Rendez-vous at Col of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines and Tête du Violu

  • Vallée de Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines et la Tête du Violu

    Vallée de Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines et la Tête du Violu

    © ADT/Jacques Louis Delpal


    On 8th August 1914, a French division crossed the Pass of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines heading towards Sélestat. It was driven back by the Germans who gained a foothold on the pass which they maintained until the end of the war. The summits around the pass flared up regularly between 1915 and 1916.

    The mine warfare raged in Bernhardstein, at the Tête du Violu and at contour line 607. The engineering units of both armies tirelessly built tunnels to house explosives intended to blow up enemy trenches.

    From the summer of 1916 until June 1918, when an American division occupied the area until the Armistice, the area around the Violu remained relatively quiet.

    Numerous concrete constructions are still visible, in particular heavy mortar gun emplacements, optical communication posts and shelters of all kinds. They were built by German territorial units (Landsturm) who benefited from a vast communications network (e.g. narrow gauge railway and cable car stations), which they used to transport construction materials and ammunition.

    Planning your visit

    Opening hours: free access all year round
    Period: not recommended during the winter
    Admission: free. Guided tours (F, D, GB): for groups (3 hours): by reservation. School groups: free
    Getting there: D459  - From the Pass of Sainte Marie
    Car Park: yes
    Coach parking space: 1


    Office de Tourisme du Val d'Argent
    86 rue Wilson
    68160 Sainte-Marie-Aux-Mines
    Tel: +33(0)3 89 58 80 50

Things to see

  • Rendez-vous at Centre Pompidou-Metz

    © Shigeru Ban Architects Europe et Jean de Gastines Architectes, avec Philip Gumuchdjian pour la conception du projet lauréat du concours / Metz Métropole / Centre Pompidou-Metz / Philippe Gisselbrecht

    The Pompidou-Metz Centre, a contempory artistic creation.

Point of interest

  • La Tête du Violu - parcours piscine

    La Tête du Violu - parcours piscine

    © ADT/Jacques Louis Delpal