Metz, France – the city of the founder of the European Union

Metz, France – the city of the founder of the European Union


Metz (Metz) is quite large (390 thousand people) on the border of France and Germany, north of Nancy and south of Luxembourg. Thanks to its German origins and military tradition, Metz is not like other French cities. In fact, Metz is a unique city in France because of its great history, and its old town is built from the so-called “pierre de Jaumont,” the local yellow limestone. It includes traces of many eras: the heritage of the ancient Romans, the medieval old town, the classical style buildings of the 18th century, the buildings of the German annexation period and the modern museums.


Metz is an important regional center with a significant number of historical monuments and sites. The city has surviving Roman monuments; it is known for its large open squares framed by 18th-century townhouses, its impressive cathedral and its museums.

Weather in Metz:

The climate in Metz is semi-continental. Summers are humid and hot. The hottest month is August, when the average temperature reaches 26 °C, but it feels much hotter due to the lack of wind. Winters in Metz are cold and snowy, with temperatures averaging around -0.5 °C in January.

Language in Metz:

Despite its proximity to Luxembourg and Germany, the locals do not speak much German. The local dialect of French (Platt) may be used in some parts of the northern and eastern Moselle, but is never used in Metz. In tourist areas, the staff speaks English, German and, often, Spanish.


Metz City Guide:

Metz first sprang up in the hills of St. Croix de la Citadelle at the confluence of the river of the same name. It later expanded to include several small islands on the Moselle, which are now connected by numerous bridges, some of which date back to the Middle Ages.

A veritable crossroads city where the main routes of all Europe intersect, Metz has a very important historical, cultural and religious heritage from antiquity to the 21st century, scattered throughout its various districts, each with its own personality.

Sainte-Croix Hill is the historic heart of the city. Its appearance is inspired by the medieval period with its cobbled streets, mansions and iconic monuments: the Monastery of Recolle, the Church of Saint Segolene and the Church of the Trinity.

In the medieval district of Outre-Seille are the German Gate, a fortress whose ramparts now serve as walkways; the medieval church of St. Eucharist and the church of St. Maximin with Jean Cocteau’s stained glass windows.

The elegant Ile district, typical of the 18th century, with its opera house, the oldest currently in operation in France, the Abbey of Saint Clement, the headquarters of the Regional Council of the Grand Orient, the Church of Saint Vincent and many bridges in the classical architectural style.

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In the Citadel area are the Court of Justice, the former royal abbey of Saint-Arnoux, the Templar chapel built between 1180 and 1220, and the church of Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnes, one of the oldest in France.

There are several large restored city squares in the city center, including the medieval Saint Louis Square, the ancient Place du Smen and the Place d’Arm where Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, one of the tallest Gothic buildings in Europe, built between the 13th and 16th centuries, is located. It has earned the nickname “The Lantern of the Good Lord” thanks to the sweep of its stained glass windows.

The Metz shows its modern side in the Amphitheatre and Zeil-Parc districts, with the Centre Pompidou-Metz, where the best works of modern art have been on display since 2010, and in the medieval ramparts area, from the SNCF train station to Montigny-lès-Metz.

Mirabel plums, quiche lorrain, potato stew, lorrain pâté and Moselle wines are the stars of its culinary heritage, which can be enjoyed in most restaurants.

Getting to Metz:

Nancy to Metz:
  • Bus: 50 – 70 minutes to travel. Ticket 5€ (OUIBUS)-14€ (ISILINES). Departure from Nancy to Metz: 4:30, 10:30, 14:30, 15:50. From Metz to Nancy: 10:30, 11:45, 16:15, 22:50.
Toul to Metz:
  • Train: direct train 1 time per day, 1:02 en route, ticket 8€ – 13.70€, departure from Toul to Metz is 21:17. Departure from Metz to Touls is 5:44.
Strasbourg – Metz:
  • Train: direct high-speed TGV train, travel time approx. 48 minutes, tickets 33 – 37€, with promotions available from 17,5€. There are two trips a day: from Metz 8:11 and 12:27. From Strasbourg there are 1 to 2 trips a day, departing at 16:00.
  • 2h (OUIBUS) – 2:45 (ISILINES) en route, ticket € 9€ – 12€. From Metz to Strasbourg: 11:45, 16:15, 16:30, 21:35. From Strasbourg to Metz: 7:10, 8:30, 12:30.

See Metz


St. Etienne Cathedral

A visit to Metz begins with St. Etienne Cathedral , a beautiful Gothic-style church. Construction of the cathedral began around 1250 on the basis of a pre-existing Romanesque church, and the project was completed in 1522. The facade was rebuilt in 1903.

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Despite the long period of construction, St. Etienne Cathedral is a successful combination of many different arts, styles of architecture, sculptors and glass making. The inside of the cathedral is 123 meters long and 42 meters high (it is one of the tallest cathedrals in France).

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The stained glass windows in Metz Cathedral are well known all over the world and date from different periods (14th-20th centuries). The most recent are works by Jacques Villon (1957) and Marc Chagall (1960-71).


Other religious monuments in Metz

Other religious monuments in Metz include the church of Saint-Pierre-de-la Citadelle (built between the 10th and 15th centuries on a pre-existing structure from the 7th century) with the Templar chapel, a small Gothic octagonal plan building (12th century).

The church of Saint-Maximin is best known for its blue windows designed by Jean Cocteau, and is one of the city’s main attractions.

Also worth visiting are the churches of Saint Martin (12th-15th century) and Saint Vincent (13th century with additions and alterations in the 18th century), and the churches of Carmine, Assumption (17th-18th centuries) and St. Pierre-aux-Nonnais, built on a complex of ancient Gallo-Roman baths, which were converted into a Christian church in the seventh century.

The Temple Neuf, built at the beginning of the 20th century, stands on a beautiful island in the Moselle River, and is best admired from the Pont Moyen:

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Other attractions in Metz

In addition to large squares such as Place de la Comédie and Place Saint-Louis with their great medieval townhouses, Metz also has a significant historical center in the surrounding narrow streets. Other attractions include the monasteries of the Recollets and Porte des Allemands . The 16th-century Maison des Tetes has interesting carved figures embedded in its facade.

Much of the city’s original ramparts are still intact, and there is a walk of over a kilometer behind them.

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Modern Metz.

One of the unusual buildings is the Metz railway station , with sculptural panels depicting soldiers, peasants and scenes from daily life. Next to the train station is the Centre Pompidou-Metz, a contemporary art center. , where exhibitions of prestigious artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, George Braque, René Magritte, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol are held annually.

Green Metz.

Naturalists will also want to visit the botanical garden, the Jardin Botanique, which features 80 different varieties of roses, herbs, flowers of every hue and scent, as well as palm trees and tall trees like the 140-year-old sequoia.

The major museums of Metz

On Rue du Haut Poitier, you can visit the important museum of La Cour d’Or, with valuable collections of Roman and medieval art (ancient baths, carved funerary steles, various objects of daily use and the tombs of the Merovingian kings). The painting section features works by J.B. Camille Corot (1796-1875), Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), Gustave Moreau (1826-1898) and several artists of the “School of Metz.”

Cultural events in Metz

There are many cultural initiatives in Metz, such as “Book Day” and a music festival. In September, the cultural life of Metz comes alive with theatrical performances, music and dance. One object of cultural interest in the city center, on the Place de la Comédie, is the theater (18th century), known for its music and choreography, which attracts enthusiasts from all over Europe.

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Metz, France – the city of the founder of the European Union

Metz (France) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main attractions of Metz with descriptions, travel guides and maps.

City of Metz (France)

Metz is a city in north-eastern France in Lorraine. It is the capital of this historic region and the Moselle department. Metz has a magnificent historic center with an impressive Gothic cathedral, narrow cobblestone streets and old houses. The city is known for its special charm, in which history and modernity, as well as several cultures are intertwined. Metz has impressive historical and cultural monuments, picturesque promenades and atmospheric surroundings. This ancient city, which dates back to the Celtic and Roman eras, is one of the most interesting places in Northern France.

Things to do (France):

The Louvre in the morning or in the evening. Tickets guaranteed!

51 €46 per person

The Louvre in the morning or in the evening. Tickets guaranteed!

Two hours in the company of great masterpieces and without the tourist crowds on a tour in a minigroup

One Day in Paris

€285 per tour

One Day in Paris” sightseeing tour

Grand tour of the city for a full day – all the best things to see in the city.

Geography and climate

Metz is located at the confluence of the Moselle and Ceil rivers, 43 km from the point where the borders of France, Germany and Luxembourg meet. The surrounding area is a hilly plateau with river valleys and forests. Metz has a moderate continental climate with relatively mild winters and warm summers.



Tourist information

  1. Population – more than 110 thousand people.
  2. Area – 41.94 km2 .
  3. Language: French.
  4. Currency is euro.
  5. Visa – Schengen visa.
  6. The time is Central European UTC +1, in summer +2.
  7. Metz shares an airport with Nancy. It offers several regional destinations, as well as flights to Algeria and some Italian cities.
  8. Trains to Metz are available from Paris, Strasbourg, and Luxembourg.
  9. Metz is a safe city. However, it is advisable to avoid the suburbs of Borny or St Eloy and the neighborhood of noisy bars late at night.


Metz is one of the oldest cities in France with a rich history. The settlement on the site of the modern city existed a thousand years before Christ. Shortly before the arrival of the Romans, it was the center of the Gallic tribe Mediomatric. In the 1st century BC it was subjugated by Rome. Under Roman rule Metz became one of the largest and most prosperous cities in Gaul, with a population of about 40,000.

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In 451 the city was taken and destroyed by the Huns led by Attila. A little later Metz became part of the Frankish possessions. After the collapse of Charlemagne, Metz became the capital of the Kingdom of Lorraine, which was absorbed into the Holy Roman Empire. From the 11th to the 12th century the city had the status of a free imperial city. Metz later became the capital of an independent republic that lasted until the 15th century.

The streets of the old town

The streets of the old city

In the 16th century Metz became one of the centers of the Reformation. In 1871 the city was occupied by Prussia and belonged to it until World War I. Metz was also occupied by Germany during World War II.


Old Town

Old Town

Metz has a magnificent old town with a jumble of architectural layers that testify to centuries of history at the crossroads of different cultures. The historic center of the city is one of the largest in France and is famous for its many old buildings (more than 100 of them are classified as historical monuments). Metz is famous for its yellow limestone architecture, ancient churches and the remains of the city’s fortifications. Ruins of terms and an aqueduct and the church of Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnes are remains from the Gallo-Roman past.



Saint-Etienne is a cathedral and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture located in the Saint-Croix quarter with pretty little squares, winding medieval streets and elegant old mansions. The church was built from 1250 to 1380 and is one of the tallest Gothic buildings in Europe. St. Etienne has a magnificent facade with beautiful reliefs and impressive stained glass windows (some of which date back to the 13th century). The interior of the cathedral is striking in its scope and works of religious art.

St. Segolene Church

Church of St. Segolene

The Church of Saint Ségolène is a magnificent medieval Gothic church located in the old town in the Saint-Croix quarter. The current building dates back to the 13th century. Inside the church is a 12th century stained glass window, which is the oldest in Lorraine.

New Church

New Shrine

The New Church is a beautiful neo-Romanesque building built in the early 20th century by Germans. The church is Protestant and is located on a picturesque island surrounded by the waters of the Moselle River. The church is built of gray sandstone, which gives it a much more ancient appearance.

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Saint-Pierre-au-Nonnen is considered to be the oldest church in France. The origins of the building go back to the 4th century during the Roman Empire. Originally a Roman basilica (early Christian church), it later became part of an ancient Benedictine abbey. In the 16th century the building was included in the system of defensive fortifications. Saint-Pierre-au-Nonnen is a testament to the millennial history of Metz.

Porte de Allemandes

Porte de Allemandes

Port de Allemande (“Gate of the Germans”) is the last relic of the medieval fortifications of Metz, an ancient bridge with powerful gates and defensive towers. It is one of the most famous monuments of the city, which is named after the Teutonic Knights. The gate is very similar to a fortress and rises above the river Seil. It consists of two huge towers of the 13th century and two bastions of the 15th century. Between the towers is a terrace designed to house artillery.

Next to the gate is a beautiful medieval neighborhood with ancient streets and churches.



Saint-Maximin is a simple 12th-century Gothic church that is famous for its stunning interior with magnificent stained glass windows created by the Surrealist artist Jean Cocteau in the 1960s. The church is located south of Porte de Allemande.

Chapel of the Knights Templar

Chapel of the Knights Templar

The Chapel of the Knights Templar is a unique octagonal building that is the only one of its kind in Lorraine. The chapel was built between 1180 and 1220 and demonstrates the transition between Romanesque and Gothic architecture.

Saint Louis

Saint Louis

Saint Louis is a medieval town square with atmospheric arcades and Renaissance houses.

Avenue Foch

Avenue Foch

Avenue Foch is a modern avenue created at the turn of the 20th century that has a striking mix of architectural styles. Here you can see classic French mansions, Medieval-style houses and eclectic Art Deco buildings.

Metz museums

Center Pompidou

Center Pompidou

The Pompidou Center is a contemporary art museum that opened in 2010. It is a kind of branch of the famous Paris museum of the same name.

De la Cour d’Or is one of the most famous and interesting museums of Metz, famous for its collections of antiquities of the Gallo-Roman period, medieval art and history. There are also Merovingian tombs, religious artifacts and French, Dutch, German, Flemish paintings from the 16th – 20th centuries.

Interesting tours

Grand Tour of Montmartre

From €105 for a guided tour

Grand tour of Montmartre

The Moulin Rouge, Dalida House, Villa Léandre, Chateau des Mistes and other iconic spots of the bohemian quarter

The fabulous Louvre for children from 6 years old

from €130 for a guided tour

The Louvre for children ages 6 and up

An educational but not boring adventure which will be remembered by young travellers

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