|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Philippe Noël|
|Area1||24.05 km2 (9.29 sq mi)|
|• Density||50/km2 (130/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|INSEE/Postal code||88371 /88220|
|Elevation||385–591 m (1,263–1,939 ft)|
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Inhabitants are called Raonnais.
Raon-aux-Bois is positioned in the district known as the Vôge, on the western edge of the Vosges Mountains. As the name of the commune implies, the district has retained its woodland countryside, with traditional mature timberland in the south and conifer plantations to the north.
The word 'Raon' is believed to share the same root as the English word 'ravine', and to indicate, in this instance, the confluence of several streams; here the Champée, the Prés Roussel and the Racine all feed into the Niche.
The earliest traces of human activity date back only to the late Middle Ages, suggesting that throughout and beyond the first millennium the thick forest of this part of Lorraine were left to nature.
Deuring the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, there are records of people from Raon repopulating the neighbouring village of Bellefontaine, which had been abandoned a century or so earlier, probably as a result of plague.
There are few surviving records of Raon from its early centuries, but it is believed to have been controlled at various times by one of three lordships, while on the ecclesiastical side the church, dedicated to Amé de Remiremont, fell within the Diocese of Saint-Dié in the deanery of Remiremont.
In 1790 the village was placed within the canton of Éloyes, an arrangement which lasted virtually ten years. The present administrative structure is based on dispositions effected in 1800.
During the nineteenth century and well into the first part of the twentieth century, the village experienced a steady prosperity based on the spinning and starching industries.
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