Commune of the Grand-Est, Gérardmer takes place in the department of Vosges, in Lorraine. Nicknamed the Pearl of the Vosges by the brother of Victor Hugo, Abel, it is not far from Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, in the Regional Natural Park of the Ballons of the Vosges. Also a winter sports resort, the town is known for its landscapes and for its cultural activity.
Gérardmer, according to historians, was created in 1285, and has had a long history common with the duchy of Lorraine and the abbey of the canons of Remiremont. Built in the middle of the 16th century, the town grew strongly in the 18th century with the arrival of the railway, then with the arrival of Alsatian textile manufacturers, following the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine by Germany.
Although the city suffered greatly from the destruction of the Second World War, it continues to be appreciated by tourists for its charm and sports facilities. One can still admire an interesting architectural heritage, as well as exceptional landscapes.
The main tourist attraction of Gérardmer, the ski resort of La Mauselaine is the second ski area of the Vosges and has no less than forty kilometers of alpine skiing. Enjoyed by skiers, it also offers the practice of night skiing.
In summer, other activities are offered such as rowing, kayaking, canoeing or sailing on the lake. In the cold season, the lake also offers under-ice dives. The municipality also has the Nordic ski resort of Les Bas Rupts, connected to the Xonrupt-Longemer and La Bresse estates. It has a hundred kilometers of slopes, as well as a 65-meter ski jump.
Several religious buildings take place on the commune of Gérardmer, like the chapel Notre-Dame-du-Calvaire, located in the heart of the city, in the cemetery. Built in the first half of the 19th century, it was restored in the 1920s and now houses a Virgin and Child of the 16th century. The Saint-Etienne chapel is a granite reproduction of a Finnish wooden chapel. Built by a family of textile manufacturers in 1901, it is located in the hamlet of Kichompré, just like the 17th century Saint-Jacques chapel. Used as a place of worship until the German invasion in 1940, the synagogue of Géradmer dates from the mid-nineteenth century.
The tour-observatory of Mérelle is accessible via the hiking trail starting from the lake, near the stadium. On its height, it offers an impressive panorama of the lake, as well as the city and the ski area. Other hiking trails can be traveled to enjoy the flora and fauna like the blooming of April daffodils. The Paths of the Vologne trail or the path of discovery of the peat bogs of the Great Pond.
The town also has a casino with different games tables, slot machines and shows of all kinds.
The market is held on Thursday and Saturday mornings. A Christmas market is also offered during the month of December.
The International Fantasy Film Festival of Gérardmer takes place every year, the last weekend of January. It features long and short films, meetings with artists, as well as awards ceremonies.
Every two years in April, the festival of daffodils offers a parade of floats and various animations.
On July 14 and August 14, the pyrosymphonies of the lake reveal exceptional fireworks.
Every first or second weekend of August, the town hosts the swimming lake crossing, a stage of the French Open Water Swimming Cup.
International competition, the Gérardmer triathlon is held every year on the first weekend of September. It takes place around the lake of Gérardmer and offers circuits for the youngest.