On our regular visits to my wife's home in Colmar, Upper Rhine Department of Alsace (perhaps I must call it Grande Est now), I have seen and occasionally visited the "Trois Chateaux". These are the remains of a set of three medieval castles sitting on a hilltop each within spitting distance of each other. They are visible on the skyline from my wife's home. I have always loved history, particularly in that history which has left tangible evidence in the form of many castles dotting the Vosges foothills and the fortified towns which often opposed them on the fertile plains below. Not only the towns and castles themselves but the ghosts of those who lived there, their concerns, motivations, and the broader European social currents that influenced and often inundated them.
Alsace is a wonderful place to think on history. It is one of those border states (as it were) always part of larger neighboring regions without necessarily a unique history of its own. What happened in Alsace happened in Europe and what happened in Europe happened in Alsace. As such, a look into this region's history provides insights and understanding on a larger scale. My way of arguing from the specific to the general.
A great start to understanding Alsatian history is to look into the many castles which remain ever present. These are the transition civilization existing between an early Celtic and Roman world swamped by the growth of Frankish power, and by a later Europe shaped by new cities and ideas yet retaining the legacy of feudal/aristocratic ambitions and foibles. The ruins of ideas are often as present as the castles themselves.
Through it all, I have gathered together quite a list of web-available documents (with especial thanks to Wikipedia). These I have gathered together into printable web-books as I am old and do not care to read from a computer (or kindle) screen. Some works or items are apparently unavailable online and I have had to cobble together myself. One document in particular I have had to make "all by myself" is the genealogical table for the House of Eguisheim, counts of Alsatian Nordgau. All these things are contained on this page for your viewing and edification. Any errors and gaffs are entirely my own.
My researches into the medieval history of Alsace has taken a strong turn towards untangling the genealogical histories of several "Grandes Dynasties". These families controlled and directed much of the political flavor of the province. The history of medieval Alsace is their history, their disputes, their religious foundations. I have focused principally on five "houses" (Etichonide/Eguisheim, Ribeaupierre, Ferrette, Andlau, and Lichtenstein), but have put together background tables for the early Frankish dynasties and for an additional fifteen important houses.
While making the above family trees I ran into many interesting heralds and shields that I have incorporated in my graphics. Heralds are a medieval equivalent to computer icons, small graphics designed within limited space to identify its subject. In my researches I have consulted many heralds, looking especially at Family Heralds from the nobility in or associated with Alsace. The following page contains the majority that I have looked at, saved, or drawn myself. Heralds add color and interest to a document.
Le tableau des armoiries (Arms / Wappen) a été mets ensemble à partir de sources sur Internet, (Kegelin, d’Hozier et Wikipedla pour la grande partie) ou dans de nombreux cas rédigé par moi-même. Ces hérauts sont tous liés d'une certaine manière à l'Alsace bien que les liens pu être ténue à certains moments. Tous étaient nécessaires (> 480 au nombre actuel) et la plupart ont été utilisés en cours de route. Références utilisées à la dernière page.
In the course of reading and studying (kinda sorta) the history of Alsace, I have produced for myself a number of documents, maps, tables and etc as study references. The following links provide access to some of the more interesting documents. These include a spreadsheet timeline for Alsace, a fun chessboard set on the Alsatian field, and maps of Alsace showing military fronts, and the locations of important castels, monestaries and fortified villages.
Histoire de l’Alsace: Tome I: Haut-Rhin
Historical texts for the Upper Rhine Department. pdf format, 15.9 meg size
Histoire de l’Alsace: Tome II: Bas-Rhin
Historical texts for the Lower Rhine Department. pdf format, 13.1 meg size
Histoire de l’Alsace: Tome III: Histoire Naturelle Natural History texts for the province of Alsace. pdf format, 7.28 meg size
Histoire de l’Alsace: Tome IV: Maison d'Eguisheim Readings primarily concerned with the Family of Eguisheim. pdf format, 20.2 meg size
Tome IV contains the principle references utilized to construct the Eguisheim arbre généalogique.
Histoire de l’Alsace: Tome IVbis: Maison d'Eguisheim Additional Readings concerned with the Family of Eguisheim. pdf format, 6.7 meg size
Histoire de l’Alsace: Tome V: Abbayes d'Alsace Les origines du monachisme en Alsace. (René Bornert 2008: Revue d’Alsace) pdf format, 0.67 meg size
Histoire de l’Alsace: Tome VI: Maison de Ribeaupierre Readings primarily concerned with the Family of Ribeaupierre. pdf format, 10.5 meg size
Histoire de l’Alsace: Tome VII: Comté de Ferrette Readings primarily concerned with the Family of Ferrette. pdf format, 4.4 meg size
Histoire de l’Alsace: Tome VIII: Maison d'Andlau Readings primarily concerned with the Family of Andlau. pdf format, 7.1 meg size
Histoire de l’Alsace: Tome IX: Maison de Lichtenberg Readings primarily concerned with the Family of Lichtenberg. pdf format, 8.8 meg size
Histoire de l’Alsace: Tome X: Suite de Noblesse AlsacienneGenealogical lists and tables, plus data for fifteen additional Alsatian families. pdf format, 19.9 meg size
Histoire de l’Alsace: Tome XI: Armorial d'AlsaceA roll of Alsatian arms by state, ville, and (most importantly) family. pdf format, 3.2 meg size