MARKIRCH (French, Sie-Marie-aux-Mines), a town of Germany, in Upper Alsace, prettily situated in the valley of the Leber, an affluent of the Rhine, near the French frontier. Pop. (1900), 12,372. The once productive silver, copper and lead mines of the neighbourhood were practicafly unworked during the whole of the 1pth century, but have recently been reopened. The main industries of the place are, however, weaving and dyeing, and it is estimated that there are about 40,000 workpeople in the industrial district of which Markirch is the centre. The small river Leber, which intersects the town, was at one time the boundary between the German and French languages, and traces of this separation still exist. The German-speaking inhabitants on the right bank were Protestants, and subject to the counts of Rappoltstein, while the French inhabitants were Roman Catholics, and under the rule of the dukes of Lorraine.
See Muhlenbeck, Documents historiques concernant Ste-Marie aux Mines (Markirch, 1876-1877); Hauser, Das Bergbaugebiet von Markirch (Strass., 1900).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)