Vallée de la Bruche
Alsace - Massif des Vosges - France

Mythical place

Le Donon, a sacred mountain

Located at the crossroads of 4 departments, Donon is one of these legendary telluric high places et pagan places of worship which nourish the imagination.

Sanctuary by the Celts and the Gallo-Roman populations, this sacred mountain overlooks Alsace and Lorraine and offers those who have climbed its slopes a spectacular view of the "Blue line of the Vosges» and the surrounding plains. Religious remains, epigraphs and small words engraved here and there on the stone remind us that it is a millennial meeting place which we leave singularly peaceful…

Mystery and magic...

Le Donon is one of the magical places that seems to question our imagination since the most ancient times.

Considered a place charged with positive energy, its name is derived from the Celtic “dun” which means both mountain and fortress. Culminating at 1 m, the Donon gives rise to multiple rivers which head towards the four cardinal points, carving out as many valleys. From the summit, you can contemplate superb panoramas which encompass the Vosges chain, the Black Forest, the Alsace plain and the Lorraine plateau.

Some historical landmarks

Inhabited since prehistoric times

Stone axes, flint and Bronze Age tools attest to the presence of man in Donon 5 years ago. During the Iron Age, the summit dominated an important axis of passage, between the Rhine valley and the Lorraine plateau. It becomes both fortified observatory and place of exchange between the Gallic tribes.

Sacred mountain under the Druids

The remains of a powerful surrounding wall, a cistern and traces of pre-Roman foundations testify to the existence of a place of worship and several buildings dedicated to Teutates, the Gallic god. On the path leading to the summit is an imposing block of sandstone, the Stone of the Druids. The Donon is actually at the heart of a region largely marked by Celtic influence.

Roman sanctuary

The beauty of the site and especially its interest as a road crossroads did not escape the Roman legions. They promote cult of Mercury and made it a high religious place (golden age in the 2nd and 3rd centuries).

Millennial oblivion

Forgotten for a thousand years, the Donon had to wait until the 17th century to arouse the interest of scholars. In 1869, romanticism obliges, a temple-museum is built on the summit rock.

First World War: strategic location

A strategic observation site, the Donon is the subject of heavy fighting in 1914. German forces occupied it until 1918, building numerous fortifications. Around, numerous rocks bear, carefully engraved, the names and units of the men who fell on the field of honor. Those are the temporary burials of fighters from both armies.

Second World War: crossing point

1940 in the 43rd Fortress Army Corps is surrounded in the massif. He will not surrender until the signing of the Armistice. The Passeurs monument reminds us that from 1941 to 1944, the Donon was a important crossing point for the escapees from the Nazi camps and the Alsatian refractories who try to reach the free zone.

To visit alone or with family

Discover the Donon with your family and have fun! This fun walk will take you to the summit of Donon on a route punctuated with puzzles. Along the way, your little adventurers will have the opportunity to test their deduction skills by solving a series of captivating puzzles. Whether decoding secret messages or searching for clues in nature, each step will bring them one step closer to the ultimate reward: reach the top.

Prepare your walking shoes, your spirit of adventure and your flair for puzzles, because an unforgettable day awaits you!

  • Game booklet in version paper available at the Bruche valley tourist office in Schirmeck, at Champ du Feu, or to download below.
  • Course adapted for children from 4 to 12 years old and for the whole family!

To complete the visit

The thematic booklet “ The Donon, sacred mountain » differ from other trails by the originality of the subject of the route and the discovery of unsuspected and unusual heritage and stories.

Discover through a 4,2 km course, the Donon archaeological and historical discovery trail. Accessible to people with reduced mobility and strollers, it provides access to the top of the site.

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Thematic booklet

The Donon, sacred mountain

Browse the booklet