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The donon

The donon
The donon

67130 Grandfontaine

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Highest point of the Vosges mountains, perched 1009 meters high, the Donon offers an exceptional view of the Saar and Bruche Valley. This site, filled with mystery and magic, is marked by history and offers a beautiful trip down in the past in the heart of a beautiful scenery.

The Donon was named after the Celtic word "dunum" which means "mountain", "hill". By extension, this term refers to a high place. Many traces of human occupation date back to the Bronze Age (2000 BC) and the Iron Age (750 to 50 BC Christ). At that time, the region was occupied by large Gallic tribes from Eastern France: Leuci, the Triboques the Mediomatrici ... The site was centrally located and was an important axis of passage connecting the Rhine Valley and the Lorrain Plateau.

The Donon became a place of worship: the Celts built a temple consecrated to the Deer God. The Gallo-Romans, meanwhile, built a temple dedicated to Mercury. There is nothing left from this mystical past: the temples were ransacked over the centuries.

During the Middle Ages, people used to gather there in worship and practices which went against the wave of Christianization.

In the nineteenth century, Leopold Hugo, novelist Victor Hugo's father, said in a letter that his son had been conceived at the top of the Donon. An engraved plaque, recalling this, is placed on top of a rock: "In this place, on V Floreal Year IX Victor Hugo was conceived".

In 1869, at Napoleon III's request, the summit host a building imitating a Greco-Roman temple. This work by Colmar architect Louis Michel Boltz was used as shelter for various archaeological finds. The viewpoint, installed in 1884 and located at the front of the temple, help people to orient their gaze towards the Vosges panorama.

The Donon was also the scene of battles during the Great War. For 15 days, the French Army had occupied the summit. 200 soldiers were killed during the heavy fighting.

Since then, to reach the summit, a trail marked out with commented archaeological drawings was created.

Photo: Christian Amet©

Author : Bérengère©

Nearest hotels - The donon :

hotel hôtel restaurant le velleda (Distance < 2 km)
rooms ranging from: 120.00 Euros
Info: Located at Grandfontaine, in 35 minutes from Strasbourg, the Velleda hotel has welcomed you in a smart and friendly atmosphere since 1896.

The hotel has 9 very comfortable rooms which can welcome up to 4 people. They are equipped with a......
hotel hotel du donon (Distance < 2 km)
rooms ranging from: 63.00 Euros
Info: This charming authentic hotel is set in beautiful countryside in the Alsace region. It has a hot tub, sauna and tennis court. The restaurant serves regional specialities.

All the guest rooms at Hotel du Donon have a flat-screen TV and a......
hotel hôtel-résidence la rubanerie (Distance < 7 km)
rooms ranging from: 76.00 Euros
Info: In the heart of the Alsace, Hôtel-Résidence La Rubanerie is situated in a 2-hectare park along the river la Bruche, sheltered by hundred years old trees. It offers a furnished terrace, just 2.7 km away from Schimerk.

With free Internet......
hotel relais du silence neuhauser (Distance < 8 km)
Info: Set in the heart of the Vosges Mountains, this 3-star hotel offers a covered swimming pool. You can sample a drink from the family?s own distillery or relax in the on-site sauna.

Relais du Silence Neuhauser offers rooms, suites and......
hotel l'atelier de gisèle (Distance < 10 km)
rooms ranging from: 63.00 Euros
Info: l'Atelier de Gisèle is just 2 km from Nideck Falls and offers 1 guest room with a decorative fireplace. You can drive the 25 km to Obernai or participate in one of the owner?s flower arranging workshops.

The room at l'Atelier de Gisèle......
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