Épinal is a commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

 in northeastern France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and the capital (prefecture) of the Vosges
Vosges is a French department, named after the local mountain range. It contains the hometown of Joan of Arc, Domrémy.-History:The Vosges department is one of the original 83 departments of France, created on February 9, 1790 during the French Revolution. It was made of territories that had been...

 department. Inhabitants are known as Spinaliens.


The commune has a land area of 59.24 km² (22.873 sq mi). It is situated on the Moselle River
Moselle River
The Moselle is a river flowing through France, Luxembourg, and Germany. It is a left tributary of the Rhine, joining the Rhine at Koblenz. A small part of Belgium is also drained by the Mosel through the Our....

, 60 km (37.3 mi) south of Nancy.

Main sights

The old town centre features the Place des Vosges, the Chapitre district, Saint-Maurice's Basilica, medieval castle remains and the Roman House (11th and 13th centuries). It is also known for its parks and gardens, as well as a large communal forest with arboretum (the Arboretum de la Forêt d'Épinal
Arboretum de la Forêt d'Épinal
The Arboretum de la Forêt d'Epinal is an arboretum located in Saut-le-Cerf, in the 3600-hectare communal forest of Épinal, Vosges, Lorraine, France.- References :* * *...


There are major fortifications, extended and maintained until the early 20th century. There is a legend, among the populace of Épinal, that Napoleon's ghost strolls the wall ramparts on 9 September of each year at 5:00 am It was on this day and at this time that, in 1811, Napoleon gave his first and last oration to the city of Épinal, wherein he addressed the challenges posed by northern expansion.

There is an American military cemetery on the outskirts of the town holding the remains of United States service members killed in World War II.


Épinal is best known for the "Images d'Épinal
Épinal print
Épinal prints were prints on popular subjects rendered in bright sharp colours, sold in France in the 19th Century. They owe their name to the fact that the first publisher of such images — Jean-Charles Pellerin — having been born in Épinal, named the printing house he founded in 1796,...

" – which is now a common expression in French language – the popular prints created by a local company, the Imagerie d'Épinal, formerly known as the Imagerie Pellerin. These stencil-colored woodcuts of military subjects, Napoleonic history, storybook characters and other folk themes were widely distributed throughout the 19th century. The company still exists today, and still uses its hand-operated presses to produce the antique images. Other local industries include textiles, metals, morocco leather
Morocco leather
Morocco leather is a leather made from goatskin, dyed red on the grain side and then tanned by hand to bring up the grain in a bird's-eye pattern....

, precision instruments, and bicycles. There is a school of textile weaving.

Twin towns

Épinal participates in town twinning
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 to foster good international relations. Its current partners include: Bitola
Bitola is a city in the southwestern part of the Republic of Macedonia. The city is an administrative, cultural, industrial, commercial, and educational centre. It is located in the southern part of the Pelagonia valley, surrounded by the Baba and Nidže mountains, 14 km north of the...

, Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

Chieri is a town and comune in the province of Turin, Piedmont , located about 11 km southeast of Turin...

, Italy Gembloux
Gembloux is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Namur, on the axis Brussels-NamurOn 1 January 2006 the municipality had 21,964 inhabitants...

, Belgium La Crosse
La Crosse, Wisconsin
La Crosse is a city in and the county seat of La Crosse County, Wisconsin, United States. The city lies alongside the Mississippi River.The 2011 Census Bureau estimates the city had a population of 52,485...

, United States Loughborough
Loughborough is a town within the Charnwood borough of Leicestershire, England. It is the seat of Charnwood Borough Council and is home to Loughborough University...

, United Kingdom Schwäbisch Hall
Schwäbisch Hall
Schwäbisch Hall is a town in the German state of Baden-Württemberg and capital of the district of Schwäbisch Hall. The town is located in the valley of the river Kocher in the north-eastern part of Baden-Württemberg....

, Germany

External links

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