Heart of Lorraine

Metz Travel Blog

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Moselle River

Well, I awakened in great pain and in need of medical attention. Rob went to the front desk and tried to get a physician to come to the hotel but, it was too early for that. It turned out that there was a hospital in the block behind us, so that was convenient.


I cleaned up and we walked over to the emergency admittance. We were seen very quickly. The doctor seemed more interested in reprimanding me on my not attending to the problem sooner but, I just ignored her.


She proceeded to turn us over to a specialist who wrote a few prescriptions and suggested that I see a specialist in Ghent.


We left and returned to the room. Rob went out and go the meds and some breakfast. I took my meds and lay down for a few hours.

I did not plan on spending our time in this bed, even if I was ill.


Around noon, I decided that the meds had started to offer a bit of relief. We prepared for the day and headed out, direction Metz, France.


It was only a 45 minute drive and highway at that. We found a parking garage on the edge of the old city and started our exploration.


Metz is known as the “Green City” and is the capitol of the Lorraine Region. The uniqueness of Metz, as compared to other contemporary French cities, is explained by the solid historic background of the place, a background by force of which Metz has always been deemed rather strange from the general dash of a common French locality.

Chagall window
The fact that Metz used to be, until the 20th century, an apple of discord between France and Germany was, eventually, a fruitful circumstance due to which nowadays Metz is, in fact, a rather balanced expression of two great cultures.


We started at a park on the river, near the Chapelle des Templiers. Many flowers were in bloom and the fountain in the park was gushing as well. We took the river route into the old town. The Temple Nine dominates the view as it rests on an island in the middle of the Moselle River. The Gothic church to its left bank is St. Vincent’s. The feeling is a bit like Strausbourg…..another French / German city that was conquered, a lot.


At the bridge, we started up hill, towards the center of the city.

Gothic detail
It was sprinkling a bit, making it challenging to take photos.


Positioned at the top of the hill and with view of the valleys around, St. Etienne is a massive limestone monument to the past glory of Metz. The most striking elements of the cathedral are the traces of the first construction (1220-1522).The architect named Blondel added his contribution to the building by the inscription of the portal linked by the wings to the arches of the Place d’Armes. In the 19th century, under the influence of Tomow notably, the restoration of the south portal was started/undertaken with the erection of a gothic portal to replace that of Blondel. In the 20th century, the alterations finally provided the cathedral with this special radiance which makes this building so uncommon and which will be the origin of its nickname “God’s light”.


There are several windows near the nave of the church that were replaced by Chagall between 1958 and 1968 ( The Creation ). There are many columns with colorful frescoes, some of which are still quite rich in color.


In continuing our walk, we passed many cafes with delicious looking cakes and tarts.

We had to have a sample or two.


While in Moselle…….we had to stop in to a local wine maker and bring back some of the local wine. We were fortunate to find open, Les Domaines. They had many to choose from and were assisted in choosing three to bring back.


We contined across the city to the Porte des Allemands. The German Door to the city is a remnant of the ancient Medieval walls of Metz in Moselle. Both door and bridge were fortified. It crosses the Seille at the bridge Henry de Ranconval linking the freeway to Eastern Boulevard Andre Maginot, who replaced the ramparts in the early 20th century. The building dominated the line of the eastern wall of almost 1200 meters from the gate to the door Mazelle Sainte-Barbe. It is the only castle defensive of Metz that has not been destroyed.


On our return walk, we browsed a store with premium olive oil. Some of the bottle there were almost 30 euro a bottle….

French treats


It began to rain again so, we ducked into a building that looked like a market…an dit was. Stalls of veggies, fish, meat, cheese, olives, and much, much more tempted the senses.


Near our parking garage, we ended our exploration of Metz with a walk around of the Chapelle des Templiers (1133). It is the only specimen of a church rotunda existing in Lorraine. Reminiscent of the Rhenish School of Aix-la-Chapelle, or homage to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the plan is typically Templar. The architecture is on the borderline between Art Novel, which retains the thick walls and narrow arched windows, and Gothic Art, which takes on ribbed vaulting.


There was a little garden in front, a peaceful place for a rest or reading a book.


Metz is a bit sleepy but, full of charm and character. I’m glad that I decided to get out of bed and enjoy the heart of Lorraine. We spent a nice day in Metz.



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Moselle River
Moselle River
Chagall window
Chagall window
Gothic detail
Gothic detail
French treats
French treats
photo by: lauro