Capital of the Vosages department, Épinal (pop 38,200) is a peaceful commune dotted with a couple of sights worth a short trip.

The town is best known for the delightful prints created by its local company
Imagerie d’Epinal (42 bis quai de Dogneville, +33 329312888 ), which rose to fame in the 19th century and renowned for its ability to make fairytales come alive.

The city centre along the Vosges Square is lined with renaissance arcaded houses and peculiar small lanes.The 11th century Basilica of St Maurice (10, rue abbé Friesenhauser, +33 329825836) possesses a majestic belfry in traditional Meuse style as well as a Burgundy-inspired nave.

The Musée Départemental d'Art Ancien et Contemporain (1 place Lagarde
, +33 3 29822033; adult/students and seniors €4.60/free) has a collection that includes both archeological items and paintings from the North European schools (La Tour, Rembrandt) as well as contemporary art works (Donald Judd, Andy Warhol).

If you are in town on 9 September, sacrifice your sleep to chase local folklore and catch a glimpse of Napolean’s ghost strolling the city’s wall ramparts at 5 am.




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ÉPINAL1 Tourist office  2. Train station 3. Town Hall  4. Imagerie d’Épinal  5. Musée Départemental d'Art Ancien et Contemporain