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Holtzheim (Municipality, Bas-Rhin, France)

Last modified: 2021-04-10 by ivan sache
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Flag of Holtzheim, current and former versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 12 October 2020

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Presentation of Holtzheim

The municipality of Holtzheim (3,696 inhabitants in 2018; 691 ha; municipal website) is located 15 km west of Strasbourg.

Holtzheim was first mentioned, as Villa Holtzheim, a property of the Lorsch convent, in a document dated 7 May 780. Another document issued the same year mentions a convent located in Holtzheim. Starting on 1152, Holtzheim was listed on six successive papal bulls, which placed the church of Holtzeim under the direct protection of the Holy See, as requested by the bishops of Strasbourg.
The place's name, from "Holz", "Wood", might refer to wide forests on the left side of river Bruche. Another theory refers to an Alaman lord, Hoholf, the village's alleged founder. A village named Hoholfesheim, located on the banks of the Bruche, was mentioned in 840 and identified to Holtzheim by toponymists.
St. Pirmin, the Anglo-Saxon missionary who founded the abbeys of Reichenau and Murbach, is said to have stayed in Holtzheim between 728 and 734. Short after his death in Zweibrücken in 753, a pool of oil drifting down the river stopped near the saint's hut and did not move further. Collected, the miraculous oil allowed a young blind woman to recover her vision. The pilgrimage of Pirmin's saint oil lasted until the middle of the First World War.

The oldest maps showing the village, dated 1759, show the dwellings grouped on the right bank of the Bruche, while the fortified church surrounded by a cemetery and a wet ditch stood on the left bank. Ruined, the church was declared improper to the cult by an Ordinance issued by the bishop on 14 May 1477, which also imposed the re-building of the church inside the town. Consecrated in 1783, the new church was deemed too small in 1866 and demolished, allowing the building of the present-day's church.
In 1757, the course of the Bruche, which had flooded the church and the presbytery and suppressed the bridge, was derived upon order of Clinchamps, Intendant of Alsace.

Ivan Sache, 14 October 2020

Flag of Holtzheim

The flag of Holtzheim (photo, photo, photo) is white with the municipal arms, "Or a stump sable", and a white scroll beneath it with the name of the municipality in black letters. The former flag, as spotted before 2012 (photo, photo), was blue with the coat of arms offset to the hoist and the words "Ville de Holtzheim" in yellow in lower fly.

The stump makes the arms canting, for "Holz", "wood".
The Armorial Général shows the former arms of the village, "Azure a St. Lawrence or" (image).

Olivier Touzeau, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 14 October 2020