The River Moselle runs through Épinal, in the department of Vosges. The city benefits from a strategic position at the heart of Europe, in close proximity to Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium.
Épinal consists of two separate districts on either side of the Moselle: on the right bank is the historical quarter, and on the left bank is the new town.
In the thousand-year-old historical centre, you will find the charming Place des Vosges lined with Renaissance arcade houses, including the Bailiff's house built in 1604, the basilica, the covered market and the Chapter Museum. A Historic Monument, the Basilica of St. Maurice, built between the 11th and 13th centuries, has been a place of pilgrimage for a long time. Its architecture is a blend of several styles: Gothic, Champenois and Burgundian.
Perched on a hill, the remains of the medieval castle are also listed Historic Monuments. Offering a beautiful view of the city, the pleasant castle park spans 26 hectares and is ideal for a walk with the family. Highlights include a medieval garden, terraced orchards, an animal park and a children's play area!
The Chapter Museum (Musée du Chapitre), based in a medieval tower, tells the story of the city. In the Chapitre district, whose name is a reference to the canonesses who lived in Épinal until the Revolution, there are some beautiful canonial houses from the 16th to 18th centuries. Close by is the history and archaeology museum, based in one of the towers in the old ramparts.
Five minutes' walk from the city centre, Épinal harbour has electric boats for hire, to take you up the Moselle. Pleasure craft are welcome here. There is also a cycle path and the Bicycle House (Maison du Vélo).
Lastly, Épinal is also the city of the renowned "images", the famous little popular prints in bright colours, which you can admire at the Museum of the Image.