Exploring the heritage of the Vosges Mountains
Sheer paradise for lovers of art, history, architecture, traditions, customs and legends, the Vosges Mountains is a land of contrasts influenced by many factors. You can learn all about the history of the Vosges Mountains through the countless museums, sites of memory, castles and religious sites.
Cultural heritage, natural heritage – in the Vosges Mountains heritage is multi-faceted, as proven by the fact that there are over a hundred museums. And the life and times of yesteryears and today unfold their secrets at every turn for those who know what to look for…
You can also relive the traditional trades of the Vosges Mountains by visiting the mines or water-powered sawmills.
And finally, the age-old traditions of the local arts and crafts will enchant you with artefacts that are true works of art.
The Vosges Mountains in a nutshell:
A living soul: traditional flower-decked villages listed as some of the “most beautiful villages in France”, houses carved out of caves, scores of historical, traditional, technical and art museums.
Festive traditions: Christmas and the glittering Christmas markets, Carnival, Easter with its eggs and rabbits, the bonfires of St. Jean at the summer solstice, countless music festivals, parades with floral floats such as the daffodil festival in Gérardmer, fetes dedicated to patron saints and annual fairs, festivals for local produce and traditions, the harvest festival followed by the wine harvest celebrations, the gentle herding of flocks to their summer and winter pastures.
An industrial and artisanal heritage: mines, granite quarries, forges and sawmills, marquetry, crystal works, pottery, paper-making and coloured printing, weaving and embroidery; distilleries, brewers, confectionery, honey production and chocolate-making. The producers, craftsmen and industrialists of the Vosges open the doors of their workshops and factory shops to welcome you.
Castles, parks and gardens: the numerous mediaeval castles provide splendid viewpoints over the valleys. And parks, arboretums and gardens are scattered throughout the mountains like so many colourful Gardens of Eden.
Sites of memory: in recent, often heart-breaking history from 1870 to the end of World War II, the Mountains have been the theatre of armed conflict between France and Germany. Many moving monuments pay tribute to these troubled times.
Party time in the Vosges Mountains!
From the Daffodil Festival in Gérardmer to the bonfires celebrating the summer solstice on St. Jean’s Day, it’s always the season for fun in the Vosges Mountains!
Maybe you already know of the famous children’s festival on St. Nicholas’ Day and the Christmas markets, but there is a whole range of traditional festivals to experience in the Vosges Mountains!
For music lovers, plan you holiday round the Eurockéennes rock festival in Belfort or the candlelit music festival at Saint Pierre sur l’Hâte!