The history of Trois Epis (the three wheat ears) actually starts on May 3rd 1491, when Thierry Schoeré, a blacksmith from Orbey, on his way to the market of Niedermorschwihr passed an oak tree where he saw a holy picture put there according to a custom at that time to invite passers-by to pray for a man who had just passed away at that place.
Dismounting his horse, he knelt down in front of the holy picture, and, praying fervently for the rest of the poor man's soul, he was suddenly dazzled by a strong and bright light amid which appeared a vaporous and graceful figure.
It was the Blessed Virgin Mary, in long white veils, holding three wheat ears in her right hand, and a small icecube in her left hand : "Stand up, my good man, the Virgin said softly, and listen. See these three wheat ears. They symbolize the abundant harvests that will reward the virtuous and generous, and bring comfort and happiness to the faithful households. While this icecube means that hail, frost, floodings, famine with its burden of misfortunes and devastation will punish the unbelieving whose sins have wearied the divine mercy. You may go now, my good man, down to the villages and announce the meaning of these prophecies to all the inhabitants."
The blacksmith got frightened and didn't breathe a word about these visions. He bought a sack of wheat but could not fix it on his horse saddle. He asked for help. But it was no use. Then he asked Mary the Virgin to forgive him and spread the message she had confided to him. After that, he could easily load his horse and go back home.
As soon as summer 1491, a wooden chapel was built on the site of the visions. People crowd to the place the following summer, and miracles have been quoted to happen there.
Following several different religious orders, the « Redemptorist Fathers » have resided in the convent since 1911.
For over 500 years, diocesan priests and religious communities have kept alive the most famous Alsatian cult to Mary, in this place of pilgrimage.
The middle of the 19th century marks a decisive turning point for the future of the Trois-Epis. A touristic resort was to be born thanks to the Petitdemange family..
The resort is divided between the villages of Turckheim, Niedermorschwihr and Ammerschwihr, and is thus managed by an intercommunal organization created in 1953. The label "Climatic Resort" was given to the place in 1980, in order to keep the resort's particular attractiveness and offer visitors a stay centred on nature, thanks to 50km of marked trails.
to know more about Trois -Epis ... http://www.ot3epis.fr/
From Trois Epis, many walks are proposed, flare-path by the Club Vosgien. You can find them on the map to download, or at the 3 Epis tourist-office .
Trois Epis and Labaroche are accessible by bus, departing from Colmar, line 157 of the Kunegel Bus Society, linking Colmar and Labaroche, and stopping at Turckheim.