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Épinal is a commune in northeastern France and the capital of the Vosges department. Inhabitants are known as Spinaliens.

The commune has a land area of 59.24 square kilometres (22.87 sq mi). It is situated on the Moselle River, 60 kilometres (37 miles) south of Nancy.

The old town centre features the Place des Vosges, the Chapitre district, Saint-Maurice's Basilica, medieval castle remains and the Roman House (11th and 13th centuries). It is also known for its parks and gardens, as well as a large communal forest with arboretum (the Arboretum de la Forêt d'Épinal).

There are major fortifications, extended and maintained until the early 20th century. There is a legend, among the populace of Épinal, that Napoleon's ghost strolls the wall ramparts on 9 September of each year at 5:00 am It was on this day and at this time that, in 1811, Napoleon gave his first and last oration to the city of Épinal, wherein he addressed the challenges posed by northern expansion.

There is an American military cemetery on the outskirts of the town where United States service members killed in World War II are buried.


Founded around 980 by the bishops of Metz on the Moselle River, the site of Spinal is dominated by the ruins of its castle. Of its rich and troubled past millennium, Epinal keeps many architectural traces: the Basilica of Saint-Maurice , one of the first sites of Gothic art in Lorraine, the arcades of the Place des Vosges , the beautiful Renaissance mansion called "House Bailiff", the district Chapter at the foot of the walls, the Notre-Dame Candle contemporary architecture. Epinal, over the centuries, has become an economic and cultural attraction.

After the catastrophic wars of the 17th century and the dismantling of the castle by order of Louis XIV ending the conflict with the kingdom of Lorraine to France, Epinal reborn in the 18th with commercial earthenware, paper, the development of imaging ... These Epinal Images carried the reputation of the city across the world and are still the subject of attention ...

With the defeat of 1871 and the annexation of Alsace by Prussia, Epinal was a powerful stronghold and a haven for the Alsatian textile manufacturers.

Severely marked by the massive destruction of 1940 and 1944, Epinal has rebuilt itseld to give the image of a welcoming city on a human scale, driven by industrial activity and changing especially in a tertiary vocation is a center of economic decisions on the scale of a territory in the heart of the Vosges.

Angling Information

LE LAC DE BOUZEY. This water site is a fisherman's island with more than 100 hectares.
It's a place for leisure and relaxing with sandy beaches .
It is allowed to go swimming and sail boarding.

THE 3 NATURAL FOUNTS. Passionate fishermen can relax and enjoy the three meres, which are available.
Furthermore there other activities to discover: miniature golf, a snack-bar and a playground

Places of Interest

VOSGIENNE Musical Organ Manufacturers have more than two and a half centuries of history, crafts and skills. Founded in 1750, it is the oldest Manufacture of Organs in the world still in operation. Since its inception, it has continued to be the key part of a long dynasty of talented artists, organ builders, who are responsible for the longevity of his fame.

CHAPEL Saint Michelle. The vaults of the small private chapel are decorated with beautiful frescoes (late XV - early XVI) illustrating the Apocalypse. Included in the supplementary inventory of historic monuments.

THE PARK OF THE CASTLE. Situated on a mound overlooking the city, the remains of this great medieval fortress is in the middle of a 26 ha landscaped garden including a medieval garden where forgotten plants are cultivated and a vineyard, a zoo and a playground for children take place.

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The quay at Épinal at night Ruins of the medieval fortress overlooking Épinal
The Mosselle River at Épinal Town life in Épinal
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