Épinal (French pronunciation: ​[epinal]); (German: Spinal) is a commune in northeastern France and the capital (prefecture) of the Vosges department. Inhabitants are known as Spinaliens.

The river Moselle
The river Moselle
Coat of arms of Épinal

Coat of arms
Location of Épinal
Épinal is located in France
Épinal is located in Grand Est
Coordinates: 48°10′28″N 6°27′04″E / 48.1744°N 6.4512°ECoordinates: 48°10′28″N 6°27′04″E / 48.1744°N 6.4512°E
RegionGrand Est
CantonÉpinal-1 and 2
IntercommunalityCA Épinal
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Michel Heinrich
59.24 km2 (22.87 sq mi)
 • Density560/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
 • Metro
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
88160 /88000
Elevation315–492 m (1,033–1,614 ft)
(avg. 340 m or 1,120 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.


The commune has a land area of 59.24 square kilometres (22.87 sq mi). It is situated on the Moselle River, 60 kilometres (37 miles) 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).

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 05:00. 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 where United States service members killed in World War II are buried.

Notable natives



Épinal is best known for the "Images d'Épinal" – 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, precision instruments, and bicycles. There is a school of textile weaving.


Épinal is contained within Vosges' 1st constituency for elections to the National Assembly.


SAS Épinal is based in the commune.

International relations

Épinal participates in town twinning to foster good international relations. Its current partners include:

See also


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2016". INSEE. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. ^ Jeanne Cressanges: installed in Épinal since 1968, novelist, essayist, screenwriter originally from Noyant in the Allier, who dedicated two of his works to his adopted region: "Je vous écris d’Épinal" and "Je vous écris des Vosges" éditions Serge Domini, respectively in 2009 and 2014.
  3. ^ Nicolas Mathieu a le spleen des Vosges on lemonde.fr.
  4. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns [via WaybackMachine.com]". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Schwäbisch Hall and its twin towns". Stadt Schwäbisch Hall. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
Épinal from the ruins of the castle

External links

Arrondissement of Neufchâteau, Vosges

The arrondissement of Neufchâteau is an arrondissement of France in the Vosges department in the Grand Est region. It has 205 communes. In 2013 it absorbed the two cantons of Darney and Monthureux-sur-Saône from the arrondissement of Épinal.

Arrondissement of Épinal

The arrondissement of Épinal is an arrondissement of France in the Vosges department in the Grand Est region. It has 214 communes. In 2013 it lost the two cantons of Darney and Monthureux-sur-Saône to the arrondissement of Neufchâteau.

Aurore Mongel

Aurore Mongel (born 19 April 1982 in Épinal, France) is a national record holding and Olympic butterfly swimmer from France. She swam for France at the 2008 Olympics, where she set the French record in the 200 m butterfly (2:06.49).She was the 2008 European Champion in the 200 m butterfly (long course).

On 29 July 2009, she bettered her French record in the 200 m butterfly to 2:05.09 in semifinals of the event at the 2009 World Championships.

Benoît Bastien

Benoît Bastien (born 17 April 1983) is a French professional football referee. He has been a full international for FIFA since 2014.

Cheikh N'Doye

Cheikh Tidiane N'Doye (born 29 March 1986) is a Senegalese international footballer who plays as a midfielder for Ligue 1 club Angers, on loan from Birmingham City of the Championship, and for the Senegal national team.

Damien Nazon

Damien Nazon (born 26 June 1974) is a former French racing cyclist. He finished in last place in the 1998 Tour de France. Nazon took a total of 33 victories during his career, including stage wins in the Dauphiné Libéré, the Grand Prix du Midi Libre, the Critérium International and the Tour of Belgium. Nazon rode for the Castorama team as a stagiaire in the autumn of 1995, before turning professional with Banesto in 1996. He then rode for Française des Jeux for three years, Bonjour for four and ended his professional career in 2005 after two years with Crédit Agricole.He is the brother of former racing cyclist Jean-Patrick Nazon.


Henri Daniel-Rops (Épinal, 19 January 1901 – Aix-les-Bains, 27 July 1965) was a French Roman Catholic writer and historian whose real name was Henri Petiot.


Essegney is a commune in the Vosges department in Grand Est in northeastern France. It also within the region of Lorraine and the district of Épinal.

Gamyo d'Épinal

The Image Club d'Épinal, known as Gamyo d'Épinal for sponsorship reasons, is a French ice hockey team based in Épinal playing in the Ligue Magnus. The team was formerly known as the "Dauphins d'Épinal" (Épinal Dolphins), until a French video game company, Gamyo, bought the naming rights in 2014. The team was founded in 1997 and plays home games at the Patinoire de Poissompré.

Gaëtan Bussmann

Gaëtan Bussmann (born 2 February 1991) is a French professional footballer who plays for Mainz 05. He plays as a left-back and is also capable of playing in the centre of defence. Bussmann is a French youth international and has represented his nation at U18 and U19 level. He was a part of the team that won the 2010 European U19 Championship on home soil.

Henri Lepage (fencer)

Henri Lepage (30 April 1908 – 26 October 1996) was a French fencer. He won a gold medal in the team épée event at the 1948 Summer Olympics.

Matthieu Péché

Matthieu Patrick François Péché (born 7 October 1987 in Épinal) is former French slalom canoeist who has competed at the international level since 2003.His career ended in 2018 after C2 category was removed from the World cup and World championship.

He won a bronze medal in the C2 event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He also competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London where he finished in 4th place in the C2 event.He won six medals at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships with five golds (C2: 2017, C2 team: 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015) and a bronze (C2: 2015). He also won two golds, a silver and a bronze in the C2 team event at the European Championships.Péché won the overall world cup title in the C2 category in 2013 and 2015.

His partner in the C2 boat is Gauthier Klauss.

Pierre Pleimelding

Pierre Pleimelding (19 September 1952 – 1 May 2013) was a French football striker and manager who obtained a cap for France. He is the son of another professional football player, René Pleimelding and the brother of Gérard Pleimelding.

Pierre Thiriet

Pierre Thiriet (born 20 April 1989 in Épinal) is a French racing driver. He finished eighth overall and second in the LMP2 class of the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans and won the European Le Mans Series in the LMP2 class in 2012.

SAS Épinal

Stade Athletique Spinalien Épinal is a French football club based in the commune of Épinal.

They currently play in the Championnat National 2. Their kit colours are yellow and blue. They play their home matches at the Stade de la Colombière in Épinal.

Vosges's 1st constituency

The 1st constituency of the Vosges is a French legislative constituency in the Vosges département.

Épinal – Mirecourt Airport

Épinal – Mirecourt Airport or Aéroport d'Épinal - Mirecourt (IATA: EPL, ICAO: LFSG) is an airport located in Juvaincourt, 31 km (19 mi) northwest of Épinal and 6 km (3.7 mi) northwest of Mirecourt, in the Vosges département of the Grand Est région of France. Originally built in 1953 as a NATO over-spill base, the air base never had permanent units assigned, but was used regularly for exercises and training.

The civilian airport is managed by Super Airport Infrastructure, based at Coimbatore, India.

Communes of the Vosges department

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