View from the train station of old Hombourg
|Intercommunality||Communauté de communes de Freyming-Merlebach|
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Laurent Muller|
|12.25 km2 (4.73 sq mi)|
|• Density||530/km2 (1,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||209–354 m (686–1,161 ft)|
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Hombourg-Haut (German : Oberhomburg) is a commune located in the department of Moselle, region of Grand Est, in the cultural and historical region Lorraine, north-eastern France.
Hombourg-Haut is an old medieval fortress town, built in the thirteenth century by the bishops of Metz. The old village lies at the foot of the imposing collegiate church in a green and wooded landscape.
Nowadays, the city has several neighbourhoods: the old Hombourg, the old village of Hellering, urban areas with HLMs built in the 1950s-1960s and residential district. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Hombourgeois and Hombourgeoises.
After a bitter dispute over the ownership of the castle of "Hombourg-Bas" (the old castle) between the Duke of Lorraine and the bishop of Metz, the latter prevailed end of the 12th century. Hombourg remained the property of the prelates of Metz until the 16th century. In 1270, the bishop, Jacques of Lorraine, decided to build a new and splendid castle on the opposite elongated hill, probably from 1245 on.
This castle became the main seat of the bailiwick of Hombourg/St-Avold. It was the residence of the bishops' representatives and sometimes of the prelates themselves. In front of the castle, Jacques of Lorraine got a fortified town built, surrounded by a long wall, today's "Vieux-Hombourg".Jacques granted his new town privileges and rights and in 1254, he founded a collegiate church with 13 capitular canons that was run until 1743. The collegiate got a new church built in 1300 which took almost a century to complete.
In 1758, Charles de Wendel founded an ironworks at the banks of the Roselle. That was the beginning of the industrial era of Hamburg-Haut. The ironworks was taken over by the d'Hausen family during the First Empire. The Gouvy family from Saarland bought the factory in 1850 and transformed it into a modern steel plant. Providing employment to generations of Hombourg's inhabitants, the Gouvy steel mill also supported music, sports, youth movements and other leisure activities. The Münch family continued the work of the Gouvys when they bought the factory in 1935, offering work to almost 250 employees. The plant ceased opérations permanently during the 1980s. Following the mill demolition, a shopping centre has been built on the site.
Hombourg-Haut is situated thirty two miles east of Metz (capitale of the département de la Moselle) and thirteen miles southwest of Saarbrücken (Germany). It is surrounded by the following towns and villages: Saint-Avold, Freyming-Merlebach, Betting, Guenviller and Macheren.
The Rossell, a small affluent of the Saar River, flows through Hombourg-Haut.
The tourist office is located near the railway station. It is run by the Communauté de communes de Freyming-Merlebach, a federation of municipalities in the French law.
Théodore Gouvy (1819-1898) composer
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The Théodore Gouvy International Festival is an annual festival of classical music held in honour of Franco-German composer, Théodore Gouvy. The festival is located in Hombourg-Haut, the town where the composer, from 1867 onwards, used to spend the summer with his family.
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