Burger Hugenottenkabinett      


The history of the Huguenots in Burg

  1. Prehistory
  2. The Edict of Potsdam
  3. The Huguenots' arrival
  4. Where did they come from? What were their names?
  5. » The French colony «
  6. A difficult start
  7. The significance for the city's development

The French colony

The area in the north of the city (Bruchstraße, Grünstraße and Franzosenstraße) was not developed by the citizens of Burg; only the St. Petri chapel was located here. The ground was too wet and there was always the threat of the Ihle River flooding its banks. Consequently the area was transferred to the French so they could build on it. In 1690 the message arrived in Burg that the Waldensers could return to their homeland, the Piemont. The Duke of Savoyen, Viktor Amadeus II declared his independence from France and Louis XIV thereby abolishing the persecution of Waldensers. In 1691 many of them returned to Piemont and left behind the building land they were allocated in Burg.

After the Waldenser people left, the Huguenot families received the partially built houses in the Franzosenstraße. They considered themselves successors of the Waldensers, who went back to their homeland. The Huguenots assumed the Waldensers' rights which included taking over their building land.

The French new citizens considered the allocation of houses as very beneficial because now they all lived together, gathered around their minister, their judge and the Petri Church. This is how a French colony established itself within the city of Burg between Schartauer Tor, (today's) Franzosenstraße and the Kumpspforte.

Location of the French colony

Location of the French colony
(Click on the city map to enlarge it - 89kB)

The German-speaking immigrants from Palatinate, Swabia and Switzerland were not interested in living in such close proximity to each other. Despite their dialects they had an easier time of communicating with and adapting to the old-resident population. They settled dispersed all over the city. Another advantage they had was that for the most part they were able to maintain their old profession and did not have to make drastic changes. As a result this group of immigrants had a better starting position to get established in their new hometown.

Next: A difficult start
Previous: Where did they come from? What were their names?