. The specialities of Auberge de l'Ill are the salmon soufflé "Auberge de l'Ill", the lobster "Prince Vladimir", the truffle under ashes, and the frog mousseline "Paul Haeberlin".

Illhauesern twinned in 1967 with Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or. At the time, Jean-Pierre Haeberlin was Mayor of Illhauesern while Paul Bocuse, another legendary master chief, was Municipal Councillor of Collonges, where his inn is located. The bridge on the Ill was named Bridge "Paul Bocuse", while the street of "Auberge de l'Ill" was renamed Collonges- au-Mont-d'Or Street.

Ivan Sache, 18 November 2012

Flag of Illhauesern

TThe flag of Illhauesern is white with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.
The flag is shown on a photo taken during the inauguration of the Haeberlin Brothers Square (formerly, the Town Hall Square), held on 23 September 2012 in Illhauesern, in the presence of Jean-Pierre Haeberlin.

The arms of Illhauesern are "Vert a trout argent urinant".
According to the Armorial des Communes du Haut-Rhin (2000), the arms were designed in 1967 but the village already used a fish as its emblem in the 19th century (the Elsässisches Samstagsblatt [Alsatian Saturday Journal], 1857, Vol. 2, mentions ein Karpfe, "a carp").
Ludwig Schoenhaupt's Alsatian armorial (Wappenbuch der Gemeinden des Elsass, nebst Darstellung der Bannsteine mit statistichen Notizen fuer jede Gemeinde, 1900) shows a border stone of "Illhäuseren" engraved with a fish represented per bend sinister (image, Alsatica portal).

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 18 November 2012