Bitcherland is situated in the Natural Regional Park of the Northern Vosges and represents the Lorraine part of this park, which has been classified by UNESCO as a “World Reserve of the Biospshere.”
Having achieved a perfect balance between tradition and modernity, nature and culture, past and future, Bitcherland invites you to make its acquaintance. The forests and ponds, monuments and museums represent the living memory of this part of the world where its history as well as that of its people are recorded.
Here, the seas are green vegetation, the spray is crystal, the cliffs are sandstone — and feelings run deep.
Discover the region’s culture, art and crafts, crystal glass heritage, countless curiosities, and its much sought-after cuisine.
A Land of History
The Vauban Citadel (Bitche)
Discover Bitche’s impressive citadel, which was built based on the engineer Vauvan’s plans in the 17th century.
The citadel was an exemplary pocket of resistance during the 1870 to 1871 conflict. The citadel is always on the quest for innovation. A cinema trail has been constructed in the underground passages to take the visitors on a journey through the heroic resistance of the fortress under siege in the War of 1870.
The Maginot Line (Simserhof-Siersthal)
With its eight combat blocks and 5 kilometers of underground galleries, covering 54 hectares, Simserhof is one of the largest artillery fortifications of the Maginot Line.
Visitors can have two visits:
The ride — a newly designed museum with a unique show trail in a vehicle with a sound-track that will plunge visitors into the fray of the battles of 1940.
Barracks — The visitor will come to the soldiers’ entrance by a path marked out with information panels, giving details of the technical and architectural characteristics of the buildings.
The Maginot Line
(Fort Casso at Rohrbach-Lès-Bitche)
The work of infantry of the Maginot Line included 6,000 m3 of concrete, 500 tonnes of steel, 32 automatic weapons and eight anti-tank cannons. The Maginot Line was the guardian of the Rohrbach plateau and is composed of three blocks at the surface (each can be visited) as well as a veritable small town buried under 25 meters of limestone.
During the two-hour visit, you will relive the life of these soldiers from mobilization up to the events of 1940 and the signing of the armistice. On the outside, you can walk along the trail linking the entrance blocks, the combat blocks and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the landscape.
A Land of Tradition
The Clog Makers’ Museum (Soucht)
In this village, which was the capital of clog making in the beginning of the 20th century, a modern museum built in wood helps visitors relive the production of clogs, which were in fashion before the appearance of shoes.
The Mill of Eschviller (Volmunster)
The Eschviller Mill site is in an attractive rural area in the depths of the Schwalb valley. Eschviller is located in the very north-eastern part of Moselle, almost on the German border, in the vicinity of Zweibrücken.
Thanks to the guide’s enthusiasm and to the quality of their presentation, you will learn all there is to know about flour and saw mills. You can start or end your visit by stopping at the “Auberge du Vieux Moulin” (Old Mill Inn) and discover the water circuit, the orchard, the arboricultural path, and see the ecological management of fallow land using a hardy breed of cattle.
The Glass and Crystal Museum (Meisenthal)
Located in a former glassworks, this museum recalls, in a startling way, the history of the glass-work industry. On display are traditional glass-working tools, a restored furnace and the works of famous artists as well as a video that will plunge you into the mysterious universe of glass and crystal.
The International Center for the Glass Arts (Meisenthal)
The Centre International d’ Art Verrier, found in one of the remaining buildings of Meisenthal’s former glassworks, completes the visit to the House of Glass. The C.I.A.V. is a research laboratory striving for modern glasswork creations. From the mezzanine, visitors can observe and admire the glassblowers’ intricate ballet that makes up their work (and which they also comment on).
The Land of Refinement, Luxury
The Garden for Peace (Bitche)
Located at the foot of the citadel, the Garden for Peace counts as a series of themed gardens. Strolling through, you can also benefit from the panoramic view of the town.
Designed around the theme of “War and Peace,” the garden has a double reading of the plant world.
Founded in 2002, the Garden of Peace is part of a cross-border network of unlimited gardens between France, Germany and Luxembourg. The objective of this network is to revive the art of gardens past and horticultural crops.
“La Grande Place” Crystal Museum (Saint-Louis)
Discover all the stories of crystal in the heart of the Manufacture of Saint-Louis, the oldest french crystal factory.
Visit the museum, the factory and the boutique. Discover the carpentry made by Gustave Eifel one year after the Eifel Tower.
(Courtesy of Tourist Office Bitcherland)