And if Vauban had been a gardener

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Clou de jalonnement circuit Vauban


From garden to garden, these marker studs show us the way to go, with the Place Abbatucci as a start and finish point.

Nutritious garden

Vegetable patches

Long ago, bread, spelt or wheat, wine (actually young and acidic plonk!), salmon, pike or eel, fished in quantities in the surrounding area, was the daily ration of soldiers in Huningue. Fairly good meat was also on the menu as well as top-quality fresh vegetables such as potatoes, cabbage, peas, beans, various types of turnips …

The small vegetable gardens that I imagine today in each garden, on each terrace, basically in all the nooks and crannies of the city, would have also improved daily life at the time and avoided overwhelming nutrient deficiencies. As today we are fully aware that eating vegetables is beneficial for the health thanks to their micro-nutrients so essential for our body.

Vauban jardinier : illustration Jardin Nourricier

Let’s walk back some metres and turn to the left towards the cemetery.


Feeding a garrison when under siege

Even before the lack of food, malnutrition is the major enemy within a besieged stronghold as it jeopardises the health of soldiers who should be fighting. So any good strategist will therefore ensure that supplies are plentiful.

Une cuisine au 19e siècleThe stocks of flour must therefore guarantee fresh bread for a long time. Biscuits, dried or fermented vegetables, onions, garlic, fat and oil, potatoes which are already massively grown in Alsace, salted meats… as well as a large number of live animals for the expected duration of the siege. The military quartermaster and health officers regularly check food quality to replace any rotten ones.

Water was essential and in Huningue this wasn’t a problem with its endless supply. At this time both wine and brandy were also considered essential during a siege!

Subsistence crops

After the demolishment period, Huningue was in ruins. In 1816, the military administration lent the ditches and ramparts from the former fortress to the city. Each family could therefore farm a little piece of land in an attempt for survival. But during this time of extreme food-shortage, those who planted didn’t always reap what they sowed!

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