Épinal (; german: Spinal) is a commune in northeastern France and the capital (prefecture) of the Vosges department. Inhabitants are known as ''Spinaliens''.


The commune has a land area of . It is situated on the river Moselle, 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 residents

* Isabelle Cogitore (born 1964), historian * Jean-Baptiste Jacopin (1755–1811), general of the armies of the 1st Republic and the First French Empire. * Victor Magnien (1802–1885), violinist, guitarist and composer * Émile Durkheim (1858–1917), founder of sociology * Louis Lapicque (1866–1952), physiologist, specialist of the nervous system and known for his discovery of the chronaxie. * Marcel Mauss (1872–1950), father of French modern ethnography and nephew of Émile Durkheim. * Marc Boegner (1881–1970), writer, thinker and pastor, president of the Fédération protestante de France and the World Council of Churches, a member of the Académie française. * Henry Daniel-Rops (1901–1965), writer and historian * Jean-Marie Cavada (1940) journalist and politician. * Léo Valentin (1919–1956), French soldier and adventurer, nicknamed "l'homme-oiseau". * Marceline Loridan-Ivens (1928), film director * Philippe Séguin (1943–2010), Mayor of Épinal, French politician, President of the Court of Auditors under the Fifth Republic. * Ségolène Royal (1953), completed her high school in Charmes, before joining the Lycée Saint-Joseph of Épinal in 1968. * Laetitia Masson (1966), screenwriter and film director * Valérie Donzelli (1973), actress and film director * Jeanne Cressanges, novelist, essayist * Nicolas Matthieu (1978), writer, winner of the Prix Erckmann-Chatrian in 2014. * Maria Pourchet, (1980), writer, winner of the Prix Erckmann-Chatrian in 2013.
Marie-Antoinette Gout
Righteous Among the Nations


* Gauthier Klauss (1987), canoeist. * Matthieu Péché (1987), canoeist * Aurore Mongel (1982), swimmer * Damien Nazon (1974), rider * Jean-Patrick Nazon (1977), rider * Julien Bontemps (1979), windsurfer * Maxime Mermoz (1986), rugby player * Nacer Bouhanni (1990), rider * Rayane Bouhanni (1996), brother of the former, also a rider * Grégory Gaultier (1982), 2015 squash world champion


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 is twinned with: * Bitola, North Macedonia * Chieri, Italy * Gembloux, Belgium * La Crosse, United States * Loughborough, England, United Kingdom * Nový Jičín, Czech Republic * Schwäbisch Hall, Germany

See also

*Communes of the Vosges department


External links

Official siteLa place forte d'Épinal 1870 – 1914
Épinal-Tribu Information about Épinal
(in French)
(in French)
City council website
(in French)
HoloGuides: Épinal – photos
{{DEFAULTSORT:Epinal Category:Communes of Vosges (department) Category:Prefectures in France Category:Vosges communes articles needing translation from French Wikipedia