TRI-STATE-AREA

2000 YEARS UNITY AND SEPARATION

A didactic border trail from the Pax Romana to the Schengen Agreement

About 12,000 BC the last ice age ended. Before this time, probably hunters and gatherers roamed the “Dreiländereck” (Tristate-area). In the stone age, from about 10,000 BC, more hunters and gatherers came into the region due to the improvement of the climatic conditions. Some stone tools were found dating from the time around 2,000 to 3,000 BC. In several places of the Saarland, ancient Celtic burial sites from the period of 200-50 BC have survived and thus give a first sure indication of a pre-Roman permanent settlement. However, it is likely that the Tri-state-area was already permanently
inhabited from about 3,000 BC due to its favourable climate.

The Celts, a nation consisting of different tribes, settled in the Tri-state-area and all western Europe in pre-Roman times, about 750 BC. The tribes settling in the greater region were called the Treveri and the Mediomatrici, with the Treveri probably settling in the Tri-state-area. From the time of the Romans, events in the Tri-state-area have been recorded in the form of written documents. (Peter Kiefer)

58 BC - 275: Romans in the Tri-state-area

58 BC - 275: Romans in the Tri-state-area

58 BC: From 58 BC the Roman armies under Julius Caesar gradually conquered Gaul. The tribe of the Treveri surrendered in 56 BC and became allies of the Romans. The Roman Empire extended its influence from the Moselle in the direction to the Rhine. (GELZ / Peter Kiefer)

16 BC: After several uprisings of the Treveri, the Roman culture gained more and more influence. The Romans founded Trier and thus created a cultural center for the Upper Moselle region. (GELZ / Peter Kiefer)

70-275: The Treverers rebelled for the last time against the Romans in the year 70. The inhabitants of the Tri-state-area became increasingly "Roman”, however, the tribes preserved parts of their culture and religion. A leap in civilization was accomplished by the Romans. First roads were built. The Roman Road led from Metz towards Trier and from there towards the Rhine. The Roman Villa of Borg was situated right next to the Roman Road. There was limestone extraction on the Stromberg, Hammelsberg and Kolleberg. In Apach, there were iron-smelting plants who produced crude iron for the surrounding forges. Towpaths were built on the Moselle. Relatively large ships transported goods. The so-called "Gallo-Roman mixed culture" is the result of the fusion of Gallic and Roman culture. There was peace for more than 200 years. (GELZ / Peter Kiefer)

256 - 451: looting in the Tri-state-area

256 - 451: looting in the Tri-state-area

In 256/ 257, the Franks, a collection of different Teutonic peoples, left their home in Northern Europe and migrated southwards. In 275/ 276, they plundered Trier and the Tri-state-area and destroyed, among other things, the Roman Villa of Borg. Under Emperor Diocletian, the Roman Empire experienced an upswing; In 318, Emperor Constantin promoted Trier to the status of an important administrative seat for all Gaul. Trier was home to some 60,000 people, one of the largest cities in Europe (GELZ / Peter Kiefer)

366: The Alemanni, a Germanic tribe, crossed the Rhine and plundered the Tri-state-area. Emperor Valentinian could push them back across the Rhine. In 401, however, large parts of the Roman army were withdrawn as the Visigoths attacked Italy.

410 to 435: Trier and the Tri-state-area were plundered by raiding Franconian armies four times in only 25 years. The Franks did not settle down, but the era of the Roman Empire was coming to an end.

451: Trier, Metz and the Tri-state-area were looted by the Huns. In the Catalan fields near Troyes, there was a great battle in which the Romans and their allies were victorious over the Huns and their allied Germanic tribes. However, the influence of Gallo-Roman culture continued to decline. (Gelz)

511 - 600: The Roman period in the Tri-state-area comes to an end

511 - 600: The Roman period in the Tri-state-area comes to an end

The Roman period in the tri-state-region finally came to an end. The Merovingian Franks had ruled since about 485. When Chlodwig I died in 511, he had divided his empire into four parts. The three-state-area became part of the Austrasian subarea. The capital of King Teuderich I was first Reims and then Metz, so that the territory around the three-state-are experienced an economic upturn. (Gelz)

In 600, the so-called "Franconian colonisation" starts. As in feudalism, the king distributes land to followers, who must then support him with service in return. Partially, the followers for their part distribute smaller areas to landlords. The Franks probably founded the smallholdings of Perl, Oberperl and Sehndorf as well as other villages. Gradually, a linguistic boundary develops, as in the western Franconian empire there are more long-time residents with Gallo-Roman influences, whereas in the eastern Franconian empire there are more Franks. This leads to the development of the Moselle-Franconian dialects, which will be the common language in the Tri-state-area for more than 1300 years. (Gelz)

800: Charlemagne is crowned Emperor

800: Charlemagne is crowned Emperor

Charles the Great was a well-known king of the Franks. In most cases, a son of the previous king became the new king. This principle is called hereditary monarchy. The Franks reigned over the territory of today’s France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and large parts of Germany. The Frankish empire reached its greatest extent under King Charles, who was born in 747 or 748. Charles' birthplace is unknown, but it may be that he was born in Thionville. Charles was crowned emperor in Aachen on 25 December 800. This was something special as he became the first emperor in a Western European country since the last Western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos. The Parish of Perl was founded not later than the year 800. A parish is a church community that has its own priest. The parish of Perl belonged to the cathedral chapter in Trier. Charles the Great died in 812, his son Louis the Pious became the new king. (Gelz)

843: Division of the Franconian territory by the Treaty of Verdun

843: Division of the Franconian territory by the Treaty of Verdun

Already during the reign of Louis, there was dispute among his sons. Finally, the sons divided the Franconian territory into three parts by the Treaty of Verdun. His son Lothar received the middle Franconian empire. This country was then called "Lotharingen". The Tri-estate-area was located in Lotharingen, but was not far from the border to the East Franconian Empire. The name "Lotharingen" later changed into "Lorraine". The area of ​​today's Lorraine region in France is, however, much smaller than the former Lotharingen.  (AUST / HERRMANN / TASSELS)

870: The Hammelsberg in Perl becomes the state border for the first time

870: The Hammelsberg in Perl becomes the state border for the first time

870: After the death of Lothar II, Lotharingen was divided between the East and the West Franconian empire by the Treaty of Mersen. The Tri-state-area became part of the East Franconian empire. The Hammelsberg near Perl was for the first time a state boundary and separated the kingdom of Louis the German from the kingdom of Charles the Bald. Perl belonged to Upper Lorraine. (Gelz)

900: Between 900 and 911, the central power disintegrated and the tribal duchies were established.

925: The border disappears again

925: The border disappears again

King Henry I restored the central power in the eastern part of the Franconian empire and reintroduced Lorraine as the fifth Franconian tribal duchy, together with Swabia, Saxony and Bavaria into the East Franconian empire. The Tri-state-area was again a few hundred kilometers away from the border. (GELZ)

In 959, the duchy of Lorraine was divided into the Upper and Lower Lorraine. The border was drawn up north of Trier and Longwy.

1210: Lower Lorraine is divided into many duchies, Upper Lorraine remains a political entity called “the duchy of Lorraine”

1210: Lower Lorraine is divided into many duchies, Upper Lorraine remains a political entity called “the duchy of Lorraine”

Between 1210 and 1360, Lower Lorraine was divided into numerous duchies and domains, such as the duchy of Luxembourg.

In 1354, the County of Luxembourg became a duchy, extending thus its sovereignty. Around 1370 the county reached its greatest extent. The taxes were relatively high at the time: the counts of Luxembourg received 12% of the farmers' harvest and the church 10%. Due to the mild temperatures and the cultivation of wine, they generated relatively high income in the Moselle valley. (Pine)

In spite of the disintegration of Lower Lorraine, Upper Lorraine remained in large parts intact as the “duchy of Lorraine”. Only the Duchy of Bar split off. Nancy became the capital.

In 1380 the reunion of one half of the duchy of Bar with the duchy of Lorraine took place.

1430: Lower Lorraine falls to the dukes of Burgundy

1430: Lower Lorraine falls to the dukes of Burgundy

1430-1473: Between 1430 and 1473, the dukes of Burgundy acquired the largest part of the Netherlands, namely the county of Hainaut, the duchy of Brabant, the duchy of Limburg, Luxembourg, the county of Holland, the province of Zeeland and the duchy of Geldern. In 1477 they formed the Burgundian heritage of the Habsburgs.

1475-1480: Burgundy and Lorraine were at war. Soldiers roamed and plundered the villages.

In 1484 Pope Innocent VIII issued a decree against alleged witches and other heretics. Until 1648 almost 1,000 people were burnt as witches in the Electorate of Trier (Kiefer).

1552: Growing influence of France and looting in the Tri-state-area

1552: Growing influence of France and looting in the Tri-state-area

1552: Metz became free imperial city, Sierck however remained in the duchy of Lorraine. The border of the Electorate of Trier and the duchy of Lorraine ran through the Tri-state-area. In contrast to Metz however, both regions were part of the Holy Roman Empire and under the sovereignty of German Emperor. In the years 1552 to 1557, German, French and Spanish armies repeatedly crossed the Tri-state-area. Many villages were plundered and partly destroyed. (AUST / HERRMANN / TASSELS)

1577: Spanish troops were moving through the Tri-state-area on their way from the Netherlands towards Italy at the time of the War of Independence. The soldiers seized food in the villages along their way for their approximately 15,000 people and 6,500 horses. (Pine)

1590: Again, soldiers of a German regiment plundered the Tri-state-area for several months. (Pine)

1596: The Perl parish includes Eft, Borg, Schengen, Apach and Merschweiler. (Gelz)

1632: The Tri-state-area becomes a battleground of the Thirty Years' War

1632: The Tri-state-area becomes a battleground of the Thirty Years' War

1632-1635: In 1632, the Tri-state-area became part of the war zone during the confessional struggles of the Thirty Years' War. First, Swedish troops, allied to the French king, plundered the villages. Especially the former Lorraine regions suffered a lot. French soldiers conquered the district in 1633 and Sierck in 1634. In 1635, soldiers from Lorraine and Spain recaptured Sierck and plundered afterwards the Moselle. Perl was at that time a military camp of the French army, including also Scottish, Swiss, Italian and Spanish mercenaries who supported the French troops. Soldiers of the different conflict parties committed terrible crimes during the Thirty Years' War. Moreover, there were famines and plagues. In the administrative district of Saarburg, the number of citizen households dropped from 1,121 to only 269 after seven years. The villages of Keßlingen, Münzingen, Tettingen, Butzdorf and Wochern were completely destroyed. (AUST / HERRMANN / TASSELS)

1648: The Thirty Years' War ended. As a part of the peace conditions, the Witchcraft Trials also ended in the region of ​​the Electorate of Trier. As early as 1659, however, French soldiers in the country plundered the Tri-state-area again.

1661: First French border in the Tri-state-area

1661: First French border in the Tri-state-area

1661: In the Treaty of Vincennes, the Duke of Lorraine had to relinquish the rule over Sierck-les-Bains and 30 other villages and yield them to the French king. This is the first time that the French border is part of the Tri-state-area. (AUST / HERRMANN / TASSELS)

1679: Lorraine falls back to France by the the Treaties of Peace of Nijmegen. As early as 1690, however, warfare and famine dominated again. (Peter Kiefer)

1697: In the peace of Rijswijk, Lorraine became independent again and large parts of the Tri-state-area were under the rule of the Duke of Lorraine. (AUST / HERRMANN / TASSELS)

1769: French-Luxembourg border is established

1769: French-Luxembourg border is established

After the death of Duke Stanislaus, Lorraine became part of France again due to a treaty in 1766. A few years later, in 1769, the French-Luxembourgian border, as it is today, was drawn. Some of the former Lorrain villages became French by this measure. (AUST / HERRMANN / QUASTEN).

1792 The Duchy of Luxembourg becomes part of the French territory

1792 The Duchy of Luxembourg becomes part of the French territory

A few years after the French Revolution, France declared war on the King of Bohemia and Hungary. After this, Prussian troops, allied with Austria, moved through the Moselle valley in August 1792 and crossed the border between France and Trier at Sierck-les-Bains. French Revolutionary Groups occupied large parts of the German Empire. In 1795, the duchy of Luxembourg was dissolved and became part of the French state as "Département Forêts". In the peace of Luneville in 1801 the whole area west of the Rhine was given to France. Thus, the entire Tri-state-area became part of France. This also had consequences for church affiliations, the villages of Apach, Belmach, Schengen and Merschweiler, for example, left the parish of Perl in 1803. (AUST / HERRMANN / TASSELS). (Gelz)

1814/1815: The 1st and 2nd Treaty of Paris

1814/1815: The 1st and 2nd Treaty of Paris

1st Treaty of Paris - 1814
Napoleon waged war in Europe until 1814. He was beaten in the German Campaign (German “Befreiungskriege”, lit. "Wars of Liberation"). On March 30, 1814, Paris surrendered. Napoleon was deposed on 2 April 1814, and he abandoned the throne on 11 April 1814. Louis XVIII became king. In the 1st Treaty of Paris in May 1814, the borders of 1792 were re-established. 

2nd Treaty of Paris - 1815
Napoleon returned. He was finally defeated in the Battle of Waterloo.On 20 November 1815, the 2nd Treaty of Paris was signed. France had to yield Saarbrücken and Saarlouis to Prussia. Landau was given to Bavaria. France had to pay 700 million francs for war indemnities.

1815: Luxembourg becomes an independent Grand Duchy

1815: Luxembourg becomes an independent Grand Duchy

1815: The Congress of Vienna made Luxembourg nominally an independent Grand Duchy, which was ruled together with the Kingdom of the Netherlands in personal union by the kings of the House of Nassau-Orange. Unlike the rest of the newly created kingdom, however, Luxembourg became part of the German Confederation.

1816: First cadastre is created and defines boundaries precisely - Moselle becomes condominium

1816: First cadastre is created and defines boundaries precisely - Moselle becomes condominium

The territory of the Electorate of Trier and the Rhineland were given to Prussia by the Congress of Vienna. In addition, Prussia received all the former Luxembourgish territories east of Moselle, Sauer and Our, so that large parts of the Tri-state-area suddenly became Prussian. In order to straighten the border line, some villages were exchanged in 1829. Thus, Manderen became part of France. The territories were entered into a first land register, and the border was precisely defined - it is still the same border nowadays. Border stones were set up along the (now French-German) border. Controls were introduced and customs officers were hired. The Moselle became the border between Germany and Luxembourg. However, the river is a condominium, the opposite edge of the water represents the border for each country, so that the Moselle is, so to speak, part of two countries. (AUST / HERRMANN / QUASTEN) (YELLOW)

1871: Annexation of the Lorraine and development of the trade route

1871: Annexation of the Lorraine and development of the trade route

1871: After the German-French War and the German annexation of Lorraine, the border shifted far beyond Metz. (Gelz)

1889: The railway line Metz-Koblenz was opened and facilitated the transport of goods. In the same period, bridges were built in Schengen and Remich. (Gelz)

1919: The border moves closer again

1919: The border moves closer again

After the end of the first world war, Perl became once again a border town. On both sides of the border, customs posts were set up. In order to provide accommodation for the tax collectors, houses for them and their families were built in various places along the border, for example in Perl and Apach. According to the Treaty of Versailles of 28 June 1919, the Territory of the Saar Basin was placed under the control of the League of Nations until January 1935; after this year, the constitutional position should be determined by means of a popular vote. For the first time, the Saar territory represented a separate administrative unit. France wanted to annex the Saarland, but only received the coal mines. This means, however, that France had a strong economic impact. "The border shift separated the newly created Saar territory, which was under the administration of the League of Nations, from Germany. The French military administration (1918-1920), the presence of French troops until 1930, and the dominant French influence in civilian life characterized the Saar region until 1935." (Gerhild Krebs)

1936: Referendum and Second World War

1936: Referendum and Second World War

1936-1945: "After the Saar status referendum (13 January 1935), the Saar region was integrated administratively into the NS-Reich and formed together with the Palatinate the “Gau Saarpfalz” from 1 March 1935. The mediaeval term “Gau”, which had originally designated specific landscapes and/ or legal structures, was used for this newly created Nazi administration level.

In the Second World War, the French department of Moselle was annexed by Germany. From 1944 onwards the Tri-state-area became scene of the Second World War, since the Allied forces attacked for several weeks the so-called Orscholzriegel, a part of the Siegfried Line (German “Westwall”).Thousands of soldiers and hundreds of German, Luxembourgish and French civilians died.

Maginot Line & Siegfried Line

The Maginot Line, named after Defense Minister André Maginot, was planned as a consequence of the positional warfare in the First World War. It is 700 kilometers long. Behind natural obstacles, for example, West of the Rhine, France mainly installed casemates and shelters. It was considered that the border with the Palatinate and the Saarland was the most vulnerable.

From 1937, the Siegfried Line was built with great logistical effort on the German side. The plans were never fully implemented, neither until the French campaign in 1939/ 40 nor until the winter of 1944/45, the last winter of war. Parts of the Siegfried Line and the Maginot Line can now be visited both in Lorraine and in the Saarland (for example, the Dragon's teeth fortification in Tettingen-Butzdorf and Orscholz)

1945: The post-war period

1945: The post-war period

After the end of the Second World War on 8 May 1945, Germany was placed under the administration of the Allies. The Saarland was placed under French administration for 10 years. The border shifted to Nennig (GELZ)

1957: The Saarland decides for the Federal Republic of Germany

1957: The Saarland decides for the Federal Republic of Germany

After long disputes between France and the newly founded Federal Republic of Germany, both countries agreed on a European statute for the Saarland. Before the referendum, a passionate election campaign was led. 

On 23 October 1955, the referendum was held - the population opposed the European statute, it was rejected. The reincorporation of the Saarland into the Federal Republic of Germany from 1 January 1957 was regulated by the Luxembourg Treaty. On 6 July 1959, the economic reintegration into the German economic area took place. The French franc was replaced by the Deutsche Mark.

1985: The Schengen Agreement

1985: The Schengen Agreement

Since the signing of the Schengen Agreement and its practical implementation from 26 March 1995 onwards, Schengen has been a symbol of open borders in Europe. It refers to an agreement to waive border controls at the internal borders of these States. Visas issued by a Schengen Member State have been valid throughout the "Schengen area". 

On 14 June 1985 the Secretaries of State from the Benelux countries, Germany and France met on board of the excursion boat MS Princesse Marie-Astrid to seal this milestone in European history. 

On 19 June 1990, a second agreement was signed at the same place (Schengen Convention), which stipulates the practical implementation in legal and technical terms. 

In the meantime, 26 countries have joined the Schengen area, almost all EU countries (except for Ireland, Great Britain, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia), as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein.

The binational German-Luxembourgish Schengen Lyceum in Perl

The binational German-Luxembourgish Schengen Lyceum in Perl

At the binational German-Luxembourgish Schengen Lyceum in Perl, there are currently 120 teachers instructing 840 pupils from grade 5 to 12.

The main goal of the school is the integration of pupils from both sides of the border to qualify them, by combining elements of both educational systems, to live and work in a cross-cultural Europe. Teaching is characterized by innovative pedagogical concepts in which pupil-centred teaching and independent learning are particularly important.

At the German-Luxembourg-Schengen-Lyzeum, the pupils can obtain degrees of the Saarland and Luxembourg, up to the Abitur of Luxembourg and of the Saarland (A levels) after grade 12.

As an all-day school, the Schengen Lyzeum offers special support and mentoring programs to pupils, which are designed to help them receive the highest possible degrees. It is of special importance for the Schengenlyzeum to bring about a change of the learning culture, including the use of latest technology and multimedia in teaching.

In grade 5 and 6, all pupils are taught jointly, from grade 7 a successive differentiation takes place according to the skills, abilities and preferences of the students. German, French and Luxembourgish are compulsory in these grades, English is the third foreign language in grade 7. The main classroom language is German. From grade 5 onwards, various subjects are taught in French. 

After class 9, the pupils are oriented, depending on their achievement level, to the vocational branch (which is organized according to Luxembourgish law) or to the secondary education branch (which is organized according to the Secondary School Regulation of the Saarland). In both branches, the French language is particularly important.

Europe investing in rural areas:
Hier investiert Europa in die ländlichen Gebiete

The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD): Europe investing in rural areas. This project „TRI-STATE-AREA - 2000 YEARS UNITY AND SEPARATION“ is funded under the Saarland development plan for rural areas 2014-2020 within the LEADER strategy of the Leaderregion Merzig-Wadern with funds from the European Union and the Saarland.

more Informationen here www.eler.saarland.de
and here https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/rural-development-2014-2020_de