Place du marché

Coat of arms

Coordinates: 48°28′N 7°29′E / 48.46°N 7.48°E / 48.46; 7.48Coordinates: 48°28′N 7°29′E / 48.46°N 7.48°E / 48.46; 7.48
Country France
Region Grand Est
Department Bas-Rhin
Arrondissement Sélestat-Erstein
Canton Obernai
  Mayor (2001–2008) Bernard Fischer
Area1 25.78 km2 (9.95 sq mi)
Population (2006)2 11,009
  Density 430/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 67348 / 67210
Elevation 156–572 m (512–1,877 ft)
(avg. 185 m or 607 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Imperial City of Obernai
Reichstàdt Owernah (gsw)
Reichsstadt Oberehnheim (de)
Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire
ca 1283–1648

Coat of arms

Capital Obernai
Government Republic
Historical era Middle Ages
  Founded 778
   Gained town rights 1240 the 13th century
  Gained Reichsfreiheit ca 1283
  Joined Décapole 1354
   Lost Reichsfreiheit 1648
  Annexed by France 1679
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Swabia
Early modern France

Obernai (French: Obernai; Alsatian: Owernah; German: Oberehnheim) commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France. It lies on the eastern slopes of the Vosges mountains.

Obernai is a rapidly growing city, its number of inhabitants having gone up from 6,304 in 1968 to 11,099 in 2006.[1] The metropolitan area of Obernai had 12,369 inhabitants in 2006, from 7,293 in 1968.[2]


The Obernai region, which was the property of the dukes of Alsace in the 7th century, is the birthplace of St. Odile, daughter of the Duke, who would become the Patron Saint of Alsace.

The Obernai name first appears in 1240, when the village acquires the status of town under the tutelage of the Hohenstaufen family. The town then prospered. It became a member of the Décapole in 1354, an alliance of ten towns of the Holy Roman Empire in Alsace. Obernai's status reaches its apex in the 15th and 16th century. In 1562, Emperor Ferdinand I visited the prosperous town of Obernai.

The Thirty Years' War (1618–48) damaged the town, which was occupied by the Imperial troops then by the Swedes. The town was ransomed and ceded to France in 1679, and started to recover some of its prosperity, without totally recapturing its former glory.

The town was annexed by Germany in 1871 with the rest of Alsace then was returned to France after World War I in 1918.


Obernai is an important center of wine and beer production as well as a touristic destination. The industrial activity features the following companies: Hager, Kronenbourg, Triumph, Sobovia, Supra and Stoeffler. The historical wine of the city is called the Vin du Pistolet in reference to a local legend.


During the mid-1800s, Obernai was home to a Marianist primary school.[3]


Notable people

See also


  1. Commune : Obernai (67348) on INSEE
  2. Aire urbaine 1999 : Obernai (340) on INSEE
  3. 1 2 Garvin, John E. (1917-01-01). The Centenary of the Society of Mary. Brothers of Mary.
  4. (German) Zur Geschichte der jüdischen Gemeinde und der Synagogen in Oberehnheim
  5. Rees, Jasper (2014). Wenger: The Legend. London: Short Books. ISBN 1-78072-220-6.
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