Eastern Regions of France
The real north east corner of France includes the regions of Alsace and Lorraine, The southern part of Lorraine is extremely rural, with rolling hills and lots of old small towns that look as if time has passed them by. . This is an attractive region with historic cities including Verdun, Metz, Nancy and Strasbourg, plus plenty of large areas of coniferous forests on and near the Vosges Mountains.
It also includes the Champagne-Ardenne region, round the historic cities of Rheims, and Epernay, with its famous vineyards and
Franche-Comté, located on the Swiss border of Eastern France. It is bordered by Switzerland to the East: Alsace, Lorraine, and Champagne-Ardennes to the North: Bourgogne to the West and the Rhone-Alpes to the South.
Alsace, lying between the Vosges mountains and the Rhine, is a very distinct region, with its hills, its vineyards and its steep-roofed half-timbered houses, painted in many colours.
Champagne-Ardenne Region 7.
The Champagne-Ardenne region consists of four departments – the Ardennes (08), the Aube (10), the Marne (51) and the Haute-Marne (52). The region is bordered by Belgium in the north, by Lorraine in the east, by Franche-Comté and Burgundy in the south, and by the Paris region and Picardy in the west.
The region is made up essentially of areas of relatively flat agricultural land and areas of gently undulating hills. The hills are higher and more pronounced in the north of the region – the area of the Ardennes – and the south of the region, an area known as the Plateau de Langres.
Lorraine Region 8.
The Lorraine region consists of four departments, Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Meuse (55), Moselle (57), and Vosges(88). It is the only French region to border on three different foreign countries – Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany: it also borders on three other French regions, Alsace to the east, Champagne-Ardenne to the west, and Franche-Comté to the south.
Today’s capital is Metz, préfecture of the Moselle department, and one of the oldest cities in France.
Alsace Region 9.
Alsace is made up of just two departments, the Lower Rhine, or Bas Rhin (67), capital Strasbourg, and the Upper Rhine, or Haut Rhin (68), capital Colmar. The biggest city in the Haut Rhin department is however Mulhouse,. Both of these departments are comprised of a rich fertile plain in the east – the flat lands of the Rhine valley – and the Vosges mountains in the west.
Franche-Comte Region 13.
Franche-Comté consists of four departments; in the north lies the Haute Saone (70) mostly a deeply agricultural area, with small towns and villages, low hills and valleys, but rising into the foothills of the Vosges mountains to the east. In the centre of the region, between the Haute-Saône and the Swiss border is the department of the
Doubs (25), consisting of a series of plateaux and hilly ridges rising from 200 metres in the north to 1200 metres on the Swiss border. In the south of the region, the department of the Jura (39) covers part of the broad flat Saône valley, plus the central part of the Jura mountains, peaking at over 1500 metres on the Swiss border.
Finally, in the north of the region lies the smallest of all French departments (except Paris), the territoire de Belfor (90), an area that was for centuries the French-speaking part of Alsace. This department is quite industrialised, and the area around Belfort and Montbéliard is the home of the Peugeot car group.