Visit Metz by Mouse
francebymouse093005.jpg
Metz 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 some 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 from 1732.
 
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 god Mithra, 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.
francebymouse093002.jpg francebymouse093001.jpg
(click for more photos)
(Slideshow)
Google Map
Photos of Metz    Photos from Cour d'Or, Museum of History and Art    Slideshow
 
Letter     Tourist Office
Back to places visited in France
Back to France
francebymouse001001.jpg
Amazon
Intrepid Traveler
francebymouse016001.jpg