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On the road


Departments: Ardennes, Aube, Marne, Haute-Marne, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Vosges
Population: 5.55 million inhabitants
Prefecture: Strasbourg
Surface area: 57,441 km2
Specialities: champagne, sauerkraut, Alsace wines, Nancy blood sausage, Rethel white pudding, flammekueche, kouglof, Ardennes ham, baba au rhum, mirabelle plum, quiche lorraine, madeleine de Commercy.
Sports clubs: RC Strasbourg, Stade de Reims, FC Metz, AS Nancy-Lorraine, ESTAC Troyes, FC Mulhouse (football), SIG Strasbourg, SLUC Nancy Basket (basketball), Etoile Noire de Strasbourg, Scorpions de Mulhouse (ice hockey), Events: Moselle Open, Strasbourg International Tennis Championships (tennis), Reims International Jumping, Boucles de la Marne, Stanislas Meeting, Colmar Marathon, Paris-Colmar (athletics)
Economy: automotive (PSA Mulhouse and Trémery, Renault in Batilly, Bugatti, Smart), steel (Arcelor Mittal in Florange), luxury goods (Lalique), aerospace (Clemessy in Mulhouse), railways, banks (Crédit Mutuel), agriculture, beer, winegrowing (Champagne, Alsace wines). Tourism.
Festivals: Christmas markets in Strasbourg and Colmar, Fêtes de Saint-Nicolas in Nancy, Livre sur la place in Nancy, Book Fair in Colmar, Forum du livre in Saint-Louis, Festival RenaissanceS in Bar-le-Duc, Medieval Festival in Sedan, International Geography Festival in Saint-Dié-les-Vosges, Fantastic Film Festival in Gérardmer.
Tourist sites: Place Stanislas in Nancy, Grande île in Strasbourg, Reims Cathedral, Saint-Rémi Basilica and the Archbishop's Palace of Tau in Reims, ND de l'Epine Basilica, citadels of Longwy and Neuf-Brisach, Champagne hillsides, Claude and Duval factory in Saint-Dié-les-Vosges, Unterlinden Museum in Colmar, Centre Pompidou in Metz, Nancy School of Art, Christmas markets.


Population: 733,760 
Prefecture: Nancy
Sub-prefectures: Lunéville, Toul and Briey
Surface area: 5,246 km².
Specialties: bergamots (confectionery made with bergamot essence, same fragrance as Cologne), macaroons from the Macarons sisters, mirabelle plums, rum baba (invented at the request of King Stanislas who could no longer eat dry cakes), saint Epvre (cake), pâté lorrain, quiche lorraine, bouchée à la reine.
Sports clubs: AS Nancy Lorraine (football), Stade Lorrain Université Club Nancy Basket (Pro B basketball), Grand Nancy Métropole Hand Ball, Vandœuvre Nancy Volley Ball, Grand Nancy Volley Ball
Events: Stanislas athletics meeting, Nancy-Metz à la marche, Saint-Nicolas race. Half-marathon of Greater Nancy. 
Economy: steel, mining, finance and law, construction, logistics and trade, business tourism, cultural industries, digital economy, materials, health engineering. Tourism. Universities.
Tourist sites: Place Stanislas in Nancy, Villa Majorelle, École de Nancy heritage, Château de Lunéville, Saint-Nicolas-de-Port basilica, Longwy ramparts, Rosières-aux-Salines national stud farm, Pont-à-Mousson abbey. 
Festivals: Nancy Jazz Pulsations, Nancyphonies, Live sur la Place. Saint Nicolas festival. Festival of Froville. EuroBD Festival in Longwy.
Websites : /

Km 2.6

ART-SUR-MEURTHE (Pop: 1,600)

For a long time, some people have claimed that Art-sur-Meurthe could be the commune of origin of Jacques of Arc, Joan's father. In 1921, Mayor Perrin wanted to change the name of his commune to Arc-sur-Meurthe, thinking that it would gain in notoriety. The municipal council approved but it was the inhabitants who opposed it.  

Charterhouse of Bosserville - Lycée Saint-Michel 

Foundation: 1666
Style: baroque, classical
Characteristics: apart from its monumental facade, characteristic of the Grand Siècle and the work of Jean Betto, the Charterhouse is a model of its kind, as its plan unfolds over a smooth terrain and allows the 24 cells to be distributed around a square cloister. The chapel, which is at the heart of the monastic life, is a beautiful 42-m long building, topped by a campanile whose spire reaches 46 m and adjoined by a bell tower which dominates the one-hectare orchard. The last Carthusian monks left in 1901.
History: it was founded by Duke Charles IV of Lorraine by deed of gift of the land of Bosserville in 1666. The first mass was celebrated there on 7 December 1669. It then took many years to complete the construction, which did not take its final shape until the 19th century.
Current use: since then, the buildings have been used for other purposes and, since 1962, for the Saint-Michel vocational school.
Listing: Historical Monument in 1948 and 1997.  

Castle of Art-sur-Meurthe

Foundation: built in the 18th century.
Characteristics: 18th century manor house restored and maintained by the municipality, the castle is surrounded by a park with a vegetable garden planted with rare vegetables.
History: built by Christine de Sarazin, widow of Count Claude-Josephe Aubertin de Juvrecourt, colonel of the guard of the Grand Duke of Tuscany and cousin of the academician Jean-François de Saint-Lambert.
Current destination: The castle is a venue for cultural and festive entertainment.  

Km 10


Writer and film-maker Philippe Claudel was born in 1962 in Dombasle, where he still lives today. His novel Les Âmes grises (Grey Souls), which won the Renaudot prize in 2003, was the subject of a film shot in Dombasle and the region at the end of 2004 (released in September 2005).

Km 19.2

VITRIMONT (Pop: 400)  

Léomont hill

History: during the First World War, the hill was the scene of deadly fighting between the French and Germans. Considered a strategic site to protect the town of Nancy 20 km to the north-west, in August and September 1914 the hill was taken by the Germans and retaken by the French eight times.
The monument: the memorial surmounted by a soldier was erected in 1922 in memory of the Iron Division that defended the hill. During the Second World War and the French defeat in 1940, Nazi Germany forced France to destroy the monument. It was rebuilt identically after the conflict.

Km 22

LUNEVILLE (Pop: 18,000)

Lunéville first belonged to several German princes, then Stephen, bishop of Toul, was the first count. His descendants owned it until 1055. Nearly two centuries later, in 1243, the county was attached to the duchy of Lorraine and it was under the reign of Duke Raoul I (1320-1346) that Lunéville developed. The Treaty of Lunéville, on 9 February 1801, was signed in the salons of the Hôtel Beauvau-Craon, awarding the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium) and the left bank of the Rhine to France. In 1871, the agreement of Frankfurt made it a border town and a large garrison was established. Like Nancy and Belfort, the town received a large number of Alsatians and Moselle residents who refused to become Germans. Renowned for its Lunéville Saint-Clément earthenware factory, heir to the prestigious Lorraine earthenware since the 18th century: the Lunéville factory (founded in 1730) and the Saint-Clément factory (founded in 1758). But also for its Lunéville embroidery (a mixture of pearls and sequins). Lunéville is also the birthplace of Gilbert Bauvin (see Tomblaine), 2nd in the 1956 Tour de France. It has hosted the Tour twice, for stage starts in 1964 and 2005. Also from Lunéville, a pioneer of the Tour, Henri Lignon, 16th in the 1905 Tour de France.  

Château de Lunéville - The Versailles palace of Lorraine

Foundation: rebuilt in the 18th century (1703-1720).
Style: classical (architects: Pierre Bourdict, Nicolas Dorbay and Germain Boffrand).
History: the old feudal castle remained until 1612, when the Duke of Lorraine, Henry II (1563-1624), preferring Lunéville to Nancy, had it demolished to build a new one. Like Versailles, Lunéville was the princely capital of Lorraine, while Nancy and Paris remained the administrative capitals. Louis XV inherited it in 1766, like other Lorraine castles, from his father-in-law Stanislas. Not wanting to pay the expensive inheritance costs, many of the châteaux were destroyed. This one survived but was converted into a barracks.
A little background information: the castle has been burnt down seven times, the last time on the night of 2/3 January 2003, when the fire destroyed two thirds of the princely flats. Initial emergency measures were taken, followed by restoration from 2005 onwards. The expected completion date of the work would be 2023, 20 years after the fire. The restored parts are open to visitors.
Current use: The princely flats still belong to the Ministry of Defence and the rest of the building to the Meurthe-et-Moselle General Council.
Listing: historical monument in 1901 and 1988.

Km 36.4

GERBEVILLIER (Pop: 1,350)  

Treasure of Gerbéviller

It is the name given to an archaeological discovery made in 1848. In the territory of Xermaménil, bordering that of Gerbéviller and on the banks of the Mortagne, a collection of bronze objects was found, including javelins, spears, arrows and sickles dating from the Bronze Age. Part of this find is in the Épinal museum.  

Gerbéviller Castle

Foundation: built in the 17th century.
Style: baroque (architect: Albert Laprade).
History: as early as the 12th century there was a castle in Gerbéviller. Its exact location is not known. It was destroyed by the armies of the Duke of Burgundy. The lordship of Gerbéviller was acquired in 1470 by Jean Wisse, bailiff of Nancy. From that date onwards, Gerbéviller passed through various alliances to its current owner, Prince Charles of Arenberg, without ever being sold. 
Characteristics: It includes a landscaped park of more than 16 hectares, designed in the 19th century by Bertahult, with a Louis XIII pavilion and a nymphaeum (the only water nymphaeum in France), a grotto with a staircase decorated with statues and shell mosaics (17th century), most probably designed by Clément Métezeau.
Current use: the castle is still inhabited by Prince Charles of Arenberg, of the House of Arenberg.
Listing: listed as a historical monument in 2012.


Population: 364,499
Prefecture: Épinal
Sub-prefectures: Neufchâteau, Saint-Dié-des-Vosges Surface area: 5 874 km2
Specialities: Munster gérômé, tofailles, smoked cheese, blueberry pie, Vosges sweets, fruit and flower crus, Vosges honey, Val d'Ajol andouille, Plombières ice cream, Vosges salad. Sports clubs: EHC (Epinal Hockey Club), SAS Football, Epinal Handball, SAS Volley, Les Louves de Saint-Dié (volleyball), ASR Table Tennis Etival-Raon, ASGE Basket, GESN canoe-kayak.
Competitions: Granfondo Vosges, Open 88 Grand Est, Michelin Enduro of the Hautes Vosges, XTerra France in Xonrupt-Longemer, Gérardmer Triathlon, Infernal Trail des Vosges in Saint Nabord, Vallée des Lacs Trail, Vittel Aquathlon, XCO and downhill mountain bike World Cups in La Bresse, 2021 French Cycling Championships in Épinal. Sportsmen and women: Julien Absalon, Rémy Absalon, Nacer Bouhanni, Steve Chainel, Clément Noël, Romain Febvre, Fabien Claude, Emilien Claude, Florent Claude, Paula Botet, Sarah Vieuille, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot. Tourist sites: Visages de Jehanne interpretation centre in Domrémy-la-Pucelle, Joan of Arc House and the Basilica of Bois Chenu, the Gallo-Roman archaeological site of Grand, People’s Theatrein Bussang, Epinal images, Les Hautes Mynes in Le Thillot, the Abbeys of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, Le Tétras 1139 at the Col de la Schlucht and its interpretation centre, the René Pottier Plaque in Saint Maurice sur Moselle. 4 thermal spas: Bains-les-Bains, Contrexéville, Plombières-les-Bains and Vittel. Skiing in Gérardmer and La Bresse.
Festivals: International Geography Festival in Saint-Dié, Les Imaginales (festival of imaginary worlds) in Epinal, Fantastic'art Festival (fantasy film) and Daffodil Festival in Gérardmer, Festival of the Abbeys of Senones, Moyenmoutier and Etival, of Saint-Dié, now a cathedral, and of the Abbey of Autrey, Joan of Arc Festival in Domrémy
Economy: industrial nuggets in the field of wood and paper such as Henryot & Cie and the famous paper manufacturer Clairefontaine in Etival. Numerous craftsmen, including the craftsmen and luthiers of Mirecourt. More recent companies such as IN'BÔ, at the forefront of the manufacture of wooden glasses, skateboards and bamboo bicycles using local and bio-sourced resources. The textile industry is also renowned in the Vosges (Garnier-Thiébaut, Jaquard Français, etc.). The Vosges department has developed the Je Vois la Vie en Vosges brand.
Websites and social networks: / / / /

Km 58.2


In the 13th century, the town, which depended on the bishops of Metz, was fortified with 24 towers. Rambervillers became French in 1552 and then suffered from the Wars of Religion, returning to the Duchy of Lorraine, but from 1766, like the whole region, the town continued to prosper (agriculture, exploitation of the Vosges forests, trade) and returned to the kingdom of France. The town has received the Tour de l'Avenir three times (2001, 2004, 2011). It is also the birthplace of Laurent Genty, who took part in the 1996 and 1997 Tours de France.  

Town Hall

Construction: 1581
Style: Renaissance.
Characteristics: it is a massive building. On the main facade, one can notice the semi-circular arches with pilasters surmounted by capitals decorated with allegories and a grid of renaissance windows. In the inner courtyard, the distribution tower and its spiral staircase, unique in the region, should not be missed.
Listing: listed as a historical monument in 1900.  

Sainte-Lucie Castle

Foundation: built in the 19th century.
Characteristics: three storeys, a high slate roof and two square towers.
History: the castle was built by the Viscount of Bolémont in 1876, as a wedding present for his future wife. The castle is not currently listed as a historical monument.  

Saint-Libaire Church

Foundation: built in the 16th century.
Style: flamboyant gothic.
History: modified in the 18th century. Organ by Jean-Nicolas III Jean Pierre from 1850, the instrumental part of which was listed in 1981. The church, with its imposing appearance, houses ancient graves, beautifully crafted paintings and a listed organ.
Trivia: the church is named after the first martyr in Lorraine.
Listing: listed as a Historic Monument in 1986.

Km 76.5

BRUYERES (Pop: 3,200)

Fortified since Antiquity, Bruyères is an ancient castle town, like many in Lorraine. The castle was founded by the Duke of Lorraine in the 10th century. The town then developed below. Emperor Henry VI stayed at the castle in 1196, as did Duke Matthew II of Lorraine in the years 1230-40, but the town began to take on real importance in the middle of the 13th century when the regent duchess Catherine of Limburg established a tax there. Bruyères became a real town when Duke Ferry III, her son, placed it, along with Arches, under the Beaumont law. At the end of October 1944, the town was the scene of the Battle of Bruyères between German troops and the 442 RCT, an American corps of Japanese-Americans from Hawaii and California. Half of this unit was decimated. In memory of this battle, Bruyères is twinned with Honolulu. Bruyères is the birthplace of Christine Villemin, mother of little Grégory. On 16 October 1984, 4-year-old Grégory Villemin was found dead in the Vologne river in Docelles. More than 38 years later, the case has still not been solved.

Km 79.3

CHAMP-LE-DUC (Pop: 520)  

Notre-Dame Church

Construction: 12th century
Style: Romanesque
Characteristics: a major church in the Vologne valley, Notre-Dame de Champ-le-Duc dominates the landscape with its elegant silhouette.
History: built in the 12th century on the site of a former hunting lodge belonging to Charlemagne, Notre-Dame has an elaborate Romanesque style despite the changes that have occurred over the centuries. Inside, the furniture is characteristic of the 18th century, as is the organ dating from 1781. There is also a baptismal font dating from the 16th century. Revised in the 18th century, the church underwent extensive restoration after the Second World War. Listing: listed as a Historic Monument in 1908.

Km 98.3

GERARDMER (Pop: 7,800)

Tradition attributes the foundation of Gérardmer (pronounced Gérarmé) to Gérard de Châtenois, known as Gérard d'Alsace, Duke of Lorraine from 1048 to 1070. He is said to have established a tower on the banks of the Jamagne around 1056. Gérardmer and its lake became a tourist attraction very early on. As early as the 17th century, the Dukes of Lorraine and the Canonesses of Remiremont came to rest here. However, it was in the 19th century that the banks of the lake began to be developed with hotels and villas, owned by rich industrialists and notables from Belgium, Nancy and Paris. The town earned its nickname of "Pearl of the Vosges". The first Tourist Office in France was created in Gérardmer in July 1875 under the name "Comité des promenades". Before the Second World War, Gérardmer had a population of 10,000, including troops. On 22 June 1940, the Germans invaded the town. In November 1944, faced with the advance of the Allies, they evacuated and set fire to 85% of the town. It took many years to erase the traces of this massive destruction. Tourism, but also the wood industry and luxury textiles (Gérardmer is the capital of household linen) now ensure the prosperity of this small town, where a famous fantasy film festival (formerly known as Avoriaz) is held every year in January. The Tour de France stopped in Gérardmer in 2005 and Dutchman Pieter Weening won the stage. In 2014, the town was the start of a stage won in Mulhouse by Tony Martin. The Pearl of the Vosges has also hosted the Tour de l'Avenir five times.  

Lake Gérardmer

Characteristics: 2,200 m long – 750-m wide (maximum part) - altitude 660 m - maximum depth 38.40 m. Elliptical in shape and oriented East-West. It is the largest lake in the Vosges and flows into the Vologne via a short outflow, the Jamagne. It is held back by a terminal moraine (a pile of rubble and pebbles carried by a glacier) that permanently blocks the valley downstream.

Km 112.1

LA BRESSE (Pop: 4,100)  

In the heart of the Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park, La Bresse is a mountain village of 5,000 inhabitants that stretches from 609 metres above sea level to the summit of the Hohneck (1,366 m), the highest point in the Vosges department. Agriculture has shaped a specific open landscape, clearing most of the slopes, the mountains and the valleys. A hunting ground in the Merovingian era, a place of passage between the monasteries of Remiremont and Munster in the 7th century, La Bresse welcomed men on transhumance from Munster. Completely isolated, these inhabitants had to create their own administration and justice, a singularity that lasted for many centuries. As is often the case in the course of its history, after the almost total destruction in 1944, the locals pulled themselves together and reconstruction was rapid. The industrial era began after 1830, with the installation of textile factories along the river waterfalls and the exploitation of the 3,000-hectare municipal forest. From 1905 onwards, the use of lake water to generate electricity enabled the municipality to engage in the use of renewable energy and to develop. From the 1970s, tourism took off with the development of winter sports. Today, tourist activities represent nearly 30% of the economic activity and make La Bresse-Hohneck a summer and winter resort, the highest in North-East France. La Bresse hosted the Tour de l'Avenir in 2006.  

Lac des corbeaux (Ravens Lake)

Area: glacial lake of 10 hectares.
Characteristics: 600-metres long and 200-metres wide, it is 27-metres deep. Its maximum volume of water is 420,000 m3 and its surface area is 10 ha. It feeds the Lac des Corbeaux drop which flows 200 metres below into the Moselotte. It also feeds a hydroelectric power station which is part of the power stations of the La Bresse municipal electricity board.

Km 118.5

CORNIMONT (Pop: 3,200)

A local legend says that the village takes its name from an auroch horn lost by Charlemagne while hunting. In any case, the village dates back to the 10th century and experienced its moment of prosperity at the end of the 19th century with the installation of several textile factories. It is the birthplace of Christophe Mengin, who competed in eleven Tours de France between 1995 and 2006 and won a stage in 1997 in Fribourg.   

Ski resort of Ventron

The centre of the village of Ventron is situated at 640 m above sea level. The ski resort of "Ermitage Frère Joseph", also called "Les Pistes de Ventron", is located 4 km from the centre, at an altitude of 900 m (the slopes range from 900 to 1100 m).

Km 128

LE MENIL (Pop: 1,100)

This is the village of Clément Noël, Olympic slalom champion at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, who started skiing in the small resort of Ventron. The third French slalom gold medallist at the Games after Jean-Claude Killy (1968) and Jean-Pierre Vidal (2002), Noël has won nine World Cup slaloms.


Departments: Côte d'Or, Doubs, Jura, Nièvre, Haute-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, Yonne, Territoire de Belfort
Population: 2.8 million inhabitants
Prefecture: Dijon
Surface area: 47,784 km2
Specialities: Burgundy and Maconnais wines, Jura wines, cheeses (Comté, Mont d'Or, morbier, bleu de Gex, cancoillotte), beef bourguignon, Bresse poultry, kir.
Sports clubs: FGC Sochaux, AJ Auxerre, FC Gueugnon (football), Elan sportif chalonnais, JDA Dijon (basketball), Jeanne d'Arc Dijon (handball) Competitions: car races on the Dijon-Prenois circuit, the Franck Pineau cyclosportive in Auxerre
Economy: automobile (Peugeot-Montbéliard), Alstom, General Electric (railways), iron and steel industry, mines, parachemistry, pharmaceutical industry, electronics, plastics industry, paper industry, mechanical and automobile industries, agriculture (cereals, beetroot, cattle breeding, cheese). Forestry. Watchmaking. Tourism.
Festivals: Eurockéennes in Belfort, sales of the hospices de Beaune, Grandes heures de Cluny, Musical Encounter in Vézelay, Ecrans de l'aventure in Dijon, Dijon International Gastronomic Fair, Fenêtres sur courts in Dijon. Bicentenary of Courbet. Early music festival in Besançon. 
Tourist sites: Fontenay abbey, Vézelay basilica, Notre-Dame-du-Haut chapel in Ronchamp, Burgundy vineyards, Besançon citadel, Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy in Dijon, royal saltworks in Arc-et-Senans, Autun cathedral, Guédelon castle, Beaune hospices, citadel and Lion of Belfort, Cluny abbey, Alsace balloon, Solutré rock. 
Websites and social networks:  


Population: 233,394
Prefecture: Vesoul
Sub-prefecture: Lure
Surface area: 5 360 km² (5,000 sq mi)
Region: Bourgogne Franche-Comté
Specialities: Cancoillotte and Munster (cheeses), Charcenne and Champlitte wine, Montbozon biscuits, Luxeuil ham, Passavant la Rochère glass and crystal works, Fougerolles Kirsch AOC. 
Sports clubs: Tri Val de Gray (triathlon), Cercle Sportif Vésulien Haute-Saône (CSVHS-Handball), Handball Club Lure Villers (Handball), Groupe Triathlon Vesoul Haute-Saône (GTVHS-triathlon), Club Haltérophile Luxovien (Weightlifting), ASA Luronne (Automobile Sport), Moto Club Haut-Saônois (MCHS-Moto) Events : Les 3 Ballons Grand Fondo, Semaine nationale et européenne des Jeunes Cyclotouristes, Tour Alsace, French Futures Cycling Championship, Slow Up Vallée de l'Ognon
Economy: PSA (in Vesoul, world centre for spare parts). Parisot (furniture). Vetoquinol in Lure (world leader in pharmaceutical products and appliances). Sweedspan in Lure (IKEA subsidiary, furniture panels). John Deere. Velux. Euroserum. Luxeuil-les-Bains air base 116. European future vehicle centre: installed on a former airfield to test futuristic vehicles with intelligent mobility.
Heritage: Notre Dame du Haut "Le Corbusier" chapel.
Culture: International Asian Film Festival (FICA) in Vesoul, Rolling Saône festival in Gray, Music and Memory travelling festival, Pluralies festival in Luxeuil-les-Bains.
Websites and social networks: / /

Haute-Saône, the cycling territory!  

For more than a decade, Haute-Saône has been welcoming more and more visitors and new residents. Its architectural heritage and preserved landscapes are a major factor in this demographic vitality. From the Le Corbusier chapel in Ronchamp, listed as a Unesco World Heritage site, to the fascinating lakes of the Mille Étangs region, Haute-Saône is an invitation to travel. The tourism policy is built around three destinations of escape and wonder: Vosges du Sud, Vesoul Val de Saône and Vallée de l'Ognon. Haute-Saône was awarded the "Département fleuri" label in December 2021. This recognition was made possible by the increase in the range of departmental support for municipalities.   Following on from the finish of Tour de France stages at La Planche des Belles Filles, the Haute-Saône département once again demonstrated its enthusiasm for large-scale cycling events: from the Route de France Féminine, to the Tour Alsace, via the French road cycling championships in 2016 and 2020. And this year, the first edition of the Tour de France Femmes with Zwift!  

Km 142.5


On 1 January 2017, Servance merged with Miellin to form the new commune of Servance-Miellin, of which it became the main village.  

Church of Our Lady of the Assumption

Foundation: built in the 17th century (1689).
Characteristics: beautiful 18th century baroque altarpiece and 20th century figurative stained-glass windows.
History: built 74 years after the fire of the previous building.  

Le Saut de l'Ognon

Masonry dam built across a narrow gorge, which pierces a glacial lock, intended to provide motorised water. The river Ognon flows over the crest of the dam, forming a 13 m high waterfall.  

Plateau des mille étangs

A vast area shaped by glaciers that disappeared 12,000 years ago. These glaciers have carved out countless hollows in which ponds and peat bogs have nestled. This mosaic of land and water unfolds landscapes of oak, beech and fir forests, meadows, ferns, heather and broom. Here and there, large boulders are scattered around, bearing witness to the legacy of the Ice Age. This geographical area of more than 220 km2 is located mainly in the Haute-Saône. It is rich in a particular ecosystem, partly integrated into the Natura 2000 natural site.  As early as the Middle Ages, the monks developed a large number of these ponds for fish farming. They raised carp, tench, pike and trout. Called the Little Finland of the Vosges because of the similarity of its landscapes to those of this Nordic country.  

Km 157.3

FRESSE (Pop: 730)

Fresse comes from the Old French word "Fraisse", which meant an ash tree. The village is the starting point for many walks in the Saint-Antoine massif. Fresse is also home to the fountain of Saint Barbara, which is reputed to cure eye diseases and facial inflammations. The village is dotted with numerous oratories and calvaries, one of which is a listed monument in the centre of Fresse. But the main attraction of the village is inside the church: the pulpit, a sculptural work of the 18th century, is made of solid oak and its woodwork is remarkable. It comes from the Benedictine abbey of Lucelle (Haut-Rhin) and is decorated with the abbey's coat of arms. During the Revolution, it was bought by a carpenter from Delle and by the parish priest of Fresse in 1801. The choir and the pulpit are the main curiosities of the religious furniture of the region.

Km 165.9

PLANCHER-BAS (Pop: 2,910)

Plancher-Bas, a commune in the Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park, is crossed by the river Rahin. Plancher was under the authority of the abbot of Lure. The inhabitants were freed in 1552, but they still had to go "hunting" in the abbey's forests, in exchange for a piece of bread. The church dates from 1448, although the nave and bell tower were rebuilt in the 18th century. It contains many statues that are listed as historical monuments. The Georges Brassens house is a cultural meeting place that hosts numerous shows, exhibitions, concerts and meetings. For a long time, Plancher-Bas was renowned for its paper mill and forestry operations. Today, the main resources of the commune are metallurgy and hosiery.

Km 168.8


Plancher-les-Mines was for a long time part of the commune of Plancher-Bas; it was then called Plancher-Haut. It was separated from it in the 17th century. Its suffix comes from the silver mines that made the commune famous: in 1619, they were reputed to be the most productive in the Empire. In the 18th century, two glass factories made Plancher-les-Mines famous: they were operated by German-speaking glassmakers who exploited plots of land in the Saint-Antoine forest, which were difficult to access. At the place called Marbranche, a quarry where the raw material was extracted is listed as a historical monument. You should not leave Plancher-les-Mines without visiting the funfair museum: it exhibits numerous models of traditional or more original carousels, as well as postcards, posters, music boxes, etc.  

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