The Vosges, with fascinating woodcut images at Épinal, has many relaxing thermal towns…
and there are quite a few of those to choose from ! Vittel, Contrexéville, Bains-les-Bains, Plombières-les-Bains… And what about a perfect blend of relaxation and culture ? Take a tour round Joan of Arc’s birthplace at Domrémy, visit the Épinal Images collection or see how they make stringed instruments at Mirecourt.
The ‘Images of Epinal’ are engraved in French popular culture, the artists continuing a tradition that first began at the end of the 18th century with Jean-Charles Pellerin. Their modern-day counterparts are still working in this City of Images. The museum presents a collection of 110, 000 images and displays the historic techniques used in creating the prints, up to the modern usage of digital technology. Not far from Epinal, thermal waters take centre stage at Bains-les-Bains and Plombières-les-Bains.
The Belle Époque, that phrase conjuring up the elegant past, a fashionable time in European history where Vosges thermal spas were all the rage and the great and the good came to ‘take the waters’. Times have changed, but not for Vittel and Contrexéville where tradition continues. Detox breaks, fitness therapies and wellbeing treatments are available for all. These spa centres are renowned throughout the world and offer invigorating, natural-based treatment for sports professionals as well as those seeking a break from stressful lives. The birthplace of Joan of Arc at Domrémy-la-Pucelle is nearby, as is the Mirecourt Luthier Museum. The stringed instrument craft of Vosges in the late 17th century lives on today.