Visit Graffigny-Chemin, France

 

In Roman Times

If it existed in Roman times, it was a way station, a watering hole, equidistant, a place to rest 20 miles from the last place, and 20 miles to the next, along the ancient Roman road (Voie Romane) from Langres to Trier.

Peutinger Table near Toul

View the Peutinger Map

Celtic tribes wandered back and forth. The Aedui, who sent 10,000 men to Vercingetorix, to aid the Gallic revolt against Rome and Julius Caesar, were there. So too, the Biturges, the Leuci and the Mediomatrici. So too were bands of Alemanni who had crossed the Rhine into Gaul only to be exterminated in 367 by armies of the emperor Valentinian. Perhaps one can be more specific and place the village along the route from Scarponna, Tullio (Toul), and Noviomagnus. Scarponna places us far to the north near the city of Metz. Tullio places us in Toul, an hour away. It is Noviomagnus that interests me. Some state that it is Neufchâteau an ancient city at the confluence of the Rivers Meuse and Mouzon. And that seems reasonable.

We must then pass into the valley of the Meuse River. But before we arrive in Langres, one would stop along the Voie Romane where there is a spring flowing from the hillside and that is the spot that would become Graffigny.

Tabula Peutingeriana near Toul, France
Tabula Peutingeriana, near Toul

Today

Leaving Graffigny today and going north one drives or walks through Chemin along a road called Voie Romane. Chemin is a French word that means path or way.

Becoming French

The small French village of Graffigny did not become French until 1766 when King Louis XV annexed the Territory of Lorraine and included it as a French Province. After the disastrous Franco-Prussian War of 1870, it narrowly missed annexation by Germany. In World War I and II, Graffigny was occupied by Germany.

Since then it has gone back to being the sleepy French village of less than 200 souls.

L'eglise de St Élophe et St Christophe

There is a church for every village has its church. The church is called L’eglise de St Élophe et St Christophe, and it stands on the hillside in the main square of the village. Saint Élophe is a 4th century Christian martyr, the first in Lorraine. St. Christophe is the better known St. Christopher.

Graffigny-Chemin along the ancien Voie Romane looking south toward the church
Graffigny-Chemin along the ancient Voie Romane, looking south toward the church
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