Three different landscapes and a tragic commonality of history... Since the division of the Carolingian Empire in 843, there has been a constant struggle for the eastern part of France, and its borders have been constantly changing. However, it is difficult for a traveller who has arrived in these parts from Germany to notice the differences between the two lands. On both sides of the Rhine there are half-timbered houses and vineyard settlements clinginging to the slopes of the Vosges, just like the Baden villages to the Black Forest mountains. This landscape, formed on the site of the area of prehistoric mountains' ruins, has a common geological past. Gradually, the Lorraine plateau turns into the Champagne chalklands. There, in the north, were built the first Gothic temples, seeking upwards, to the sky. Among them, the Rhine cathedral played a special role as the coronation church of French kings. After visiting the beautiful Gothic buildings of Swason and Lana, you find yourself almost in Picardia.