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Kehl is a town in southwestern Germany in the Ortenaukreis, Baden-W├╝rttemberg. It is located on the river Rhine, directly opposite the French city of Strasbourg.


The village of Kehl was first mentioned 1038. In 1338 the first permanent bridge between Kehl and Strasbourg was completed. In 1678 the city was taken over by France, as it was considered to be part of the defence system of Strasbourg. Hence the village was transformed into a fortress in 1683 by the French architect Vauban.

In 1689, the Imperial City of Strasbourg, a territory of the Holy Roman Empire that included Kehl, was annexed by Louis XIV, King of France. This annexation was recognised by the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697, but restored all right-bank territories to the Empire, leading to Kehl's cession to the Margraviate of Baden the following year, falling to Baden-Durlach on the partition of the margraviate in 1771.

On May 7, 1770, Marie Antoinette was officially handed over by Austria to France on an island on the Rhine near Kehl. This island was settled in the years before the First World War and became known as Kommissionsinsel after the commission that took over Marie Antoinette.

In 1774, Kehl received town rights by the Charles Frederick, Margrave of Baden. During the Great French War, Kiel was reunited with Strasbourg under the French First Republic, before being restored to Baden (now raised to an Electorate) in 1803. After briefly begin subject to Austria, the city was finally returned to Baden...
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