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The Zorn Valley

The Zorn Valley is one of the few passages that exist between the Northern Alsace and the Lorraine, through the Vosges Mountains. The other way is to use the Col of Saverne. It's a narrow valley where side by side you can find:

The view hereunder shows the valley abreast of the ancient Vogésia foundry. The view is taken upstreams, ie. towards Lutzelbourg which is the next village a few kilometers further. In the foreground you can see the buildings of the foundry.

This is a particularly narrow place of the valley. Actually, you can see from left to right, the canal (behind a tree screen), the road below and parallel to it, bordered itself by the river. Another path passes alongside the foot of the mountain. Last, the railway goes alongside the mountain on the right, crosses the valley on the 6 arches bridge (you can distinctly see 5 of them, the 6th one is for the canal), an enters in a tunnel on the other side.

The Zorn Valley

This is an overall picture of the same place, taken from a higher point. You can see the buildings of the Vogésia, in the lower right corner, the canal which gets under the railway bridge on the left. You can also distinctly see the trail of white steam given off by the train which is going to Saverne. Notice how the railway has been built: the mountain has been cut and walls have been built in the heights in order to consolidate them.

Train and Vogésia

The view hereunder shows the great bridge which we have already seen on the two previous postcards. It is the 6th arch, the one which spans over the Rhine to Marne canal. The other 5 arches are on the left (the view is taken in the opposite direction than the two others). The first arch spans over the road, the second (under the trees) lets the river pass. The last three arches are not visible from this point.

This photography is rather ancient then the barges are still pulled by yokings. The one on the postcard is made of two horses accompanied by their master. Later, rails will be installed on the bank in order to pull the barges with little electrical locomotives. Much later, the barges will become self-propelled, ie. they will have a diesel motor and a screw.

Today, barges are still using this canal, but there is also a great traffic of yachtsman on little fitted out boats. Two rental bases have been installed, one in Saverne, the other in Lutzelbourg.

Barge with yoking

The Zorn valley was formerly a walking destination for the people of Saverne, and also a holiday place for fresh air cures in hotels ("Luftkurhotel" in german). In Stambach, 6km far from Saverne, two hotels have been built to accomodate the travellers. The road traffic in that time wasn't the same as today, as the photography hereunder shows it (taken about 1908).

Yoking of oxen

© Thierry Heitmann - 1998-99