Situation; Benchmarks In the south of Lorraine, near Belgium, from Luxembourg, from Germany and Switzerland, Épinal profits from a situation privileged in the middle of the Europe. Épinal is located at 380km in the east of Paris, 60km in the south of Nancy, 135km in the south-west of Strasbourg and 81km in the North-West of Mulhouse.
Épinal is crossed by the the Moselle. The city is in a corridor dug by the latter in the layers of Vosgean sandstone resting on the granitic base of the Massif of the Vosges. The Granite clearly pseudoporphyritic levels at the bottom of the valley of the Moselle. The width of the valley is approximately 750 Mr.
the city is surrounded by plates more or less rounded with a slope relatively marked in particular on Right Bank. The slope is sometimes indented by secondary valleys like the street Saint-Michel and the suburb of Ambrail in north. Altitude on the level of the Moselle in the center of the east city of 324 Mr. In the west (left bank), the plates rise until an altitude from 360 to 440 m and for the east (Right Bank), they reach an altitude from 360 to 470 Mr. the valley of the Moselle widen quickly after Épinal and run out on a weak slope.
the city is surrounded by forests of coniferous tree and Hêtre S, very visible since the center town.
Transportation routesA long time difficult of access, Épinal from now on is relatively well served by the various transportation routes. The arrival of TGV Is European in June 2007 more than was awaited by the residents of Epinal and in particular the professionals of the tourisme.
Road : From Paris: A5 highway (while passing near Troyes), then A31 Left 9 and to follow the panels Épinal (3h - 3:30).
Train : TGV from Paris (2h12), FOR THE THIRD TIME from Nancy and Belfort (see Station of Épinal).
Plane : Airport of Mirecourt and Metz-Nancy-Lorraine
Boat/Barge : Connect southern Canal of the East, the channel of the Vosges connects the ports of Épinal, Charmes and Fontenoy.
Division of the commune10 districts of the town of Épinal defined by the town hall:
Right Bank : This district has more than thousand years. It is the cradle of the city, its historical heart: the castle, the basilica, the market - in the middle of second half of X° century - were the determining factors of the establishment successful of Épinal on Right Bank of the the Moselle. This district is today the district of the reconquered past. The release of the old walls of the " city with the hundred turns " , the excavations undertaken on the site of the castle, the installation of plates pointing out the old names of the streets or the history of such or such building, reopening in 2004 of the Museum of the Chapter, constitute an important collective effort to find the roots under the debris of Histoire.
Left bank : A farm on the island was built at the 10th century, during the birth of the city: Rualménil, the house on the river. Rail in the Moselle, the district left bank is stretched between iron and water, of Magdeleine to the Field of the Pine. The excluded island (" small the ville"), it is the table of Nicolas Bellot out the walls: the district of the quay of the Good-Children where found to lodge the travellers who could not - to enter the city (it was the case of Montaigne in 1580!) ; the district of the way circumventing the city, for the Princes considered to be undesirable by Bourgeois.
the Plate of Justice : The image of the new city which dominates the Moselle took the step on the past in the Epinal-native collective conscience. The plate draws its name from the " wood of justice" where was practiced the execution of condemned which went up there until 1791 by the way of the Patients. He lived an agricultural life until the end of the years 1950. After the construction of the district of the Virgin, the expansion of the city was such as it was necessary to find a vast zone of construction. The project of ZUP required long negotiations - and sometimes expropriations - with a hundred owners who had the 55 hectares concerned. Ten billion francs (value 1965) was invested for construction approximately 1000 logements.
the Jump-the-Stag : 500 in 1947,1000 in 1949: the Jump-the-Stag counts more than 4400 inhabitants in 1999. It is to say that the formerly agricultural grounds of the place (there remains still a farm in exploitation) were one of the theaters of the expansion of Épinal. One of the very first settlements results from the establishment of many hutments of disaster victims following the tragedies bombardments of the last war: a little the heart of the center will always live these steps of the ville.
the Virgin : It is the district of the " Quarante-Semaine" , name given in reference to the duration of the terrible plague of 1635, which saw several hundreds Epinal-native to die in cabins (huts) of the valley of Bonnefontaine, leaving the bloodless community. About the middle of the 18th century, the discovery of a Virgin, tiny statuette out of wooden, gives its name to the hill. At the end of the 19th century, one decides to deforest the place to build there three barracks (Dorsner, Varaigne and Bonnard). The district counts 1500 inhabitants into 1900,1913 in 1999.
the St. Lawrence : District parcelled out by the successive small valleys, and the railroad in goose leg, the St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence Old man include/understand many localities, inhabited by " a considerable share of the not agglomerated population of the ville". These localities have as often poetic names: Humbertois, Field-of-Damas, Genauféte, Bambois (with its 490 meters, it is the culminating point heights which surrounds Épinal), Bésonfosse, the Red Cross, Bouffrot, Bénaveau (and the mythical fountain of the Three Soldiers: Demarue, Saulus, Diez), Taviane, Guintôt, New-Barns, etc.
the Field of the Pine : In a handle of the the Moselle, on left bank, the Field of the Pine was a long time the southern extreme point of the city, until the fusion of the commune of the St. Lawrence in 1964. After having been used as framework with the military operations starting from the end of the 18th century, its urbanization was parallel to carried out the factory constructions according to 1870. One built the seven larger factories there than counted Épinal, among which the manufacture of printed fabrics, spinning mills and weavings, the workshop of engraving on copper rollers intended for the impression of fabrics. It was a long time the working heart of the cité.
Western : Established between the territory of the commune of Chantraine and the railroad, this district was born so to speak with the rail, at the end of the years 1850.Les first builders raised their houses in the orchards and the gardens, it is impregnated still today pastoral character of its origins. Extended on both sides of an important way of penetration of the city (the street Our-Lady-of-Lorette), it was invested by often modest people, railwaymen and small shareholders, having built stone with stone the house which was the result of a working life. As from 1890, the barracks occupied an immense place there, in space and the social life, until the departure of the troops and the destruction of the buildings in 1998.
Is : Anchored on the green carpet located between the spur of the park of the castle and the loop line, this district East was a long time the " No man' S land" resident of Epinal. Today, the virgin lands of Poissompré, Razimont, of Colombière, are almost completely urbanized: had primarily on the initiative of the promoters, the allotments left there ground like as many small villages!
South-eastern : The " term; quartier" usually indicate an urbanized part of a city. Difficult, twenty years ago, to thus define the South-eastern zone of Épinal! But it had been necessary well to gather under this term the localities disseminated on this territory covering about half of the commune: less populated districts is widest (287 inhabitants in 1999 on more than 2600 hectares). Gathering places carrying of the names as evocative as Saint-Oger, Bénifontaine, Prefoisse, In spite of me, Pre-Snake, Calotine, Large-Fly, this district is organized around two urbanized ribbons, the Trench of Docelles and the road of Archettes, connected by the node of Uzéfaing.
10th century: the foundationThierry Ier bishop of Metz (Thierry de Hamelant 929-984, 47e bishop of Metz, in Latin: Theodiricus or Deodericus, or more probably Thierry of Salaland) decided to build on one of the manses of the parish of Dogneville a castle and a monastery. The manse was called the manse of Spinal. It equipped the unit with a market. The goal of Thierry was to protect the south from its possessions which was attacked by the Burgundian plunderers. At the time, the town of Remiremont was Burgundian. It gave to the monastery the relics of Goëry Saint which were in the Metz-native monastery of Symphorien saint. These relics were the object of many Pèlerinage S what allowed the economic advancement of the city.
The human presence was confirmed by archaeological excavations which reflect at the day the traces of a human presence at the 10th century. One found a dump, traces of fences and Latrines.
The monastery was really occupied only under the reign of its successor Adalbéron II. The church and the monastery were devoted in the honor of Maurice Saint and Goëry Saint. The monastery was initially occupied by the men (Chanoine) then quickly by women (bénédictines then chanoinesses at the 12th century. Initial occupation by the men by completely being proven besides.
17th century the War Thirty Year old
The duchy of Lorraine
Since 1466 Épinal belongs to the Duché of Lorraine. This one is independent since the treaty of Nuremberg of 1542. Inside the duchy, the city profits from a statute of relative autonomy. It is managed by a four notable selected every year old college. At the dawn of the 17th century, the historians estimate that the population is approximately 4000 inhabitants. There is a textile important activity perfectly visible on the level painted by Nicolas Bellot in 1626 (visible original table in the museum of the city of the images beside the imagery, reproduction visible with the museum of the chapter). On this painting one distinguishes perfectly bleaching on close to cloths to the place says Gravots. There exists also a paper industry using the mills on the edge of the Moselle (also visible on the Bellot plan). The plan also shows the castle as well as the ramparts which protect the city. The city knows in the first part of the century a certain prosperity thanks to the industrial activities and commercial. With the advent of Charles IV duke of Lorraine (beginning of the reign the November 28th 1625), the situation of Épinal and all Lorraine changes. This last is quarrelsome and inconstant. In spite of an unquestionable intelligence and military good qualities, it is unable to follow a policy which safeguards the interests of the duchy. It chooses Habsbourgs against the Bourbons not understanding that France is in full evolution and becomes the dominant power in Europe. At the same time Richelieu recent adviser of the king Louis XIII seeks to weaken the house of Austria. The situation then worsens when Charles IV accommodates the brother of the king, Gaston of Orleans in disgrace which fled Paris. This last marries Marguerite of Lorraine to Nancy.
First French occupation
In 1629, the city is reached by an extremely violent epidemic of Peste during August, July and September. Lorraine is reached by the Swedish armies which carry out fatal incursions into the duchy in 1632.
In 1633, the city is attacked by the French troops of the Caumont marshal the Force. The city goes without fighting what enables him to negotiate favorable conditions (proclamation of September 17th, 1633).
In 1635, the marshal of the Force prevents Jean de Woerth and the catholic league to occupy Épinal. The city is besieged by Charles IV, installed with Rambervillers. The defense of the east city under the orders of colonel Gassion. Charles IV must fold up in November on Besancon without taking the city.
The city is reached by one second epidemic of plague in 1636. Mortality is enormous, at the end of the epidemic, it remains only 1000 inhabitants in the city. The city keeps the memory of this episode, the epidemic was called the forty weeks epidemic (because of its duration). A district of the city is always called the district of the forty week (near to the place where the pestiferous ones died of the plague were buried).
Second French occupation
In October of this same year, Charles IV takes again the city thanks to the complicity of an adviser of the city Denis Bricquel. Following negotiation of the abbess of Remiremont Catherine, aunt de Charles IV, the neutrality of the city is recognized by the king the September 24th. The March 21st 1641 Louis XIII and Charles IV signs the peace of Saint-Germain who will last only four months. The September 25th, the French lieutenant of Hallier takes the castle of the city to the baron d' Urbache. Start then, an occupation of the city by the French troops which lasts until in 1650. The inhabitants must support the expenses of this occupation (housing and food of the soldiers and the horses).
In August 16th 1650, France is weakened by the Fronde, the troops of Charles IV ordered by colonel Lhuiller take again the city with the assistance of the inhabitants. Unfortunately the Lorraine occupation is as heavy as the French occupation. Following negotiation, the city is again recognized neutral by the two parts. But the French arrange themselves to make play neutrality in their favor. The municipality lends allegiance under the threat to the king de France Louis XIV the July 18th 1653 in Nancy. Thus the third French occupation starts which lasts until the treaty of Vincennes in February 28th 1661. The city turns over in the Lorraine bosom.
The city is ruined by the tests. In a request gone back to 1654 to the brother of Charles IV (this one is then prisoner in Spain), the duke Nicolas Francois, the writer mentions the city as being that which is most miserable of the province.
Épinal ceases being a fortified town
In 1670, the French take the town of Nancy, Charles IV takes refuge in Épinal. The city defended by the Lorraine Count de Tornielle is attacked by the troops of the marshal of Créqui. It seizes the city the September 19th and the castle the September 28th. The city is condemned to pay an exorbitant sum with the French of thirty thousand francs barrois and must demolish with its expenses the castle and the fortifications. These conditions required on order of the king were intended to frighten Lorraine. The castle is destroyed but the fortifications are destroyed only partially. The ramparts in fact are integrated gradually into the habitat. The doors (carries large mills, carries Saint Goëry, carries of Ambrail, carries Arches) are destroyed between 1723 and 1778. The door of Boudiou is destroyed only at the 19th century (one day before the arrival of Prosper Mérimée which came to declare the door historic building). The amount of the amount of money to be poured is strongly decreased after the rendering of the other Lorraine fortified towns. But the fall of the city represents a turning, the city ceases being a fortified town. The city is francized gradually. In 1685, the baillage is replaced by the royal baillage. The system of the four governors disappears. The first royal mayor of the city, François de Bournaq is named.
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