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► The three Town Gates

Symbolical of our village, the three Town Gates were nearly demolished during the 19th century because of town-planning developments (concerning the Gate "Munster"), construction (for the Gate "Brand") or because of aesthetical reasons (for the three of them). The Town Gate "France" is today classified as an ancient monument.

The Town Gate « France »

Originally, the Town Gate « France » was the gate for trading, mainly with Switzerland. The lower part dates back to 1330, and in the course of history, this gate has gone through a few changes. The Gate "France" successively bears the coat of arms of the Holy German Empire, of Louis XIV and was flanked with turrets in 1871, which were removed in 1912.
Originally, the Town Gate "France" was equipped with a drawbridge, a portcullis and of course two doors that were closed at night and during mass on Sundays.

The Town Gate « Munster »

Built in the 14th century, the Town Gate « Munster » bears witness to the history of witchcraft : it is through that gate that the tortured witches were lead to a place named La Wann where they were burnt. Yet its windows decorated with scallops suggest a less murderous role : a stopover on the way to the St-Jacques-de-Compostelle pilgrimage. The Town Gate "Munster" was also supposed to warn people of thunderstorms, as is shown by its still intact bell in the small belltower.

The Town Gate « Brand »

Among the three gates around Turckheim, the Town Gate « Brand » had the most defensive role, as shown by its massive and plain architecture, except for the gorgon aimed at keeping the inquisitive away, and mocking the enemy. The Town Gate "Brand" was provided with a portcullis, a drawbridge spanning a ditch and a double door that was carefully kept locked, except during the grape harvest season. The Town Gate "Brand" was widely renovated in 1843, and provided with a weathercock, a work by J.-B. Hun. It was renovated again, inside and outside in 2006.

► The Turenne Monument

Inaugurated on September 18th, 1932, the Turenne Monument made of pink sandstone is the work of R. Danis, who was the senior architect of the national palaces and historic monuments. Destroyed during the German occupation, it was rebuilt in 1958 by the stone-cutter Augusto.
Turenne's actions arouse great controversy and the monument will suffer the consequences in the 70's. In 1975, it was damaged with graffiti during the celebration of the tercentenary of the Battle of Turckheim, and again in 1979. In Dec. 1980 an explosion hit the Trois-Epis road : the monument was blown up by "les Loups Noirs" (the Black Wolves), a small terrorist underground organization demanding autonomy and supporting nazism. Mainly the base was damaged, but the monument had to be dismantled. It was to be rebuilt only in 1998.

► The Guardhouse

Originally, « Laube » (covered market), then « Herrenstube » (Townhall), the guardhouse was assigned to the guilds in 1575 who turned it into their "household". The history of the Guardhouse is eventful : it was used as an assembly-room and a "household", i.e. cooking ustensils and crockery, useful for the guilds' lives were stored there, but also objects for processions. Then it was turned into housing, then into a girls' school, the ground floor was even used as a butcher's stall. In 1970, it became the police station. An imperial eagle decorates the gable wall and the bell in the tower dates back to 1658.
Already mentioned in the townhall's rules in 1667, a fountain stands right in front of the guardhouse : it was forbidden to do washing and let animals drink. With a statue of Mary the Virgin with Child at the top, this fountain from the 18th century is the only water supply fed by a spring.

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► The Townhall

Built in the 17th century style, the townhall used to be the court of justice of the former imperial city. The cowshed and adjoining buildings were destroyed around 1860, the ground floor was long used as a ballroom ! When it was renovated, two Gothic walls and a Roman wall were discovered.
The former banister made of wrought iron was replaced by a balustrade made of sandstone from the Rouffach quarry.

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To know more about the towns of the Wintzenheim canton, heritage, walks, nature, gourmet route See the video 

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In the page "military heritage" you can discover an interview of the curator of the Museum "Musée des conbats de la poche de Colmar" :