Zillisheim is one of the oldest villages in the Sundgau. It was first mentioned in the 8th century when it belonged to the Duchy of Alsace. For a long time the village belonged to various religious orders, most notably the Masevaux Monastery. According to a charter written by Lucelle (1343-1350), Zillisheim was one of the most influential cours colongères (special provincial law court) at the time. In the 13th century Zillisheim belonged to the most powerful lords of Altkirch, the Counts of Ferrette, and was then under the authority of the Habsburgs until 1648.
The Zillisheim mills along the banks of the River Ill were first mentioned in 1444 and became the major source of the town’s thriving economy.
One of the more unusual and little-known attractions of the town is the unique remains of he "Grand Cannon" from WWI. The site was built between the summer of 1915 and February 1916. On 8 February 1916 the Kronprinz paid a brief visit to Zillisheim and found the village deserted after the inhabitants had been evacuated. On the same day at 12:20pm there was a deafening crash as the first cannonball, weighing 750 kilos, was fired in Belfort. Another 40 shells were fired at irregular intervals until 10 October 1916 when the last five shells were fired. The cannon was never used again.
Mairie de Zillisheim (Town Hall)
1 place du Général de Gaulle
Tel: (33) 03 89 06 25 22
Fax: (33) 03 89 06 49 71