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Stringed instrument-making

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Vosges

Stringed instrument-making - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Vosges
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Mirecourt, 34 km from Épinal and 23 km from Vittel, is home to the greatest museum of stringed instrument-making. Indeed, Mirecourt is a major centre for this trade and the birthplace of world bow-making: nearly sixty stringed instrument and bow-making companies have helped to build up this reputation over three centuries.

A luthier to the Dukes of Lorraine, trained in Italy, is thought to have taught his art to the townspeople. The instruments were made from conifer wood from the Vosges forests, then from spruce wood from the Tyrol and the Swiss Jura.

In the 1920s, Mirecourt had around 600 luthiers! With the creation of the National Violin-making School in 1970, which trains apprentice luthiers in three years, Mirecourt recovered from the musical crisis of the 1930s, which had seen luthier numbers fall sharply.

Excellent instruments can still be found there today, first and foremost the bowed stringed instruments used in string quartets, the speciality of the town. Local businesses have also diversified to include other instruments, like guitars, mandolins and traditional instruments.

Additional information
Stringed instrument-making

The city of Mirecourt was founded in the first millennium. It became, passing centuries, one of the richest villages of the Duchy of Lorraine thanks to a great trading activity. It is also a major center of violin making since the 17th century, Mirecourt claims to be worthy heir to the Stradivarius family. A lutherie school was created in 1970 by Étienne Vatelot. You can discover the house of mechanical music and lace and its museum of violin making and archery.

Museum of the violin making (© Leduc Photographie)
Museum of the violin making (© Leduc Photographie)
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Museum of the violin making (© Leduc Photographie)
Museum of the violin making (© Leduc Photographie)
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Museum of the violin making (© Leduc Photographie)
Museum of the violin making (© Leduc Photographie)
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The banks of the Madon (© Leduc Photographie)
The banks of the Madon (© Leduc Photographie)
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Les Halles (© Leduc Photography)
Les Halles (© Leduc Photography)
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The chapel of Oultre (© Leduc Photography)
The chapel of Oultre (© Leduc Photography)
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Take a walk in Mirecourt (© Leduc Photographie)
Take a walk in Mirecourt (© Leduc Photographie)
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The banks of the Madon (© OT Mirecourt and its surroundings)
The banks of the Madon (© OT Mirecourt and its surroundings)
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