Arrondissement9 cantons
73 communess
population 304 295
Cantonscentre for 4 cantons
(9 communes, 126 601 inhabitants)
name for inhabitantsMulhousiens
town population (1999)112,002
after elimination those also counted elsewhere110,359
population including contiguous urban areas234,445
population in the area within which at least 40% of the population works in Mulhouse271,024
area2,218 hectares

Mulhouse (Mülhausen in German and Milhüsa in Alsatian) is a town in eastern France, the main centre of a district of the Haut-Rhin département, of which it forms one of the sous-préfectures. It is the largest town in Haut-Rhin, and the second largest in Alsace after Strasbourg. Two rivers run through it, the Doller and the Ill, both tributaries of the Rhine. Its designated local development area consists of only 5 communess, but its conurbation is substantially larger than that.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Districts
3 Principal places of interest
4 Principal economic activities
5 Mayors of Mulhouse


The first written records of Mulhouse date from the 12th century. It was a member of the Décapole, an association of ten free towns in Alsace allied to the Swiss Confederation, which was a free republic until it was absorbed into France on January 4, 1798, in the French Directory period.

The town's development was stimulated first by the expansion of the textile industry and tanning, and subsequently by chemical and engineering industries from the mid 18th century. In consequence Mulhouse has enduring links with Louisiana, from which it imported cotton, and also with the Levant. The town's history also explains why its centre is relatively small.


Mulhouse consists essentially of a lower and an upper town.

Principal places of interest

  • Hôtel de ville (16th century). The town hall was built in 1553 in the Rhenish Renaissance style. Montaigne described it as a "palais magnifique et tout doré" in 1580. It is known for its trompe-l'oeil paintings, and its pictures of allegories representing the vices and virtues.
  • Workers' quarter (mid nineteenth century), inspired by districts in Manchester.
  • Place de la Bourse and the building of the Société Industrielle de Mulhouse (19th century)
  • Automobile museum (featuring the Schlumpf collection)
  • Railway museum
  • Museum of Electricity (Electropolis)
  • Museum of fabric printing
  • Botanical gardens and zoo
  • Numerous industrial ruins

Principal economic activities

Mayors of Mulhouse

  • Jean-Marie Bockel (1989- )
  • Joseph Klifa (1981-1989)
  • Emile Muller (1956-1981)\n