Tourist attractions

Mondorf-les-Bains / Vittel

Vittel

Vittel

While the spring water of the Vosges thermal resort quenches the thirst of the riders and followers of the Tour since 2008, its history with the Tour goes way back. Forty years earlier, the peloton was gathered there for the Grand Départ of the 55th edition, the last one to be contested by national teams. Charly Grosskost had proven to be the fastest during the prologue before managing a double by winning the first stage finishing in Esch-sur-Alzette.

Grand Galerie des Thermes thermal baths, Vittel © Shérif Scouri

Three previous stages
Chef-lieu de canton of Vosges (88)

Population: 5,340, 11,000 for the 11 communes of the Vittel-Contrexéville community of communes.

Specialities: mineral waters, frog tart, pâté lorrain, quiche lorraine, Mirabelle, blackberries, myrtles, honey, Vosges sweets.

Celebrities: Darry Cowl (comedian)

Sport: Vittel Triathlon, Saint-Remy Vittel Tennis de Table (National 2), Basket Club Thermal. Pierre de Coubertin sports training centre (6,000 students per year). Events: 2017 archery French and European championships, Aquathlon Indoor, International show-jumping, Foulées Vosges Vittel (10 km running), Basket Pro tournament, horse racing.

Economy: spa and thermal baths (treatment of liver and kidney problems), Club Med (two villages), Nestlé Waters France,water division of the Nestlé Group (Vittel, Contrex and Hépar mineral waters, 1,000 direct jobs), research and development on water, casino, tourism specialised in the fields of sport and health (Vittel Thermes Spa) and business (Palais des congrès)

Heritage: thermal baths listed as historical monuments, Museum of tourism and thermal baths, Vigie de l'eau (research centre on water and environment), Palais des congrès, Charles Garnier Theatre.

Festivals: carnival, Frogs Fair, Percu'folies (percussions and drums), Saint-Nicolas

Sustainable development: Agrivair (preservation of water resources through a no-pesticide policy), Les Jardins de la Terre (3 hectares of nature gardens), 150 km of trekking and riding rails, Vitt'el roule (bike hire service)

Labels: France's favourite spa town, 4 flowers

Web sites

Vittel and cycling

The last visit of the Tour de France dates back to 2009 when Nicki Sorensen raised his arms after a solo helped by the team-mates of then overall leader Rinaldo Nocentini, who did not chase behind the Dane. The next day, mineral water was replaced by rain as Australian Heinrich Haussler, who was riding for Germany at the time, clinched his only Tour stage after a 50-km break in the Vosges hills.

Vittel was also host to the 1968 Grand Depart, which saw Alsatian Charly Grosskost win the prologue like he had done in the Giro and in Paris-Nice. The Frenchman held the yellow jersey for two days. In 1990, Dutchman Jelle Nijdam outrsprinted the pack for the stage win. Vittel is also one of the Tour's main partners and hands out more than a million water bottles on the roads each since 2008. 

Charly Grosskost - Tour de France 1968 © Presse SportsNicki Sorensen - Victoire de l’étape à Vittel en 2009 © Presse Sports / Mantey

Three previous stages
Chef-lieu de canton of Vosges (88)

Population: 5,340, 11,000 for the 11 communes of the Vittel-Contrexéville community of communes.

Specialities: mineral waters, frog tart, pâté lorrain, quiche lorraine, Mirabelle, blackberries, myrtles, honey, Vosges sweets.

Celebrities: Darry Cowl (comedian)

Sport: Vittel Triathlon, Saint-Remy Vittel Tennis de Table (National 2), Basket Club Thermal. Pierre de Coubertin sports training centre (6,000 students per year). Events: 2017 archery French and European championships, Aquathlon Indoor, International show-jumping, Foulées Vosges Vittel (10 km running), Basket Pro tournament, horse racing.

Economy: spa and thermal baths (treatment of liver and kidney problems), Club Med (two villages), Nestlé Waters France,water division of the Nestlé Group (Vittel, Contrex and Hépar mineral waters, 1,000 direct jobs), research and development on water, casino, tourism specialised in the fields of sport and health (Vittel Thermes Spa) and business (Palais des congrès)

Heritage: thermal baths listed as historical monuments, Museum of tourism and thermal baths, Vigie de l'eau (research centre on water and environment), Palais des congrès, Charles Garnier Theatre.

Festivals: carnival, Frogs Fair, Percu'folies (percussions and drums), Saint-Nicolas

Sustainable development: Agrivair (preservation of water resources through a no-pesticide policy), Les Jardins de la Terre (3 hectares of nature gardens), 150 km of trekking and riding rails, Vitt'el roule (bike hire service)

Labels: France's favourite spa town, 4 flowers

Web sites

Sights

Thermal baths
The thermal complex includes works by architects Charles Garnier, Fernand Cesar and Auguste Bluysen. A small pavilion shelters the Demoiselles spring (1859), the main thermal building dates from 1884, while the gallery has been built between 1897 and 1938. The palmarium and its indoor pool was constructed between 1911 and 1926 and the
Grande-Source pavilion in 1930. The whole complex is listed as a historical monument.
www.thermes-vittel.com

The gallery
The iconic gallery, listed as a historical monument, was started in 1856 by Louis Bouloumie and underwent considerable changes until 1970. It was built in three phases in 1897, 1901and 1905 with a contribution by Charles Garnier, the famed architect of the Paris Opera house. The cast iron structure, linking the various thermal buildings and the park quickly became the symbol of Vittel. In 1930, the metal structure was covered in concrete while it was again restored between 2013 and 2016. 

Museum of heritage and thermal baths
The museum tells the tale of Vittel, a humble Lorraine village turned into a major spa town from 1854 thanks to the discovery of a spa and the vision of a local family. Pictures, thermal objects and models reveal the wealth of the city's history.
www.vittelpatrimoine.sitew.fr

Hotels
The three leading hotels in Vittel are the Vittel Palace (built by Fernand Nachon in 1900, enlarged by Fernand Cesar from 1932 to 1934), famous for its stained-glass dome designed by Nancy's Andre Lemoine, the Grand Hotel (erected by Georges Walwein between 1912 and 1920), and the Ermitage (built by Fernand Cesar in 1929). 

Petit Vair gadens
In the heart of the thermal park, the Plaine de Jardins association helps visitors discover the tricks and joys of natural gardening thanks to a stroll in the park's alleys. The aim is to lead amateur and professional gardeners to look after their gardens in the respect of biodiversity and environment.
www.vitteltourisme.com/plaine-de-jardins

Vue de la Galerie thermale ©Le Grand Hôtel et le grand escalier © JF HamardRoseraie du parc thermal © PatineurjulVallée du Petit Vair au lieu-dit le Moulin à Norroy © Fuinius

Three previous stages
Chef-lieu de canton of Vosges (88)

Population: 5,340, 11,000 for the 11 communes of the Vittel-Contrexéville community of communes.

Specialities: mineral waters, frog tart, pâté lorrain, quiche lorraine, Mirabelle, blackberries, myrtles, honey, Vosges sweets.

Celebrities: Darry Cowl (comedian)

Sport: Vittel Triathlon, Saint-Remy Vittel Tennis de Table (National 2), Basket Club Thermal. Pierre de Coubertin sports training centre (6,000 students per year). Events: 2017 archery French and European championships, Aquathlon Indoor, International show-jumping, Foulées Vosges Vittel (10 km running), Basket Pro tournament, horse racing.

Economy: spa and thermal baths (treatment of liver and kidney problems), Club Med (two villages), Nestlé Waters France,water division of the Nestlé Group (Vittel, Contrex and Hépar mineral waters, 1,000 direct jobs), research and development on water, casino, tourism specialised in the fields of sport and health (Vittel Thermes Spa) and business (Palais des congrès)

Heritage: thermal baths listed as historical monuments, Museum of tourism and thermal baths, Vigie de l'eau (research centre on water and environment), Palais des congrès, Charles Garnier Theatre.

Festivals: carnival, Frogs Fair, Percu'folies (percussions and drums), Saint-Nicolas

Sustainable development: Agrivair (preservation of water resources through a no-pesticide policy), Les Jardins de la Terre (3 hectares of nature gardens), 150 km of trekking and riding rails, Vitt'el roule (bike hire service)

Labels: France's favourite spa town, 4 flowers

Web sites

Le Mont Saint-Quentin

Ophrys bourdon © / A.S.O.Grande aigrette, lac de Madine © Parc naturel régional de LorraineMirabelliers et pissenlits © Parc naturel régional de LorraineObservatoire, lac de Madine © Parc naturel régional de LorraineObservatoire et rozière © Parc naturel régional de LorraineTourisme fluvial © Parc naturel régional de LorraineVerger de mirabellier © Parc naturel régional de LorraineVillage © Parc naturel régional de LorrainePetit rhinolophe et son petit © / A.S.O.

The first French stage of the Tour runs alongside two outliers by the Moselle: Mont Saint-Quentin near Metz and the Colline Inspirée to the south of Nancy. Theses hilly Natura 2000 sites host many remarkable species, including delicate wild orchids and secretive bats.

Wild orchids are recognisable by their colour, shape or smell. Their names usually originate from these characteristics (monkey orchid, bee orchid, goat orchid).

The nocturnal and fragile bats are unfortunately victims of their own bad reputation - they are harmless: they won't grab your hair and won't suck your blood!

Read more : www.afbiodiversite.fr/fr/stage-4-mondorf-les-bains-vittel

Lorraine regional natural Park

Between protected wide-open spaces and countryside, discover the beautiful balance of this peaceful and harmonious land.

With forests, rivers, lakes, orchards, prairies and architectural heritage, the Lorraine Regional Nature Park offers an authentic experience close to nature. From one village to the next, take the time to observe its marvels of biodiversity and its landscapes, meet the locals and (re)discover a taste for authenticity. All that's left is to choose how to get around: on foot, by bike or on the water: keep it interesting !

Site web : www.pnr-lorraine.com

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