Hill Notre-Dame du Haut at Ronchamp (Franche-Comté), in the south of the Ballons des Vosges Regional Natural Park, is a place of important historic, artistic and spiritual value.
Notre-Dame du Haut Hill was a strategic point and spiritual place of pilgrimage from Roman times to the Revolution.
The first indications of habitation on the hill date back to Antiquity. The Romans probably had a camp here as it was a strategic point overlooking the road to Germania. When the land was first evangelized in the 4th century, the altar to a pagan god was replaced by a sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
During the Middle Ages, Notre-Dame de Septembre (celebrated on 8 September, the Birth of the Virgin Mary) was the parish church for Ronchamp and neighbouring villages, but when a new church was built in the centre of the village in the 18th century, the one on the hill became the pilgrimage chapel of Notre-Dame du Haut.
At the time of the Revolution, the chapel was sold as a national property but in 1799 around 40 local families decided to buy it back and restore it to its initial spiritual vocation. In the 19th century, the Bishop of Besançon took great pains to enhance and extend the place of pilgrimage, but in 1913 part of it was destroyed by fire. Rebuilt in the 1920s, the chapel was severely damaged by bombing during the Liberation in September 1944.