OT Luxeuil-les-Bains, Vosges du Sud

Saint Columban, from Ireland to the Southern Vosges

What an Irish monk is doing at the foot of the Vosges mountains ? Saint Columban's journey through 6th-century Europe is indeed surprising. Born in Ireland around 540, Columban crossed the sea to preach the word of Christ and found abbeys.

The three monasteries he built at Annegray, Luxeuil and Fontaine attracted vocations and were increasingly successful. In his path, his successors, like Saint Valbert, turned Luxeuil into a rich and powerful abbey, with undisputed intellectual and spiritual influence.

The Colomban sites: meet Saint Colomban and Saint Valbert

Near Luxeuil-les-Bains, three sites preserve the memory of Columban and Valbert, his illustrious successor.

The remains of Annegray
Les Amis de Saint Colomban

Archaeological excavations at Annegray have revealed the remains of an 11th-century church and Merovingian sarcophagi, on the site of the first monastic foundation of Columban in Gaul.

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Chapel and grotto of Saint Colomban in Sainte-Marie-en-Chanois

Saint Colomban's grotto in Sainte-Marie-en-Chanois was the site of the abbot's spiritual retreats. Today, it offers a breathtaking view over the Breuchin valley, in the shadow of a chapel built in the 19th century to mark the entrance.

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Saint Valbert Hermitage
Etienne KOPP

Near the animal park, the hermitage of Saint Valbert is a former priory built on the site where the saint is said to have lived as a hermit before becoming the third abbot of Luxeuil.

Visit Saint Valbert's hermitage

In the footsteps of Saint Columban

The Via Columbani

The 365 sections of this Via Columbani, crossing no less than nine European countries, have been digitalized by enthusiastic pilgrims and can be accessed via a dedicated website and applications available on Google play and the app store.

You don't need to be an experienced hiker! You'll also find a host of accessible walks highlighting the history and heritage of the towns and villages you pass through.

Via Columbani
From Luxeuil to Annegray

The Monk path

Between Luxeuil-les-Bains and Annegray, via the hermitage of Saint Valbert and the chapel of Saint Colomban, the monks' path crosses the Southern Vosges to discover the Colomban sites and the magnificent landscapes of the Breuchin valley.

25km walk (one way), medium difficulty. Elevation gain 650m, estimated time 8 hrs.


Other visits in our area... 

En résumé