Is a

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Is a
Coat of arms of Istein
Coordinates: 47 ° 39 ′ 30 ″  N , 7 ° 32 ′ 20 ″  E
Height : 257 m above sea level NN
Area : 2.59 km²
Residents : 1280  (2011)
Population density : 494 inhabitants / km²
Incorporation : 1st October 1974
Postal code : 79588
Area code : 07628
Location of the Istein district in the municipality of Efringen-Kirchen
View of Istein

Since the administrative reform on October 1, 1974, Istein has been part of the municipality of Efringen-Kirchen in the district of Lörrach in Baden-Württemberg . With about 1280 inhabitants, the village is the second largest suburb of the municipality of Efringen-Kirchen.


Istein around 1830 - Photo of a watercolor by Peter Birmann

Early history

There was probably already jasper mining in Istein in the Stone Age , an important cutting tool at that time. The remains of a settlement from the Urnfield culture were found on the Isteiner Klotz , i. H. the area was already before 800 BC. Settled. A Roman camp near Istein is suspected, a signal tower on the Klotzen is considered likely.

Istein was first mentioned in a document in 1139 when Pope Innocent II confirmed the place as property to the Prince Bishopric of Basel . The spelling has changed over time (Ystein, Istain).

The Istein War

In the course of the dispute over supremacy on the Upper Rhine, the interests of the city of Basel and the Habsburgs crossed. Catherine of Burgundy , the wife of Duke Leopold , ruled in Alsace and in 1409/10 there was finally a war against the city of Basel, which was supported by Strasbourg , Bern and Solothurn . One of the nobles, who on the part of the Habsburgs repeatedly waged hostility against Basel property and subjects, was also the then pledge master of the double castle Istein, Burckhardt (the younger) Münch von Landskron . The Basler and their allies marched with about 5,000 men before Istein. Both castles were shot at by the Basel artillery. The lower castle was eventually undermined until the walls fell into the Rhine. The upper lock was then handed over. The people of Basel razed the castles and used the stone blocks to build the Riehener Tor in Basel.

Loss of the areas on the left bank of the Rhine - Rosenau

In 1791 the Rosenau branch on the left bank of the Rhine became its own municipality, with which Istein lost almost half of its ban (approx. 200 ha).

The transition to the margraviate of Baden

In the course of the Napoleonic reorganization of Germany, the secular princes of the German Empire were compensated for their loss of territory on the left bank of the Rhine (annexed by France) with territories belonging to the clergy. The Bishopric of Basel had Istein together with the whole bailiwick Schliengen to the Margraviate of Baden cede. On November 30, 1802, the handover took place in a solemn act and on December 12, the last Prince-Bishop of Basel, Franz Xaver von Neveu, released the last Prince-Bishop 's governor, Ignaz Sigismund von Rotberg , from his oath of allegiance.

The barons of Freystedt

Castle of the Barons of Freystedt in Istein

Baron Heinrich Gustav Ludwig von Freystedt expanded the former Dinghof of the Basel Cathedral Chapter around 1850 into a small castle with a park, which the family also lived in until 1917. The Grand Ducal Oberhofmarschall Freiherr Leopold von Freystedt donated his 28 hectare property, including residential and economic buildings , located in the districts of Istein and Huttingen, district court district Lörrach , to the city of Karlsruhe as property and possession with effect from January 1, 1917 “to alleviate hardship resulting from the war ”. Gut Istein, located directly on the Isteiner Klotz, had been owned by the von Freystedt family for over 100 years . Before that, it was the seat of the bailiff of the Principality of Basel until 1803. The city of Karlsruhe installed a manager on the estate and tried to use the site primarily as a vineyard and fruit estate. The property was badly damaged in the Second World War , which prompted the Karlsruhe municipal council again to question the profitability of the property. With a purchase agreement dated December 22, 1953, the city of Karlsruhe sold the property to the district of Lörrach.

The fortresses on and in the Isteiner Klotz

The episcopal castle

See also: Istein Castle

The fortress 1900–1921

Around 1900, planning work began on a fortress on the Isteiner Klotz, which was to secure the Rhine crossings on the Upper Rhine. The actual construction of the fortress began in 1902 with the infantry factory , a three-story barracks for 1,500 men. In 1903 the three tank batteries followed, which were equipped with 10 cm guns with a range of approx. 10 km. Hollow tunnels at a depth of around 8 m created the connection between the various batteries and infantry units. During the war, the fortress was hardly involved in combat operations. According to the provisions of the Versailles Peace Treaty of June 28, 1919 on the demilitarization of Germany, the fortress had to be razed . The completion notification was issued on November 17, 1921 - only rubble remained.

The fortress 1936–1945

As part of the west wall , fortifications were built on the Isteiner Klotz again in 1936. After a visit by Hitler , work on a large fortress project was accelerated from 1938. Two tank batteries were now equipped with 17 cm guns whose range was about 25 km. The planned expansion was postponed after the French declaration of war on September 1, 1939 in favor of a quick provisional solution and after the French campaign the work remained unfinished, so that of the originally planned tunnels with a length of 18 km only just 5 km were completed. On May 19, 1940, Istein was shelled with shells, killing 7. In 1944 there was again heavy fire - Istein was evacuated several times. On the night of April 22nd to 23rd, 1945, the last regular troops left the fortress before the French troops - who had crossed the Rhine near Karlsruhe on March 30th - approached. The Volkssturm unit located there afterwards disbanded before the arrival of the French and the fortress was occupied without a fight on April 24, 1945. The Allied Control Council ordered the razing of the fortress. Between March 14, 1947 and March 10, 1950, the fortifications were blown up, with large parts of the rock massif collapsing and large heaps of rubble formed.

Istein on the European traffic routes

The Rhine

The straightening of the Rhine between Basel and Karlsruhe could only begin after a state treaty between France and the Grand Duchy of Baden was concluded in 1840 . In the section near Istein, work began in the 1850s, but the Rhine did not accept the new river bed intended for it until 1876. The municipality of Istein was able to gain around 45 hectares of new arable land between 1851 and 1890. On the other hand, as a former fishing village, Istein also felt the significant decline in fish stocks as a result of the Rhine correction. As early as 1825 there was a diplomatic conflict with the Netherlands and Prussia due to the planned correction of the Rhine , which led to a temporary construction freeze between 1827 and 1832 - even then it was feared that the flood risk for the section between Mannheim and Cologne would increase significantly due to the Rhine regulation on the Upper Rhine would. Today (2012) this knowledge leads to the construction of retention areas as part of the integrated Rhine program - also in the area of ​​Istein.

The Isteiner thresholds , a dangerous obstacle for shipping on the Rhine to Basel, were an important reason for the construction of the Rhine canal from Weil am Rhein to Breisach . Today the Isteiner thresholds are a popular place for swimming in the Rhine.

The Rhine Valley Railway

A train at the Isteiner Klotz in the early years of rail operations

In 1835 the first German railway line between Nuremberg and Fürth was inaugurated, and early on there were also various proposals in Baden (1831 Gottlieb Bernhard Fecht ; 1832 Friedrich List ; 1833 Ludwig Newhouse ) to build a railway that would open up the long stretch of land between Mannheim and Basel economically should. After a joint-stock company was founded in Alsace in 1837 to build a railway between Strasbourg and Basel , the Baden Assembly of Estates decided, on the initiative of Karl von Rotteck and Karl Friedrich Nebenius, to build a railway from Mannheim to Basel at state expense - this law of March 29, 1838 created (after Belgium) the second major state railway in Europe. This measure was intended to prevent traffic flows from shifting to the Alsatian side of the Rhine. This Rheintalbahn was built as a section of the Baden main line, with construction from north to south. On November 8, 1848, the section between Schliengen and Efringen was put into operation after the section to Schliengen had been opened a year earlier.

While the route is largely straight, it has a winding route in the southern section between Schliengen and Efringen-Kirchen and runs between the Rhine and Isteiner Klotz above the villages. A deeper route similar to today's A5 motorway was not possible at the time, as the Rhine had not yet been straightened in this area at the time the railway was built, so that the areas below the villages belonged to the river bed of the Rhine (see picture), which is why railway three Tunnel, (Klotzentunnel, Kirchberg Tunnel and Hardberg Tunnel) had to build. The Klotzentunnel, completed in 1845, was one of the first railway tunnels.

Since the winding route cannot be used for high-speed trains (maximum permissible speed on the route sometimes only 70 km / h), the actual construction of the Katzenberg Tunnel began in June 2005 and was opened for scheduled operation on December 9, 2012. The Deutsche Bahn wants to ensure a more efficient connection to the new railway through the Alps .

The federal highway

The federal autobahn number 5 (A5) leads over the Isteiner district. The route planning for the section from Offenburg to Basel was already carried out in 1933/1934, but the Neuenburg am Rhein - Märkt (Weil am Rhein) section was not opened to traffic until 1959 . The next junction is in the neighboring district of Kleinkems .



There are many historic half-timbered houses, the oldest dating from 1553. The Catholic parish church of St. Michael was built in 1820.


Famous are the Isteiner Fasnacht, the carnival fire on the Isteiner Klotz and the Chlimsefest , which takes place on Whitsun in leap years .


Istein has a partnership with its former branch municipality Rosenau in Alsace.



Until the beginning of the Rhine correction (1851), fishing was an essential source of income for the village. In 2012 only two families still fish as a sideline.


Viticulture was and is still very common. Many residents have a vineyard and are affiliated with the Markgräfler Winzer eG - three wineries develop the wine themselves.

Lime works

With 130 employees, the Istein lime works is the largest local employer. The quarry in Kapf on the Hardberg - where the Malmkalk is extracted today - is about 2 kilometers from the limestone works. In the 1930s, the Lonza works began to extract the lime required for carbide production at the Waldshut works from the quarry south of the Isteiner Klotzen. Due to the high-quality raw material, production was geared towards sophisticated building materials in the 1960s ( limestone , terrazzo material and burnt lime ). The mining of lime around Istein had already started in 1908.

In 2011, the plant applied for a priority area for further limestone mining of around 40  hectares . Due to the public protests, the application was reduced to 19.5 hectares. Approval for the Kalkgraben extension was granted in autumn 2015.

In the summer of 2015, HeidelbergCement AG sold the plant to the Belgian Lhoist Group , which is represented in Germany by Rheinkalk GmbH.

Curiosities of nature around Istein

North of the village is the Isteiner Klotz - a mountain ridge from Weissjura  - which has been a popular practice area for biologists from the universities of Basel , Strasbourg and Freiburg since the 19th century due to its rich flora . In 1986 the Isteiner Klotz became the 500th nature reserve in Baden-Württemberg and is part of a network of nature reserves that was created according to the Fauna-Flora-Habitat Directive .

The Rhine regulation increased the flow speed of the Rhine, which dug deeper into the subsoil. As a result, the Istein thresholds were also washed out further.

The Totengrien nature reserve in the foothills of the Rhine on a former island in the Rhine "is one of the most species-rich orchid locations in the southern Upper Rhine Graben ". In the Istein vineyards, some biotopes are protected by state law.


  • Joseph Schuler (1847–1906), died in Istein, Catholic clergyman and member of the German Reichstag


  • Erich Dietschi: History of the villages Istein and Huttingen . Basel 1930
  • Fritz Schülin, Hermann Schäfer, Pius Schwanz: Istein and the Isteiner Klotz . 3rd edition 1994
  • Pius Schwanz: 850 years of Istein. Hiesten 1139 - Istein 1989.
  • Elisabeth Schmid : The urnfield settlement on the Isteiner Klotz . In: Das Markgräflerland , Volume 1/1993, pp. 18-20
  • Opening of the village of Istein and Huttingen . In: Journal for the history of the Upper Rhine , Volume 19, 1866, pp. 460–465 Google digitized
  • Josef Bader : The Isteiner Dinggericht . In: Badenia - or the Baden region and people , 2nd volume, Karlsruhe 1840, pp. 62–70 Google digitized
  • Franz Kiefer: On the local history of Istein . In: Das Markgräflerland , Volume 1/2012, pp. 54–60
  • Claude Fröhle: The Istein Festival from 1900 to 1921 . In: Das Markgräflerland , Volume 1/2012, pp. 61–66
  • Claude Fröhle: The Isteiner Klotz in the conception of the western fortifications in the years 1936–1945 . In: Das Markgräflerland , Volume 1/2012, pp. 67–72
  • Wolfgang Sprich: Nature reserves and biotopes around Istein . In: Das Markgräflerland , Volume 1/2012, pp. 73–78
  • Franz Xaver Kraus : The Art Monuments of the Grand Duchy of Baden , Tübingen and Leipzig, 1901, Fifth Volume: District of Lörrach, pp. 19-25,
  • Dominik Bloedner: Dispute over new areas for limestone mining . In: Badische Zeitung , October 9, 2012; Retrieved December 3, 2016
  • Albert Krieger: Topographical Dictionary of the Grand Duchy of Baden . Heidelberg 1904, Volume 1, Sp. 1103-1107
  • Eduard Christian Martini: Istein and its surroundings . In: Schau-ins-Land , Volume 2 (1874/75) pp. 50–53, 58-61, 66-69, 74-76, 82-85, 90-91 online at Freiburg University Library
  • Kurt Weissen : The secular administration of the duchy of Basel at the end of the late Middle Ages and the expansion of sovereignty . In: La donation de 999 , 2002, (PDF; 2.4 MB)
  • Marco Jorio : The fall of the Principality of Basel (1792-1815): The struggle of the two last Prince Bishops Joseph Sigismund von Roggenbach and Franz Xaver von Neveu against secularization. Paulusdruckerei, Freiburg i.Ue. 1981
  • Maren Siegmann: Bernhard von Clairvaux in Istein. In: Das Markgräflerland , Volume 2019, pp. 154–170


Web links

Commons : Istein  - collection of images, videos and audio files

References and comments

  1. ^ Federal Statistical Office (ed.): Historical municipality directory for the Federal Republic of Germany. Name, border and key number changes in municipalities, counties and administrative districts from May 27, 1970 to December 31, 1982 . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-17-003263-1 , p. 521 .
  2. 2011; Kiefer, p. 57
  3. Schmid
  4. Krieger, p. 20
  5. ^ Peter Ochs : History of the city and landscape of Basel , third volume. Basel 1819, pp. 55/56
  6. Kiefer, p. 55
  7. Jorio, pp. 143/144
  8. ^ Eugen A. Meier : Around the Baselstab . Basel 1978, vol. 3, p. 75; There it is reported, however, that the von Freystedt residents lived in the castle until 1918, but this contradicts the files in the Karlsruhe city archive.
  9. Karlsruhe City Archives ( Memento from December 14, 2012 in the web archive )
  10. Merry
  11. Merry
  12. During this time up to 3,000 men were employed in fortress construction. Kiefer, p. 56
  13. Kiefer, p. 56
  14. Fröhle, p. 72
  15. ^ Badische Zeitung , March 6, 2009
  16. ^ Christoph Bernhardt: The Rhine correction . In: The citizen in the state . 50th year, issue 2, 2000, pp. 79/80
  17. ^ Karl Stiefel: Baden 1648–1952 . Karlsruhe 1979, Volume II, p. 1513
  18. Photos in the tunnel portal
  19. Kiefer, p. 57
  20. [1]
  21. Schlossgut Istein ( Memento from July 7, 2012 in the Internet Archive ); Istein lime works winery ; Reingerhof ( Memento from November 14, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  22. ^ Production of lime and limestone at the Istein plant., archived from the original on February 9, 2013 ; accessed on May 13, 2017 .
  23. ↑ Brief company biography of Lonza-Werke. In: Wolfgang Bechtold (ed.): The district of Lörrach . Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1971, p. 261
  24. Reinhard Cremer: Efringen-Kirchen: Kalkwerk Istein celebrates a new permit for limestone mining. Badische Zeitung, December 2, 2016, accessed on May 13, 2017 .
  25. ^ Efringen-Kirchen: Sale completed: The Istein lime works belongs to the Belgian Lhoist. Badische Zeitung, June 30, 2015, accessed on May 13, 2017 .
  26. according to That means between 1843 and 1925 by 2.70 m
  27. Profile of the nature reserve in the LUBW's list of protected areas
  28. Speak, p. 76
  29. Biotope Protection Act ( Memento of October 6, 2014 in the Internet Archive )