Vosges, department (1990 pop. 38,2100), E France, largely in Lorraine. Épinal is the capital.
Vosges, mountain range, E France, between the Alsatian plain in the east and the plateau of S Lorraine in the west. It extends generally north and parallel to the Rhine River for c.120 mi (190 km) from the Belfort Gap. The Vosges, old crystalline mountains flanked by sandstone, have gently rounded or nearly flat summits. The highest point is the Ballon de Guebwiller (4,672 ft/1,424 m). The slopes (steep in Alsace, gentle in Lorraine) are forested (chiefly by pines) up to c.3500 ft (1,070 m). Vineyards, producing riesling and other wines, grow on the Alsatian slopes. Lumbering, dairying, tourism, and wine making are the chief industries. There are resorts, notably Plombières-les-Bains. The Moselle, Meurthe, Sarre, and Ill rivers rise in the Vosges.
Vosges (voːʒ) is a French department, named after the Vosges mountain range. The hometown of Joan of Arc, Domrémy, is located here.


The Vosges department is one of the original 83 departments of France, created on March 4, 1790 during the French Revolution. It was made of territories formerly part of the province of Lorraine. In German it is referred to as Vogesen and in Italian as Vosgi.

In 1793 the independent principality of Salm (town of Senones and its surroundings), enclosed inside the Vosges department, was annexed to France and incorporated into Vosges. In 1795 the area of Schirmeck was detached from the Bas-Rhin department and incorporated into the Vosges department. The Vosges department had now an area of 6,127 km² (2,366 sq. miles) which it kept until 1871.

In 1794 the Vosges was the site of a sizeable battle between the forces of Revolutionary France and the Allied Coalition. See Battle of the Vosges.

The Place des Vosges in Paris was so renamed in 1799 when the department became the first to pay the new Revolutionary taxes.

After the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, 4% of the Vosges department in the extreme northeast of the department were annexed to the German Empire by the Treaty of Frankfurt on the ground that the people there spoke Germanic dialects. The area annexed on May 18, 1871 corresponded to the canton of Schirmeck and the northern half of the canton of Saales. Schirmeck and Saales had been historically part of Alsace. These territories, along with the rest of Alsace and the annexed territories of Lorraine, became part of the Reichsland of Elsaß-Lothringen. The area of the Vosges department was thus reduced to its current 5,874 km² (2,268 sq. miles).

In 1919, with the French victory in the First World War, Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France by Germany at the Treaty of Versailles. However, Schirmeck and Saales were not returned to the Vosges department, but instead were incorporated into the recreated Bas-Rhin department.


The largest cities are Épinal, Neufchâteau and Saint-Dié-des-Vosges.

While the west part of the Vosges is flat sedimentary land (great for mineral waters), the east is closed by an old granite mountain (top is Grand Ballon, 1424m).

The Saône river rises at Vioménil, in the Vosges.




The Roman fortified town of Grand, located 30km from Toul, has an amphitheatre and a temple to the Cult of Apollo.

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