Bitche, Lorraine: tourism & sightseeing
Visit Bitche (Lorraine, France)
Bitche is near the north-eastern border of France (with Germany), east of Metz and north of Strasbourg. There are many historical military installations in the region, which are the main attractions for visitors, but be sure to also explore the gardens and nearby countryside for a peaceful contrast.
Citadel: Starting point for a visit will usually be the most important monument in the town - the substantial citadel that runs along the hill just behind Bitche. Constructed in the 18th century on the site of earlier defensive buildings, the citadel turned out to have impressive strength and held out against invasions in 1793, 1815 and 1870.
A visit to the citadel is interesting, with the rooms within the building each showing a short film representing the history of the citadel, and explaining the Siege of Bitche. Admission to the citadel also entitles you to enter the two small museums associated with the building.
After visiting the citadel head to the nearby Jardin pour le Paix, an interesting and well maintained selection of small gardens which incorporate many elements not usually found in gardens and provide a fascinating contrast with the hardness of the citadel.
Elsewhere in Bitche
Apart from the citadel, the town itself has some places of interest, including the Porte de Strasbourg, one of the original gateways into the town, the 18th century military hospital, and the Town Hall, also dating from the 18th century
The main church is the Church of Saint Catherine (18th century, rebuilt in the 19th century), best known for its impressive organ.
Another highlight in Bitche is a sculpture garden in the town park with some interesting pieces, including one by designer Philippe Starck.
Other sights near Bitche
Military enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the substantial construction at Simserhof, an extensive section of the maginot line built to protect France from invasion before the Second World War covering more than 100 acres and with more than five kilometres of corridors, and Fort Casso, part of the same defences.
Non-military visitors will prefer the quiet setting of the Eschviller Mill, a chance to see one of the last operational watermills in the region.
To complete your visit head to the Etang de Hasselfurth, a picturesque lake in a woodland setting with numerous leisure activities ranging from a gentle stroll or a childrens play area to a tree-top adventure park (two kilometres from Bitche town).
You can find more local travel ideas in the Lorraine guide.
Map of Bitche and places to visit
Visit near Bitche with France This Way reviews
Bitche has received the following tourist classifications: recommended detour town (plus beau detour); village in bloom (ville fleurie) 4*
Address: Bitche, Sarreguemines, Moselle, Lorraine, 57230, France || GPS: latitude 49.0525, longitude 7.42583
Plan your visit to Bitche, Lorraine
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Vosges-du-Nord: regional natural parc (23km)
- Jardin de la ferme bleue: remarkable garden (24km)
- Sarreguemines: ville fleurie 4* (27km)
The French version of this page is at Bitche (Francais)