Visit Metz by Mouse
is the capitol of the Lorraine region
in northeastern France, next to Germany and just south of Luxembourg. It is just an hour
and 45 minutes from Paris by high speed train.
Metz is an ancient and pretty city situated at the confluence of two rivers, the Moselle
and the Seille
. It certainly has had a multicultural
history--Celtic, Roman, Frankish, and German. After Atilla
conquered it, the city remained mostly German until 1532 when it was transferred
to France, under whose governance it remained until the Franco-Prussian war
. In 1871 it passed once again into German hands, where
it remained until the WW I Armistice granted it back to France. During the German occupation of France in WW II the city again became
German, and passed again back to France with Germany's defeat.
We stayed in a municipal campground on the Moselle, a short walk to the city center. Our first stop was the St. Etienne Cathedral
of whose stained glass windows were designed by Marc Chagall
. The Cathedral dates from the early 1200's. On the way we crossed a bridge
over an attractive river front area, and the very handsome opera house/theater complex. The theater is the oldest in France, dating
The town commercial center is a great example of the best in European cities--pedestrian-only narrow streets, sidewalk
and street cafes, small shops, and pretty and well kept buildings. We came across one especially delightful short street bordered
on three sides by restaurants, cafes, and sandwich shops. Tables and chairs from the restaurants and cafes completely fill the
street in front of the eateries. There also are benches where people who opt for fast food take out can sit and eat. We
bought sandwiches on a baguette and enjoyed eating them on one of these benches.
Metz has a very interesting museum of art and history, the Cour d'Or
, which has a splendid collection of Roman artifacts. The building
itself was built over a Roman structure, the remains of which can be seen in the lowest floor of the museum. In the 15th century,
the building was a municipal granary. There are 40 rooms which are divided into three sections--archeology, the medieval period, and
art and architecture. Among the major works seen there are: the vestiges of the Roman baths, sculpted Roman tomb stones, an altar
dedicated to the worship of the Zoroastrian
, numerous object from daily life in Roman times, Merovingian
tombs, and medieval
treasures displayed in the year 1000 room, painted ceilings. We spent several fascinating hours there, but left feeling pretty tired.