The Tower of the Telegraph Chappe : Warning-secret-defense !

The long-distance communication seems so simple now ! But imagine during the Revolution... It is Claude Chappe, who innova with its communication system of telegraph air. The "towers of Chappe" were equipped with a mast mobile transmit codes to the tower nearby. Sometimes far away from more than a dozen kilometers.

What was this famous telegraph...

Located close to the château du Haut-Barr, the telegraph has ensured the communication between Paris and Strasbourg, 31 may 1798 to may 31, 1852, is over 54 years. The Tower is now a museum. here's what served as the telegraph.


Part of a network of 550 stations, with more than 4,000 miles of telegraph lines, the telegraph was the 48th 52 of the line Paris-Strasbourg. France was the first country in the world to have such a network of telegraph used mainly for military purposes, which aroused the enthusiasm of other countries. England and Sweden developed this type of communication, inspired by Napoleon, who used to co-ordinate his armies, and his empire.

Just like the internet in its early days, the telegraph Chappe was reserved for the army...

Alphabet of the Telegraph Chappe

How did the telegraph Chappe ?

The position of the arm mobile wooden corresponded to a letter of the alphabet or a numeric character and was a coded text. The first book of the code was written for the exclusive use of the communication system. This pin was composed of 92 symbols operating in pairs for a total of 8 464 words.

The speed of transmission has varied, depending on the weather and of course, this means of communication was inoperative at night. At the end of the 18th century, the real innovation that allows a message browse over 190 km fifteen stations, in only 9 minutes, an impressive feat for the time !

But who has replaced Mr Chappe ?

You have the answer ? Mr Morse, of course !

The invention of the electric telegraph by Morse put an end to the telegraph, semaphore. The speed and confidentiality of the transmitted information had because of the system developed by Claude Chappe.

Please do not hesitate to visit this tower, which has been fully restored, including its mechanism, during your stay in Carpe Diem.

Practical information

Antoine Ble
23 rue de la Gare
67118 GeispolsheimTél. : 03 88 66 15 84 or 06 75 97 07 35

Welcome by the team of volunteer guides
the MUSEUM TOUR CHAPPE de Saverne-Haegen
every day from 13 am to 18 pm, except Tuesday.

Price :

Adults : 3 euros
Family : (2 adults + 2/3 children )
School, student 1€
Free of charge for up to 7 years

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