|Community association||Canton d'Erstein|
|surface||7.79 km 2|
|Residents||5,753 (January 1, 2017)|
|Population density||739 inhabitants / km 2|
Benfeld is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Grand Est region (until 2015 Alsace ) and is located between Sélestat and Strasbourg on the banks of the Ill . The city has 5753 inhabitants (January 1, 2017) and is located in the " Grand Ried " nature reserve .
Benfeld lies roughly on the site of ancient Helvetus, which was destroyed by the Germanic peoples in 407 and from whose stones the subsequent community of Benfeld was built. In the 14th century the place received a city wall. The place developed into an Alsatian center of tobacco production . In the 16th century the reformer Nikolaus Prugener took active action against the radical Reformation Anabaptist movement in Benfeld .
During the Thirty Years War , Benfeld resisted the siege by the Swedes for 66 days before they could take the city on November 9, 1632; they then tore down the city fortifications. After the Thirty Years War, the place came to France in the course of the Réunions .
The town hall was built in 1531; its clock tower dates from 1619 and has three clocks on top of each other: the small clock at the top shows the phases of the moon, in the middle the Paris time is shown and at the bottom the local Strasbourg time, which deviates by about 29 minutes. The accompanying figures of the clocks are a knight, who is supposed to symbolize cleverness in the form of the Strasbourg prince-bishop Leopold and who strikes the bell next to the clock with a hammer every quarter of an hour, death as a grim reaper , who turns an hourglass as an indication of transience and the so-called Stubenhansel , who is supposed to symbolize justice.
The Saint-Laurent church was mentioned in 762, making it one of the oldest episcopal churches in France. Graves from the Merovingian era were discovered in it. In 1754 the building was renewed, whereby the Gothic choir was retained. The nave, on the other hand, was redesigned in neoclassical style in 1840.
In addition to the classic branch of tobacco growing, Benfeld developed into a regional center of industry in the 19th century. A number of medium-sized companies have production facilities here. The following are to be mentioned:
- Socomec (UPS systems, inverters , load switches and control cabinets)
- PCB Création (food decor)
- Secome (metal foils) and its subsidiary ADEcut
Sons and daughters of the place
- Max Fritz Mulert (* 1888), German district administrator
- Le Patrimoine des Communes du Bas-Rhin . Flohic Editions, Volume 1, Charenton-le-Pont 1999, ISBN 2-84234-055-8 , pp. 81-87.
- "Until the dear, complete peace will appear here" from the minutes of the council. After Günter Boll: The Jews in the Benfeld Fortress (1635 - 1652)
- Municipal directory Germany 1900 - Erstein district