Clockwise from top: Épinal seen from the castle ruins, Bussang, Bruyères with Mont Avison in the background, La Bresse
Flag of Vosges
Coat of arms of Vosges
Location of Vosges in France
Location of Vosges in France
Coordinates: 48°10′N 06°25′E / 48.167°N 6.417°E / 48.167; 6.417
RegionGrand Est
 • President of the Departmental CouncilFrançois Vannson[1] (LR)
 • Total5,874 km2 (2,268 sq mi)
 • Total360,673
 • Rank67th
 • Density61/km2 (160/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number88
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries and lakes, ponds and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Vosges (French pronunciation: [voʒ] ) is a department in the Grand Est region, Northeastern France. It covers part of the Vosges mountain range, after which it is named. Vosges consists of three arrondissements, 17 cantons and 507 communes,[3] including Domrémy-la-Pucelle, where Joan of Arc was born.[4] In 2019, it had a population of 364,499 with an area of 5,874 km2 (2,268 sq mi);[5] its prefecture is Épinal.


Further information on the museum: Musée Henri-Mathieu

Hundred Years' War

Joan of Arc was born in the village of Domrémy, then in the French part of the Duchy of Bar, or Barrois mouvant, located west of the Meuse. The part of the duchy lying east of the Meuse was part of the Holy Roman Empire. The Duchy of Bar later became part of the province of Lorraine. The village of Domrémy was renamed Domrémy-la-Pucelle in honour of Joan.[6]

French Revolution

The Vosges department is one of the original 83 departments of France, created on 4 March 1790 during the French Revolution.[7] It was made of territories that had been part of the province of Lorraine. In German it is referred to as Vogesen.

In 1793, the independent Principality of Salm-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.[8] The Vosges department then had an area of 6,127 km2 (2,366 sq miles), which it kept until 1871.

In 1794, Vosges was the site of a major battle between the forces of Revolutionary France and the Allied Coalition. The oldest square in Paris, Place Royale, was renamed Place des Vosges in 1800 when the department became the first to pay the new revolutionary taxes.

Franco-Prussian War

After the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871, 4% of the Vosges department in the extreme northeast of the department was annexed to the German Empire by the Treaty of Frankfurt on the ground that the people there spoke Germanic dialects. The area annexed on 18 May 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).

First and Second World Wars

In 1919, with the allied victory in the World War I, 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.

An ill-fated Special Air Service (SAS) mission called Operation Loyton took place in the Vosges forests in 1944.

Various military cemeteries are located in the department, the largest of which is the Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial in Dinozé, near Épinal. It was built by the American 45th Infantry Division in September 1944 and completed in 1959. 5,253 soldiers killed in action during fighting in France, the Vosges, the Rhine valley and Germany are interred there.[9]


While the west part of the Vosges is flat sedimentary land (well suited for mineral waters), the east is dominated by the Vosges Mountain range and the Ballons des Vosges Nature Park. The Hohneck at 1363m is the highest peak of the Vosges department.[10] The Monts Faucilles traverse the south of the department in a broad curve declining on the north into elevated plateaus, on the south encircling the upper basin of the River Saône. This chain, dividing the basins of the Rhône and the Rhine, forms part of the European watershed between the basins of the Mediterranean and Atlantic.[11] 48% of the department is covered by woodlands and forests (the third highest in France), while 45% of land is in agricultural use.[12]

The Saône (named after the Celtic goddess Sagona)[13] rises at Vioménil, in the Vosges. The Anger river also passes through it.

Principal towns

The most populated commune is Épinal, the prefecture. As of 2019, there are 9 communes with more than 5,000 inhabitants:[14]

Commune Population (2019)
Épinal 32,256
Saint-Dié-des-Vosges 19,576
Golbey 8,798
Thaon-les-Vosges 8,634
Gérardmer 7,807
Remiremont 7,691
Neufchâteau 6,636
Raon-l'Étape 6,205
Rambervillers 5,096


Population development since 1801:

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
YearPop.±% p.a.
Graphs are unavailable due to technical issues. There is more info on Phabricator and on MediaWiki.org.


The Roman fortified town of Grand, located 30 km from Toul, has an amphitheatre and a temple to the Cult of Apollo. At La Bure, located a few kilometres from Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, archaeologists have found evidence for human habitation going back to around 2000 BC.[citation needed]

Séré de Rivières forts

As a border area, the Vosges region was a route for possible invasion. As such four important forts were constructed in the department: Bourlémont Fort in Mont-les-Neufchâteau (built between 1878 and 1881); Uxegney Fort (built between 1882 and 1884); Bois l'Abbé Fort (built in 1884 and 1885); and the Le Parmont Fort in Remiremont (built between 1874 and 1876).[16]


The president of the Departmental Council is François Vannson, first elected in 2015.

Presidential elections 2nd round

Election Winning Candidate Party % 2nd Place Candidate Party %
2022 Emmanuel Macron LREM 47.59 Marine Le Pen RN 52.41
2017[17] Emmanuel Macron LREM 55.26 Marine Le Pen FN 44.74
2012 Nicolas Sarkozy UMP 50.94 François Hollande PS 49.06
2007 Nicolas Sarkozy UMP 54.72 Ségolène Royal PS 45.28
2002[17] Jacques Chirac RPR 78.81 Jean-Marie Le Pen FN 21.19
1995[18] Jacques Chirac RPR 51.44 Lionel Jospin PS 48.56

Current National Assembly Representatives

Constituency Member[19] Party
Vosges's 1st constituency Stéphane Viry The Republicans
Vosges's 2nd constituency Gérard Cherpion The Republicans
Vosges's 3rd constituency Christophe Naegelen Miscellaneous right
Vosges's 4th constituency Jean-Jacques Gaultier The Republicans


See also


  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les conseillers départementaux". data.gouv.fr, Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 4 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Téléchargement du fichier d'ensemble des populations légales en 2021". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ Département des Vosges (88), INSEE
  4. ^ "Joan of Arc's Birthplace". Tourisme Vosges. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  5. ^ Comparateur de territoires, INSEE, retrieved 12 July 2022.
  6. ^ Condemnation trial, p. 37.[1]. Retrieved 23 March 2006.
  7. ^ a b "Historique des Vosges". Le SPLAF.
  8. ^ P.S. (2002). "L'Essor, Revue trimestrielle de Schirmeck" (PDF). Le Pays Lorrain (in French). Société d'archéologie lorraine et du Musée historique lorrain. 83: 255. ISSN 0031-3394. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  9. ^ "Cimetière americain". Tourisme Vosges. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  10. ^ "Stèles du sommet du Hohneck". Tourisme Vosges. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  11. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Vosges". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 214. This entry further details the industrial base at the time.
  12. ^ "Vosges - Chiffres clés". Vosges Conseil Départemental. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  13. ^ "The Vosges Departmental Tourist Board - Archeological sites". Tourismevosges.fr. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013.
  14. ^ Populations légales 2019: 88 Vosges, INSEE
  15. ^ "Évolution et structure de la population en 2016". INSEE.
  16. ^ "The Vosges Departmental Tourist Board - Forts and cemeteries". Tourismevosges.fr. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013.
  17. ^ a b l'Intérieur, Ministère de. "Présidentielles". interieur.gouv.fr.
  18. ^ "Résultats de l'élection présidentielle de 1995 par département - Politiquemania". www.politiquemania.com.
  19. ^ "Assemblée nationale ~ Les députés, le vote de la loi, le Parlement français". Assemblée nationale (in French). Retrieved 2021-11-08.