Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, commonly referred to as Saint-Dié, 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 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 in Lorraine
Lorraine (région)
Lorraine is one of the 27 régions of France. The administrative region has two cities of equal importance, Metz and Nancy. Metz is considered to be the official capital since that is where the regional parliament is situated...

 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...


It is a sub-prefecture of the department.


Saint-Dié is located in the Vosges Mountains
Vosges mountains
For the department of France of the same name, see Vosges.The Vosges are a range of low mountains in eastern France, near its border with Germany. They extend along the west side of the Rhine valley in a northnortheast direction, mainly from Belfort to Saverne...

 80 km (49.7 mi) southeast of Nancy and 45 km (28 mi) of Lunéville
Lunéville is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department and lies on the Meurthe River.-History:...

. This route in the valley of Meurthe
Meurthe River
The Meurthe is a river in north-eastern France, right tributary to the river Moselle. Its source is in the Vosges mountains, near the Col de la Schlucht in the Vosges département...

 was always the more frequented, and first to get a rail line in 1864, that now it lounges the mainchief road.

Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, principal town of an arrondissement
Arrondissement of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges
The arrondissement of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges is an arrondissement of France, located in the Vosges département, in the Lorraine région. It has 9 cantons and 90 communes.-Cantons:The cantons of the arrondissement of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges are:...

 of the same name, belongs to 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...

 département of France. This commune with a little town in her center, is approximately 50 km (31.1 mi) northeast of Épinal
Épinal is a commune in northeastern France and the capital of the Vosges department. Inhabitants are known as Spinaliens.-Geography:The commune has a land area of 59.24 km²...

, and connected by two roads, south through the passes of Haut-Jacques and Bruyères or north by the pass of Haut-du-Bois and the ancient land of Rambervillers. By rail, Épinal is 61 km (37.9 mi)] from Saint-Dié.

The river Meurthe flows in the Permian
The PermianThe term "Permian" was introduced into geology in 1841 by Sir Sir R. I. Murchison, president of the Geological Society of London, who identified typical strata in extensive Russian explorations undertaken with Edouard de Verneuil; Murchison asserted in 1841 that he named his "Permian...

 basin of Saint-Dié surrounded by wooded mountains, Ormont, Kemberg and La Madeleine. The peaks of these mountains, composed of Triassic
The Triassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about 250 to 200 Mya . As the first period of the Mesozoic Era, the Triassic follows the Permian and is followed by the Jurassic. Both the start and end of the Triassic are marked by major extinction events...

 formations, are 550 m high , especially the so-called "Vosges sandstone", a kind of red sandstone.


The town was nearly completely redesigned and rebuilt in the French Uniform Style after the fire of 1757. A major part was destroyed in November, 1944 and was rebuilt largely in a material imitating red sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

. Its cathedral
Saint-Dié Cathedral
Saint-Dié Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral, and national monument of France, located in the town of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges in Lorraine.It is the seat of the Bishop of Saint-Dié, created in 1777....

 has a Gothic nave
In Romanesque and Gothic Christian abbey, cathedral basilica and church architecture, the nave is the central approach to the high altar, the main body of the church. "Nave" was probably suggested by the keel shape of its vaulting...

 and choir designed in the 14th century; the portal of red stone was created by Giovanni Betto in the beginning of the 18th century. A cloister, begun in the 14th century but never finished, contains a stone pulpit, and connects with the Petite-Eglise or Notre-Dame-de-Galilée, a well-preserved specimen of Romanesque architecture of the 12th century. All of the monuments were restored or rebuilt in the same manner after 1950.

Since 1880, the Council House"Mairie" has held a marvelous theater, a library with some old and valuable manuscripts, a reading hall and a museum of rocks and antiquities collected by the members of the Vosges Philomatic Society. This society, which engaged in the collection and diffusion of knowledge, was founded in 1875 by Henry Bardy, who was soon an editor of the first local republican paper named La Gazette Vosgiennne. All this center of town was destroyed in November 1944.

After 1948, a new hôtel-de-ville was built 100 meters to the west. At its west side there is now a monument by Merci to Jules Ferry
Jules Ferry
Jules François Camille Ferry was a French statesman and republican. He was a promoter of laicism and colonial expansion.- Early life :Born in Saint-Dié, in the Vosges département, France, he studied law, and was called to the bar at Paris in 1854, but soon went into politics, contributing to...

, long ago in an old union place under the Cathedral. Born in the town in 1832, Jules Ferry was a great French politician of the conservative Republic, constitutionally called Third Republic in 1875.

After World War II, the right side of the Meurthe was completely razed and most people lived outside the town in wood cabins for decades. The radical plan created by Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier , was a Swiss-born French architect, designer, urbanist, writer and painter, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930...

 in 1945, which called for a large plaza with factories and other buildings in the heart of the city, was rejected in 1947, and only one private factory belonging to Jean-Jacques Duval was ever built. There were no means nor materials in this terrible period and the great street called "rue Thiers" was finished only at the end of 1954.


The town was industrial in nature long before the local economy reaped the benefits from a migration of Alsatians
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

, who arrived after the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 of 1870-1871. Its industries included the spinning, weaving and bleaching of cotton, wire-drawing, metal-founding, the manufacture of hosiery, woodwork of various kinds (toleware
In the collectibles and antique industry, toleware refers to kitchen-related objects created from metal, typically tin or thin steel, and are usually in the country primitive or Pennsylvania Dutch motif. Decorative painting on these items is common but not necessary...

), machinery, iron goods and wire screen. Since the world wars, major industrial activities have declined precipitously. Now the town is primarily a center of public services, educational institutions, a hospital, and businesses in the service industries, such as supermarkets.


Saint-Dié (Deodatum, Theodata, S. Deodati Fanum) is named for Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

 Deodat. This holy man, or "le bonhomme", founded a ban, a political and Christian subdivision of the royal territory, originally called "foresta" in the 7th century. Old religious historians believed he was the episcopus of Nevers, Deodatus of Nevers
Deodatus of Nevers
Deodatus of Nevers was a bishop of Nevers from 655. Deodatus lived with Arbogast in the monastery of Ebersheim, established by Childeric II near Sélestat in the forest of Hagenau....

. Deodatus gave up his episcopal functions to retire to a desert place. Some sources connect the name, however, with an earlier saint, Deodatus of Blois (d. 525).

Archeology and historic records confirms the length of time that this area has been occupied by people. One hypothesis holds that a column constructed by Romans, in a locus originally dedicated to Tiwaz, Tius, god of war, may explain ancient ceremonies in the old saint-Dié chapel, under the Kemberg mountain locally called Saint-Martin. Deodatus, who might have been a hiberniensis pope - and not a niverniensis pope, or a bishop from Nevers - would have lived in an old monastery or "vieux moutier" above this old chapelle and water.

Legends originating in the 11th century and popular traditions say Saint Dié dreamed of a new monastery in a little hill called "monticule des Jointures" in the other side of the river he could see. A little monastic community dedicated to saint Maurice, was probably founded during Carolingian times, as there is evidence of its presence since the 10th century. After 1006, the monastery took the name Saint-Dié. The little monastery was partially destroyed by fire in 1065 and in 1155.

The date on which it became a chapter of canons is uncertain. Historians deny Brunon de Dabo-Egisheim, future Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...

, was a young monk and great provost
Provost (religion)
A provost is a senior official in a number of Christian churches.-Historical Development:The word praepositus was originally applied to any ecclesiastical ruler or dignitary...

 here, but his family played a great role in the elevated status of this religious place, giving their blazon after the first crusades. Canons who subsequently held the rank of provost
Provost (religion)
A provost is a senior official in a number of Christian churches.-Historical Development:The word praepositus was originally applied to any ecclesiastical ruler or dignitary...

 or dean
Dean (religion)
A dean, in a church context, is a cleric holding certain positions of authority within a religious hierarchy. The title is used mainly in the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church.-Anglican Communion:...

 came from very rich and noble families, among those Giovanni de Medici and several princes coming from the ducal House of Lorraine. Among the extensive privileges enjoyed by them was that of coining money; the Duchy of Lorraine was the last to hold this privilege in 1601.

Though they co-operated in building the town walls in 1290, the canons and the dukes of Lorraine soon became rivals for the authority over Saint-Dié. The institution of a town council in 1628 which appropriated part of their temporal jurisdiction, in addition to numerous French occupations, diminished the financial influence of the canons. During the Stanislas reign and after the Lorraine annexation in 1776, the establishment in 1777 of a bishopric
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

 condemned the venerable institution, with the first bishop Monseigneur de Chaumont. With the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 all the religious people were completely swept away.

The town was repeatedly sacked during the wars of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. The little but religiously very prestigious town was partially destroyed by fire in 1554 and 1757. Funds for the rebuilding of the portion of the town destroyed by the last fire were supplied by Stanislas, last duke of Lorraine.

Ecclesiastical history

The diocese of Saint-Dié was erected in 1777, but suppressed by the Concordat of 1801
Concordat of 1801
The Concordat of 1801 was an agreement between Napoleon and Pope Pius VII, signed on 15 July 1801. It solidified the Roman Catholic Church as the majority church of France and brought back most of its civil status....

. It was restored in 1822 as a suffragan of the Diocese of Besançon covering the department of the Vosges, of which 18 parishes were transferred to the Diocese of Strasbourg in 1871.

The diocese of Saint-Dié originated in the celebrated abbey, initially named "Galilée", and was established by Saint Deodatus
Deodatus of Nevers
Deodatus of Nevers was a bishop of Nevers from 655. Deodatus lived with Arbogast in the monastery of Ebersheim, established by Childeric II near Sélestat in the forest of Hagenau....

 (Dié) in the 7th century, around which the town of Saint-Dié grew up. The Benedictines of the original foundation saint Maurice were replaced in 996 by Augustinian Canons.

During the sixteenth century, and the long vacancy of the see of Toul, the abbots of the several monasteries in the Vosges, without actually declaring themselves independent of the diocese of Toul, claimed to exercise a quasi-episcopal jurisdiction. In 1718, the Bishop of Toul requested the creation of a see at Saint-Dié, but the suggestion was opposed by the King of France. The see was eventually created by Pope Pius VI
Pope Pius VI
Pope Pius VI , born Count Giovanni Angelo Braschi, was Pope from 1775 to 1799.-Early years:Braschi was born in Cesena...

 in 1777 by the elevation of the abbey of Saint-Dié into a bishopric. The new diocese was removed from the diocese of Toul and made instead a suffragan of the Diocese of Trier.


Vautrin Lud, Canon of St-Dié in charge of the mines of the valleys was the chaplain and secretary of René II, Duke of Lorraine. He set up a printing-establishment at St-Dié and facilitated reflections on the theme of earth representation and also meet with what would today be called geographers, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller
Martin Waldseemüller
Martin Waldseemüller was a German cartographer...

, and the Alsatian professor Matthias Ringmann
Matthias Ringmann
Matthias Ringmann was a German cartographer and humanist poet. He is credited with naming America on the map of his friend Martin Waldseemüller.- Life :...

 and clever Canons.

The team began at once to produce an edition of a Latin translation of Ptolemy's "Geography". In 1507, René II received the Soderini Letter from Lisbon, an abridged account of the four voyages of Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian explorer, financier, navigator and cartographer. The Americas are generally believed to have derived their name from the feminized Latin version of his first name.-Expeditions:...

. Lud had this translated into Latin by Basin de Sandaucourt. The translation dedicated to Emperor Maximilian
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I , the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky...

 was completed at St-Dié on 24 April 1507; it was prefaced by a short explanatory booklet, entitled Cosmographiae Introductio
Cosmographiae Introductio
Cosmographiae Introductio was a book published in 1507 to accompany Martin Waldseemüller's printed globe and wall-map , which were the first appearance of the name 'America'...

, certainly the work of Waldseemüller, an introduction to cosmography
Cosmography is the science that maps the general features of the universe, describing both heaven and Earth...

 that can be seen as the baptismal certificate of the New Continent. Indeed, Waldseemüller and the scholars of the Gymnasium Vosagense then made a capital decision writing: "...And since Europe and Asia received names of women, I do not see any reason not to call this latest discovery Amerige, or America, according to the sagacious man who discovered it".

The first and second printing appeared in August 1507 at St-Dié, a third at Strasburg in 1509, and thus the name of America was spread about. Thus, Saint-Dié-des-Vosges is honored today with the title of "godmother of America", the city that named America. The work was re-edited with an English version by Charles Herbermann (New York, 1907). Gallois proved that in 1507, Waldseemüller inserted this name in two maps, but that in 1513, in other maps Waldseemüller, being better informed, inserted the name of Columbus as the discoverer of America. But it was too late; the name of America had been already firmly established.

In 1507, Martin Waldseemüller produced in St Dié also a world globe bearing the first use of the name "America".

Born, educated or lived in Saint-Dié

  • Jean Fredel, captain of the Duke of Lorraine, Charles II
  • Claude Bausmont, "châtelain" and "cellerier" of Saint-Dié (1430–1477).
  • Vautrin Lud (1448–1527), canon, master of the brotherhood of Saint Sébastien, and hypothetical creator of the Gymnasium Vosagense in the year 1507.
  • Mother Mechtilde, institutor of the order, "Bénédictines de l'adoration perpétuelle" (born Catherine Barre in 1619, died in Paris in 1698)
  • Jacques Augustin (1759–1832), miniaturist painter born in St-Dié
  • Dieudonné Dubois (1759–1803), lawyer and member of Conseil des Cinq-Cents in the revolutionary year IV and conseil d'État in year VIII.
  • Nicolas Souhait (1773–1799), colonel du génie born in Saint-Dié
  • Nicolas Philippe Guye (1773–1845), general and mayor of Saint-Dié in 1829
  • Père Antoine, Catholic missionary in Canada born in Saint-Dié
  • Léon Carrière (1814–1877), physician, father of Paul Carrière, the forestry restorer in the south Alps.
  • Jean-Romary Grosjean (1815–1888), musicologist and cathedral organist.
  • Henry Bardy (1829–1909), pharmacist, president-founder of the Société Philomatique Vosgienne.
  • Emile Erckmann
    Emile Erckmann
    Erckmann-Chatrian was the name used by French authors Émile Erckmann and Alexandre Chatrian , nearly all of whose works were jointly written....

    , writer who lived in the château de l'Hermitage between 1870 and 1880.
  • Jules Ferry
    Jules Ferry
    Jules François Camille Ferry was a French statesman and republican. He was a promoter of laicism and colonial expansion.- Early life :Born in Saint-Dié, in the Vosges département, France, he studied law, and was called to the bar at Paris in 1854, but soon went into politics, contributing to...

     (1832–1893), lawyer and politician, born in Saint-Dié.
  • Henri Rovel (1849–1926), painter and meteorologist born and dead in Saint-Dié
  • Paul Descelles (1851–1915), painter
  • Victor Franck (1852–1907), photographer born in Saint-Dié.
  • Ferdinand Brunot
    Ferdinand Brunot
    Ferdinand-Eugène-Jean-Baptiste Brunot was a French linguist and philologist, editor of the ground-breaking Histoire de la langue française des origines à 1900 ....

     (1860–1938), grammatician (linguistics) born in Saint-Dié.
  • Léon Julien Griache (1861–1914), général de brigade d’artillerie born in Saint-Dié
  • Fernand Baldensperger (1871–1958), academic (literature)
  • Brothers Grollemund, polytechnicians and généraux de brigade: Marie-Joseph (1875–1954) and Marie-Paul Vincent (1879–1953)
  • Victor-Charles Antoine (1881–1959), sculptor and engraver born in Saint-Dié
  • Albert Ohl des Marais, engraver and historian
  • Georges Baumont (1885–1974), professor of literature, librarian and local historian
  • Yvan Goll
    Yvan Goll
    Yvan Goll, born Isaac Lange , was a French-German poet who was perfectly bilingual and wrote in both French and German...

     (1891–1950), poet and novelist, student only few years in Saint-Dié
  • Jacques Brenner (1922–2001), writer and critic born in saint-Dié.
  • Kalidou Koulibaly
    Kalidou Koulibaly
    Kalidou Koulibaly is a French football player who currently plays for French club Metz in Ligue 2. He plays as a defensive midfielder and is also capable of playing in the center of defense...

     athlete born in Saint-Die

Higher education

University Institute of Technology: IUT (Institut universitaire de technologie)
  • Robotics
    Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, structural disposition, manufacture and application of robots...

  • Electronics
    Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

  • Computing
    Computing is usually defined as the activity of using and improving computer hardware and software. It is the computer-specific part of information technology...

  • Internet
    The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

  • Graphic design
    Graphic design
    Graphic design is a creative process – most often involving a client and a designer and usually completed in conjunction with producers of form – undertaken in order to convey a specific message to a targeted audience...

  • Communication
    Communication is the activity of conveying meaningful information. Communication requires a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast...

Twin cities

Arlon (Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

) since 1962 Cattolica
Cattolica is a town and comune in the Province of Rimini, Italy, with 16,233 inhabitants.-History:Archaeological excavations show that the area was already settled in Roman times....

Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

) since 1997 Crikvenica
Crikvenica is the largest settlement on the coast of the Vinodol coastal area, Croatia, and grew up on an area which was a settlement in the Roman era called Ad Turres. Population 7,121 , total municipality population 11,348 with 90% Croats...

Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

) since 14 July 2006 Friedrichshafen
This article is about a German town. For the Danish town, see Frederikshavn, and for the Finnish town, see Fredrikshamn .Friedrichshafen is a university city on the northern side of Lake Constance in Southern Germany, near the borders with Switzerland and Austria.It is the district capital of the...

Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

) since 20 October 1973 Lorraine, Quebec
Lorraine, Quebec
Lorraine is an off-island suburb of Montreal, in southwestern Quebec, Canada on the north shore of the Rivière des Mille-Îles in the Regional County Municipality of Thérèse-de-Blainville. There are no industries and only a very limited commercial district ; almost all houses are of the detached type...

Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

) since 1990 Lowell, Massachusetts
Lowell, Massachusetts
Lowell is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA. According to the 2010 census, the city's population was 106,519. It is the fourth largest city in the state. Lowell and Cambridge are the county seats of Middlesex County...

 (United States) since 1989 Meckhe
Meckhe is a commune in Senegal, consisting of approx. 19 000 inhabitants.It is located in the north-west of the country, between Dakar and Saint-Louis, in the region of Thiès in the department of Tivaouane.Its population is mostly of Wolof origin....

Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

) since 1991 Zakopane
Zakopane , is a town in southern Poland. It lies in the southern part of the Podhale region at the foot of the Tatra Mountains. From 1975 to 1998 it was in of Nowy Sącz Province, but since 1999 it has been in Lesser Poland Province. It had a population of about 28,000 as of 2004. Zakopane is a...

Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

) since 1990

External links

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