The département of Bas-Rhin constitutes the northern half of the Alsacian region. The département is bordered by Germany to the north and to the east, the départements of
Haut-Rhin and Vosges to the south and by the départements of Moselle and Meurthe-et-Moselle to the west.
There are three geo-economic parts to the département. From the east, to the northwest, it is agricultural and spotted with densely populated villages. The
Vosges Mountains, in the northeast are heavily forested. To the north, the département is primarily commercial due to its excellent communications system of canals, roads and railroads.
The département is divided into seven administrative arrondissements: Haguenau, Molsheim, Saverne, Sélestat-Erstein, Strasbourg, Strasbourg-Campagne and Wissembourg.
Strasbourg is the capital of both the département and the region.
The département has fertile soil and cultivates corn, fodder, grapes, hops and sugar beets.
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The Haut-Rhin département covers the southern half of the
Alsace region. It is bounded by the département of Bas-Rhin to the north, the Rhine River to the east,
Switzerland to the south, the region of
Franche-Comté to the southwest and the region of Lorraine to the west.
Grand Canal d’Alsace runs through the département, providing it access to the Rhine River, Basel Switzerland and the North Sea for barges of up to 1,350 metric tons. The
Rhine-Rhône Canal enters the département from the southwest, cuts through
Mulhouse and crosses the département. The Ill River also flows through the département from south to north. It flows through both
The Vosges Mountains cover the better part of the département’s western half. This part of the département is hidden by forests. Mount Guebwiller rises to 4,669 feet to provide a ‘bel view’ of the southern Vosges, the Black Forest, the Jura and the Alpes. Most of the département’s eastern half is constituted by a fertile alluvial plain.
Haute-Rhin has six arrondissements: Altkirch,
Colmar, Guebwiller, Mulhouse, Ribeauville and Thann. Its départemental capital is Colmar.
The département’s industrial resources are well developed, especially in the Mulhouse vicinity which is rich in potash deposits. The département is well known for its foie gras and its asparagus. However, it is better known for its highly sought after white wines such as Riquewihr, Riesling, Sylvaner and Traminer.
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