Épinal, an emblematic town in the Vosges (France)

Founded in the 10th century on the banks of the Moselle River, Épinal grew up at the foot of its medieval castle, built on a wooded promontory.

Repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt, the city has retained its beautiful soul and sublime vestiges. Épinal will always be associated with its Imagerie, founded in 1796 by Jean-Charles Pellerin, whose building is listed. Épinal, less than an hour from the most beautiful lakes and trails in the Hautes-Vosges, enjoys an exceptional environment and invigorating mountain air.


Discovering downtown Épinal

Many of Épinal’s sites and monuments are not to be missed. To discover its secrets, take the time to wander its cobbled streets or explore it by bike.

Château d’Épinal

Lovers of fine stonework won’t want to miss a visit to the ruins of Château d’Épinal (12th-13th century), with its breathtaking views over Épinal and the surrounding forests.

Saint-Maurice Basilica

You’ll fall under the spell of this 11th-13th-century building in the heart of the town, listed since 1846. A stone’s throw from the Basilica, remnants of the 13th-century ramparts enhance the space.

Museums: Imagery, Chapter…

Don’t leave the city or Lorraine without visiting the Cité de l’Image, which includes :

  • The Musée de l’Image created in 2003. The space houses a unique collection of over 100,000 printed images from the 17th century to the present day. It also offers exciting temporary exhibitions and a variety of cultural events.
  • The Musée de l’Imagerie d’Épinal invites you to an interactive discovery of images, which you can analyze in immersion with a tablet guide.

The evolution of manufacturing processes, techniques (lithography, stereotyping…) and the historic trades associated with images (peddling…) will hold no secrets for you. You may also like :

  • The Museum of Ancient and Contemporary Art, home to a major collection of over 30,000 objects and works of art from prehistory to the present day. You can admire paintings by Rembrandt, Brueghel, Georges de la Tour… and even a 17th-century copy of the Mona Lisa!
  • The Chapter Museum in the only remaining tower of the ramparts.

You’ll also love the planetarium, the covered market and, of course, the Chinese Tower. This atypical 1804 building, listed in 1992 and restored in 2011, is well worth a visit. The Château’s historic park, laid out over the centuries (10th, 12th and 16th centuries), and the animal park, both free of charge, are sure to appeal to all generations.

Plans for gourmets and party-goers

Let yourself be guided by the flavors of local specialties (Mirabelle soufflé, quiche, Bergamot crème brûlée…) often paired with a beer (to be consumed in moderation). Head for the charming Place des Vosges, lined with arcaded houses, halfway between the Basilique Saint-Maurice and La Moselle. The atmosphere is always friendly, and there are plenty of good places to eat (brasseries, restaurants, gourmet cafés…). Place Saint-Goery is also home to some very pleasant bistros for a drink. You’ll also find a number of very pleasant establishments in the Chapitre district, just a stone’s throw from the ramparts. For evenings out until dawn, head for the station district. The most difficult choice will be between Épinal on the left bank, on the right bank or on the island surrounded by the arms of the Moselle.

Why not spend a few days at Domaine des Messires, 25 km from Épinal? This 4-star campsite in the heart of one of the Vosges’ most beautiful wooded areas is the perfect place to recharge your batteries as a family, with friends or as a romantic getaway. This natural setting on the shores of a lake is a true paradise after a day in the city. Book your comfortable accommodation now and make the most of every moment.