Metz is a lovely city and the capital of France’s northeastern Lorraine region. Not far from the borders of Luxembourg and Germany (about 70 kilometers/43 miles away) with which the town has great and lively history, Metz has many things to please everyone. Its greenery, gardens and leafy promenades along the Moselle and Seille rivers; its impressive historical monuments (such as the Gothic Metz Cathedral, and the Chapelle des Templiers); its many museums and cultural places (the Musée de la Cour d'Or, and The Centre Pompidou-Metz). Well, here there is something to do, whatever you’re looking for, and in this article, we’ll look at 10 top things to do while visiting this charming city listed as a “Ville d'Art et d'Histoire” (city of art and history) thanks to its exceptional heritage.
1. Metz Cathedral
A visit to Metz must pass by this 1300s Gothic masterpiece “Metz Cathedral of Saint-Etienne”, often nicknamed ‘God’s lantern’. With a nave reaching 42 meters (138 feet) high, while its towers and delicate spires soar even higher towards the sky, this splendid cathedral is one of the tallest Gothic buildings in Europe. Here you’ll stare at its wonderful stained glass from multiple eras (from the 13th-century), admire the 15th-century crypt, and the brilliantly illuminated sanctuary for a mesmerizing and spiritual walk through the ages.
Address: Place d'Armes, 57000, Metz, France
Website: Metz Cathedral (in French)
2. Centre Pompidou-Metz
This museum of modern and contemporary arts is a satellite branch of the famous Pompidou art center in Paris: a futuristic building (memorable for its roof structure) hosting the biggest temporary exhibition space outside the capital. Featuring 3 galleries, an auditorium, and a theater, the Centre Pompidou-Metz focuses on artwork created from 1905 to the present. The mammoth museum boasts 10,700 square meters (11,500,000 square feet) of exhibition space and features some of the world’s best collections of modern and contemporary art.
Here, art lovers of all kind will fall in love with the numerous masterpieces exhibited and will enjoy the several performing arts events, cinema screenings, and conferences hosted by The Centre Pompidou-Metz throughout the year. This is one of the main places to go in the surroundings.
Address: 1 Parvis des Droits de l'Homme, 57020 Metz, France
Website: Centre Pompidou-Metz
3. Museum of Metz
The Museum of Metz is a renowned archaeology & art museum complex in La Cour d'Or that’s displaying outstanding collections devoted to four disciplines: archaeology, architecture, medieval art and history from Roman, Renaissance times, to the 20th-century. This is a top place to go for a trip down memory lane to see an extensive collection of Gallo-Roman relics (including remnants of ancient baths and everyday objects), medieval art (featuring Merovingian tombs, religious art, medieval treasures of the 11th-century), Renaissance paintings, and artifacts providing insightful information on the ancient Jewish community in Metz. In short, the history lovers will fall in love with this place!
Museum of Metz
Address: 2 Rue du Haut Poirier, 57000 Metz, France
Website: Museum of Metz
4. Fort de Queuleu
The Fort de Queuleu is a fortification to the southeast of Metz, near the neighboring town of Queuleu. The fort has been passed from French to German rule (Renamed Fort Goeben) several times through history and was part of the first ring of the fortifications of Metz, and later used as a detention center during the WWII. Walking through the building is an emotional and somehow intense experience across the particularly strong history of the region.
Fort de Queuleu
Address: Allee Jean Burger, 57070, Metz, France
Website: Fort de Queuleu
5. Porte des Allemands
Built in the 13th & 15th centuries, the most emblematic site of Metz, the Porte des Allemands, (which translates to “Door of the Germans”) nowadays stands between the Boulevard Maginot and the Rue des Allemands. The last relic of the town’s medieval ramparts, the ancient bridge, fortified gate, and defense towers, the edifice features two immense round towers and bastions. The “medieval castle-like” Porte des Allemands has nowadays been converted into a walking path where you’ll enjoy strolling, discovering the place and its charming medieval neighborhood.
Porte des Allemands
Address: Boulevard André Maginot, 57000 Metz, France
Website: Porte des Allemands (in French)
6. Temple Neuf de Metz
The beautiful Temple Neuf was built from 1901 to 1904 and stands in the “Jardin d'Amour” (Garden of Love) at the end of the Place de la Comédie in Metz. Nowadays, the church is still used as a place of worship as well as to host cultural events. You’ll appreciate admiring the building from Quai Paul Vautrin from where, when illuminated at night, the building is reflected in the Moselle River, offering a spectacular scene.
Address: 2 Place de la Comédie, 57000 Metz, France
Website: Temple Neuf (in French)
7. Eglise Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains
This basilica, in the Quartier Citadelle above the Esplanade, was originally constructed around 380 CE and is consequently one of the oldest churches of Europe. Nowadays, with more than 1,000 years of history, the church is open for exhibitions and concerts offering a unique setting that you’ll have difficulty finding somewhere else. A “must-see” in the town!
Address: 1 Rue de La Citadelle, Metz, France
8. The Marche Couvert
This permanent covered market is a heaven for foodies and food lover travelers, where you’ll find everything (delectable cheeses, fruit, vegetables, charcuterie, fresh bread, etc). Open from 7 am – 7 pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays, here, you’ll truly fall in love with the french traditional food and cuisine.
Address: Place de la Cathédrale, Metz, France
Website: Marche Couvert (in French)
9. Gare de Metz-Ville
Sometimes spoken of as the Station Palace (as was used as apartments for German officials), the Gare de Metz-Ville is the main railway station in the city and has been registered as a Historic Monument since 15 January 1975. As a matter of fact, the beautiful station’s facade, the roof, the departure hall, the honorary lounge, and the former station restaurant with its interior decorations have nothing to do with what you could expect to find in a building of this kind. If you have a train to catch over here, make sure to arrive in advance to take some time to gaze at this wonderful edifice.
Gare de Metz-Ville
Address: 1 Place du Général de Gaulle, 57000 Metz, France
Website: Gare de Metz-Ville (in French)
10. Saint Maximin
The church of Saint Maximin is a Catholic church located near the Lutheran Temple in the Old Town district. This jewel features wonderful stained-glass windows in soft pastel tones. You’ll like visiting the edifice and its very great spirituality, that gives the church of Saint-Maximin an atmosphere of peace and spirituality.
Address: 61 Rue Mazelle, 57000 Metz, France
Website: Paroisse Saint-Maximin (in French)
With these 10 great things to do and places to see in Metz, you’ll discover this beautiful city of northeast France for a perfect time around the area!
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