A spa resort in Haute-Saône in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, Luxeuil-les-Bains is a gateway town that provides access to the Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park. It is located some thirty kilometres from Vesoul.
Covered in deciduous forest, the town boasts some beautiful architectural heritage, in particular the many mansions from the 15th and 16th centuries: the Spanish house, the Bailiff's house, Cardinal Jouffroy's house and its Flamboyant balcony, the oldest suspended stone balcony in France, the house of Francis I traversed by arcades, the octagonal Échevins tower (an archaeological museum also dedicated to the painter Jules Adler), and the Pusel mansion.
Also worth mentioning are its religious edifices spanning various eras: the Romano-Gothic Basilica of St. Peter; the old 13th-century medieval abbey featuring a superb pipe organ from 1617 held up by a statue of Atlas and a pretty cloister; the Church of St. Martin and the monastery.
Luxeuil is also known for its lace (you can visit the Lace Conservatory in a superb setting, the former kitchens of the abbey) and for a local speciality: smoked ham.
Yet Luxeuil's main focus throughout history has been the Thermal Baths, which were already a visitor attraction in the Celtic era and then in Roman times. People enjoyed the hot water that sprang from the ground there in the open air. A beautiful building made of pink Vosges sandstone, the spa built in the 17th century is a listed Historic Monument. The oligo-element-rich waters of Luxeuil are prescribed to treat phlebological, gynaecological and rheumatological disorders. People also go there for fitness breaks, relaxation, backache treatment, pressotherapy, etc.
Thermal resort of Burgundy Franche-Comté, Luxeuil-les-Bains takes place in the department of Haute-Saône, about thirty kilometers from Vesoul. It is at present the fourth most populous commune behind Vesoul, Hericourt and Lure.
Ville adherent to the Regional Natural Park of Ballons des Vosges, Luxeuil-les-Bains became known from Celtic time for its thermal baths and hot springs. It develops in the High Middle Ages, notably with the construction of ramparts in the thirteenth century. Annexed to France in the course of the seventeenth century, the town develops a new activity two centuries later, the famous lace of Luxeuil. This industry still makes the fine days of the city that has also opened up to tourism.
With an important architectural heritage, Luxeuil-les-Bains also delights lovers of gastronomy with its culinary specialties such as Luxeuil ham, salted and smoked meat.
Thermal baths are the main attraction of Luxeuil-les-Bains. They have been used since the Gallo-Roman period, their hot waters at 63 ° C and their cold oligometallic waters are famous for treating gynecological and rheumatic problems. The municipality now offers several infrastructures of care and well-being, and water from the source of Hygie is now marketed.
A former medieval abbey church, St. Peter's Basilica was built in the 13th century. Gothic and neo-classical, it is now classified as a Historic Monument. It is partly built of pink sandstone of the Vosges and unveils a choir restored by Viollet-le-Duc.
Classified and inscribed in the Historical Monuments, Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul Abbey was founded at the end of the 6th century. The birthplace of the first calligraphic script in minuscule, the building still has today a Gothic chapel of the 14th century, a cloister and some conventual outbuildings. Also listed, the Saint-Martin church is in the form of remains discovered during the construction of a car park in 2006. First century sarcophagi are also exhibited there.
Walking through the city, you will admire several mansions dating for the most part from the 15th century. One can notably discover the Spanish house whose façade and roof were inscribed in the Historic Monuments, or the house with the oriflamme, also inscribed. Built in the 16th century, the hotel Thiebaut de Montureux now houses a florist and has been listed in the Historic Monuments. Considered one of the best preserved Renaissance buildings in the city, the house of Francis I was named after Bishop Francois de La Palud, first of the name. The building is classified and listed in Historic Monuments. Do not miss the Place de la Baille and its facades of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, the Hotel Pusel is listed in the Historic Monuments, Hotel Thiadot and Hotel Bretons-d'Amblans.
Luxeuil-les-Bains has three museums, the Tower of the Shepherds with its archaeological collections and its room dedicated to the local painter Jules Adler, the conservatory of lace, and finally the museum of veterans.
The site of pottery kilns allows to discover six ovens of a ceramic workshop of the Gallo-Roman era.
Member of the Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park, Luxeuil-les-Bains offers a few hiking trails to appreciate the local fauna and flora. Also try the footpath of the fountains in the wood of the Banney.
The city also has a casino with many games tables, slot machines and even shows organized throughout the year.
The market is held every Saturday morning. On Tuesday, a night market is offered between July and August. The city also organizes a Christmas market in December.
In July, the Pluralies musical and theatrical festival offers different shows.