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Bas-Rhin
Department
Prefecture]building of the Bas-Rhin department, in Strasbourg
Prefecture building of the Bas-Rhin department, in Strasbourg

Flag
Coat of arms of Bas-Rhin
Coat of arms
Location of Bas-Rhin in France
Location of Bas-Rhin in France
Country France
Region Grand Est
Département 4 March 1790
Area
 • Total 4,755 km2 (1,836 sq mi)
Population (2014)
 • Total 1,112,815
 • Density 234.030/km2 (606.14/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code FR-67
Arrondissements 5
Cantons 23
Communes 517

Bas-Rhin is a department in the Grand Est region of France, named after the Rhine river that flows along its eastern border. The prefecture (capital) of Bas-Rhin is Strasbourg.

Bas-Rhin means "Lower Rhine", however, geographically speaking it belongs to the Upper Rhine region. This is the last French department to have kept the term Bas, meaning "Lower", in its name. Other departments using this word preferred to change their names.

History

Bas-Rhin is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was divided in four districts: Haguenau, Benfeld, Strasbourg and Wissembourg, with Strasbourg as is capital. Soon, the district of Sarre-Union was created and the name of the district of Benfeld was changed to Sélestat (in its origins, Schlestadt).

In 1800, with the creation of the arrondissements in France, the five districts were changed into four arrondissements: Strasbourg, Barr, Saverne and Wissembourg. The subprefecture of Barr was moved to Schlestadt (Sélestat) in 1806.

The Bas-Rhin department was eliminated in 1871 when the territory became part of Germany.

In 1919, Bas-Rhin is again an department when the territory became part of France with the arrondissements Strasbourg-Ville, Strasbourg-Campagne, Erstein, Haguenau, Molsheim, Saverne, Sélestat and Wissembourg.

The arrondissements Sélestat and Erstein were combined in 1974 to form the arrondissement of Sélestat-Erstein.

In 2015, the arrondissements Strasbourg-Campagne and Wissembourg were eliminated and their territories passed to the remaining arrondissements, and only 5 were kept: Haguenau-Wissembourg, Molsheim, Saverne, Sélestat-Erstein and Strasbourg.

Geography

The Bas-Rhin department is in the Grand Est region and borders 5 departments, all in the Grand Est region: Haut-Rhin to the south, Vosges to the southwest, Meurthe-et-Moselle to the west and Moselle to the northwest. To the north and east, the department borders Germany along the Rhine river.

Bas-Rhin has an area of 4,755 km2 (1,836 sq mi). Its highest point is Champ de Feu (48°23′40″N 07°16′09″E / 48.39444°N 7.26917°E / 48.39444; 7.26917 (Champ de Feu)) in the southwestern part of the department; it is 1,099 m (3,606 ft) high.

The main river in the department is the Rhine that forms the eastern border of the department, and of France.

Climate

The area around Strasbourg, at an altitude of about 153 m (502 ft), is characterized by climates with few extremes of temperature. The Köppen climate classification type for the climate at Strasbourg is a "Marine West Coast Climate" and of the subtype "Cfb".

The average amount of precipitation for the year in Strasbourg is 629.9 mm (24.8 in). The month with the most precipitation on average is July with 76.2 mm (3.0 in) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is February with an average of 33 mm (1.3 in).

The average temperature for the year in Strasbourg is 10.6 °C (51.1 °F). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 19.4 °C (66.9 °F). The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 1.7 °C (35.1 °F).

Climate data for Strasbourg, France
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 3
(37)
5
(41)
10
(50)
13
(55)
18
(64)
22
(72)
24
(75)
24
(75)
20
(68)
14
(57)
8
(46)
5
(41)
13.8
(56.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) 1
(34)
2
(36)
6
(43)
9
(48)
13
(55)
17
(63)
19
(66)
18
(64)
15
(59)
10
(50)
5
(41)
2
(36)
9.8
(49.6)
Average low °C (°F) -1
(30)
-1
(30)
2
(36)
4
(39)
8
(46)
12
(54)
13
(55)
13
(55)
10
(50)
6
(43)
2
(36)
--- 6
(43)
Rainfall mm (inches) 30
(1.18)
30
(1.18)
30
(1.18)
40
(1.57)
60
(2.36)
70
(2.76)
70
(2.76)
70
(2.76)
60
(2.36)
50
(1.97)
40
(1.57)
30
(1.18)
580
(22.83)
Source: Weatherbase.com [1]

Administration

Bas-Rhin is managed by the Departmental Council of Bas-Rhin in Strasbourg. The department is part of the Grand Est region.

Administrative divisions

There are 5 arrondissements (districts), 23 cantons and 517 communes (municipalities) in Bas-Rhin.

Arrondissements of Bas-Rhin
INSEE
code
Arrondissement Capital Population
(2014)
Area
(km²)
Density
(Inh./km²)
Communes
672 Haguenau-Wissembourg Haguenau 240,402 1,421.9 169.1 142
673 Molsheim Molsheim 103,068 771.2 133.6 77
674 Saverne Saverne 129,272 1,243.8 103.9 164
675 Sélestat-Erstein Sélestat 155,916 980.5 159.0 101
678 Strasbourg Strasbourg 484,157 337.6 1,434.1 33

The following is a list of the 23 cantons of the Bas-Rhin department (with their INSEE codes), following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:

  1. Bischwiller (6701)
  2. Bouxwiller (6702)
  3. Brumath (6703)
  4. Erstein (6704)
  5. Haguenau (6705)
  6. Hœnheim (6706)
  7. Illkirch-Graffenstaden (6707)
  8. Ingwiller (6708)
  9. Lingolsheim (6709)
  10. Molsheim (6710)
  11. Mutzig (6711)
  12. Obernai (6712)
  13. Reichshoffen (6713)
  14. Saverne (6714)
  15. Schiltigheim (6715)
  16. Sélestat (6716)
  17. Strasbourg-1 (6717)
  18. Strasbourg-2 (6718)
  19. Strasbourg-3 (6719)
  20. Strasbourg-4 (6720)
  21. Strasbourg-5 (6721)
  22. Strasbourg-6 (6722)
  23. Wissembourg (6723)

Demographics

The inhabitants of the Bas-Rhin department are known, in French, as Bas-Rhinois or (women: Bas-Rhinoises),

Bas-Rhin had a population, in 2014, of 1,112,815, for a population density of 234.0 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Strasbourg, with 484,157 inhabitants, is the arrondissement with more inhabitants.

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