Vittel (French pronunciation: [vitɛl] ; archaic German: Wittel) is a commune in the Vosges department in Grand Est in northeastern France.

General view of the town
General view of the town
Coat of arms of Vittel
Location of Vittel
Vittel is located in France
Vittel is located in Grand Est
Coordinates: 48°12′09″N 5°57′01″E / 48.2025°N 5.9503°E / 48.2025; 5.9503
RegionGrand Est
IntercommunalityTerre d'eau
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Franck Perry[1]
24.13 km2 (9.32 sq mi)
 • Density200/km2 (510/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
88516 /88800
Elevation322–457 m (1,056–1,499 ft)
(avg. 335 m or 1,099 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Mineral water is bottled and sold here by Nestlé Waters France, under the Vittel brand. A series of negotiations involving Nestlé, local agricultural smallholders, and the French national agricultural research institute to protect groundwater quality from nonpoint source pollution yielded a unique arrangement that is often cited as a case study in payment for ecosystem services based on Coasean bargaining.[3][4]

History edit

In 1854, after visiting the baths at nearby Contrexéville, lawyer Louis Bouloumié purchased the Fontaine de Gérémoy, site of the modern-day town of Vittel. Two years later, Bouloumie built a pavilion from which developed the grand, luxurious architecture which characterises the site.[5] The town was also a recognized spa, bottling and exporting its waters.[6]

In 1968, the Club Med was opened.

Mayors of Vittel edit

Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) of Vittel during the 2009 Tour de France.
Start End Name
1882 1903 Ambroise Bouloumié
1903 1919 Henri Gérard
1919 1945 Jean Bouloumié
1945 1947 André Gérard
1947 1952 Charles Villeminot
1952 1953 André Gérard
1953 1977 Guy de la Motte-Bouloumié
1977 1995 Hubert Voilquin
1995 2001 Guy de la Motte-Bouloumié
2001 2017 Jean-Claude Millot
2017 2026 Franck Perry

World War I edit

Home to U.S. Army Base Hospital 36 from Detroit, MI, from November 1917 until February 1919. This unit was formed at the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery now Wayne State University, School of Medicine. They occupied the five resort hotels in the city plus the casino.

World War II edit

During the Battle of France in the summer of 1944, a small grass airstrip north of the town was used for light liaison aircraft by the United States Army Air Forces. The Twelfth Air Force headquartered several fighter wings in Vittel during their drive east into Germany. In 1945, that flat, grassy area of land (now a racetrack for horses) was used as a holding area for captured Luftwaffe aircraft before their shipment to the United Kingdom and the United States for evaluation (Operation Lusty).

Vittel served as an internment camp for enemy aliens of the German Reich during World War II. Hundreds of American and British families were interned there from September 1942. A few hundred Jewish people, citizens of German enemies, were also sent there by the Germans who hoped to use them to exchange for German prisoners or nationals held elsewhere. Most of Vittel's Jewish detainees were deported to Auschwitz and murdered there in 1944.[7] The order of Catholic nuns, Soeurs du Sainte Esprit, were charged with looking after Jewish girls who were interned there.

The town was liberated by the US Army on September 10, 1944. In October 1944, the Hotel Continental was then used as part of U. S. Army Base Hospital Number 23.[8]

Population edit

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1968 6,343—    
1975 6,791+0.98%
1982 6,440−0.76%
1990 6,296−0.28%
1999 6,117−0.32%
2007 5,586−1.13%
2012 5,318−0.98%
2017 5,071−0.95%
Source: INSEE[9]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires" (in French)., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises. 13 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ Bingham, LR (2021). "Vittel as a model case in PES discourse: Review and critical perspective". Ecosystem Services. 48 (101247). doi:10.1016/j.ecoser.2021.101247. Retrieved 26 Feb 2024.
  4. ^ Perrot-Maitre, Daniele (2006). "The Vittel payments for ecosystem services: a "perfect" PES case?". International Institute for Environment and Development. Retrieved 26 February 2024.
  5. ^ "Vittel -- son histoire". Retrieved 2011-04-26.
  6. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Vittel" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 151.
  7. ^ Vashem, Yad. "Institute for Holocaust Research".
  8. ^ "U. S. Army Base Hospital Number 23, Vittel, France: Hotel Continental, part of hospital - Digital Collections - National Library of Medicine". National Library of Medicine. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  9. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE

External links edit