Vézelise in Saintois
LAST NEWS : this news comes from today's local newspaper but it happened in 1944.
In September 1944, a famous American singer came to Vézelise : Bing Crosby ! He was supposed to sing in another village but German soldiers were still there, so he had to go backwards in the country and stopped in Vézelise. He sang at the old beer brewery in front of GIs belonging to the 35th Infantry Division and a picture was taken by a journalist of the Omaha World Herald. It is quite unexpected, isn't it ?
We visit the Saintois area about once a year, sometimes to climb up to the hill of Sion, sometimes to enjoy the villages around. It is situated south of Nancy and has kept a few typical villages of Lorraine.
Vézelise is a big village with about 1,500 inhabitants. It already existed in the 10th century and was part of the Comte de Vaudémont property.
The Halles de Vézelise were built during the 16th century. A sign on one pillar explains it has been a place where justice was dispensed in the 18th or 19th century, I can't remember. It has been restored and has got one stone staircase and one wood staircase, the latter is particularly big and impressing.
The Hôtel de Tavagny is near the Halles, just a bit further in the street. It was built in 1546 and I think it is not common to see such a building in a village of Lorraine. A Renaissance building is more usual in bigger places.
In Lorraine, Vézelise is mostly known because of its beer which was produced from 1863 to 1971 and distributed in France and the French colonies.
Vézelise nowadays is a quiet place which has kept shops, restaurants and also this very old center where it is pleasant to have a walk on a Sunday afternoon. We visited the Saint-Côme et Saint-Damien church too and saw another particularity which I will speak about in another article.