The New International Encyclopædia/Breisach, Alt

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BREISACH, brī-zäG' (anciently, Lat. Mons Brisiacus, possibly from Celt. brig, elevation, hill + Teut. aha, water), Alt. A very old town of the Grand Duchy of Baden, situated on an isolated basaltic hill, on the right bank of the Rhine, about 12 miles west of Freiburg (Map: Germany, B 4). It is a thriving little town with manufactures of wall-paper, beer-brewing, wine manufactures, etc., and a trade in lumber and cattle. As early as the time of Julius Cæsar, Mons Brisiacus was known as a strong military position, and was taken by Ariovistus when he invaded Gaul. During the Middle Ages it frequently changed masters, and, after having been for a time a free imperial city, became a possession of the House of Austria. Its military importance made it a battle-ground for the French and Austrians in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries. The French destroyed its fortifications in 1744, and, during the War of the Revolution in 1793, burned the town. In 1805 the French handed it over to the House of Baden. Population, in 1890, about 3000; in 1900, 3500. Consult Coste, Notice historique sur la ville de Vieux-Brisach (Mulhouse, 1860).