Except for the Vosges Mts. in the southeast and the ridges paralleling the Moselle and Meuse rivers, Lorraine is a slightly rolling plateau with pastures and some agricultural districts. Hops are grown (Lorraine has large breweries), and there are numerous vineyards. In the east salt is mined; coal was formerly mined. The northeastern section of the region has turned into a rustbelt, with its mining and steel industries, once a mainstay of the economy, losing thousands of jobs since the early 1980s as the low-grade iron ore found near the Belgian and Luxembourg borders and near Nancy lost markets to low-cost high-grade iron ore from abroad. Lorraine is linked to Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan, and Basel by rail.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.