Happy Birthday Hagenbach Tower

For a history junkie Europe can be agony. There is simply too much to take in.IMG_5774

We were in Breisach, where the idea was to enjoy a sunny day with a walk along the Rhine, and maybe check out the cathedral that we had been told was worth a look. Too easy though to get sidetracked, as I was by this tower on the road we took to get to the cathedral.

In Canada we know when things were built. All we have to do is check the records. It isn’t that easy in places where the buildings go back farther than the histories.

So no-one is quite sure when the Hagenbach Tower was built. The first mention of it in existing records is in 1319 – but older records may have been destroyed in the past 700 years.

Overlooking the Rhine, the tower was, I presume, part of the ancient fortifications of Breisach. Why else would it have been built? It has been used as a prison, and gets its name from one of its more famous inhabitants who was Governor of Burgundy. I have no idea what the locals called it for the 200 years or so before Peter of Hagenbach was locked up and subsequently executed.

I didn’t see any signs celebrating its 700 years. Around here perhaps, something 700 years old almost qualifies as new construction. No reason to make a big fuss over it.




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