Capital of the Lorraine region in the northeast of France, Metz is a beautiful and relatively tranquil city with an especially unique heritage.

The settlement was first recorded as Divodurum, the capital of the Celtic Mediomatrici (the name of the tribe would later inspire the current name). Occupied by the Romans in the 1st century AD, it quickly expanded to become one of the principal towns of Gallia and, as Rome collapsed, mounted an impressive defence before falling to Atilla in the 5th century. Passing to the Franks, the Lotharingians and the Holy Empire progressively over the next five centuries before establishing itself as an independent commune, Metz was only absorbed into France during the 16th century. Under French control for two centuries, the city was temporarily annexed by Germany after the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 and again during the Nazi invasion decades later.

Now established as a regional centre, Metz is known as ‘the Green City’ for its pastoral scenery, making it as a pleasant tourist location.


The most startling building in Metz is the St. Etienne Cathedral. Built in the 14th century by joining the former Roman temple and the 13th century nave of St. Etienne, the Cathedral possesses a fine Gothic façade further highlighted by its stained glass windows, which were designed by the 20th century artist Marc Chagall among others.

Also notable is the Church of St-Pierre-aux-Nomains, acknowledged as the oldest church in France, being built in the 4th century AD originally as a Roman gymnasium and redeveloped as a Christian church three centuries later. However, there are many other picturesque churches in Metz, like the 14th century Church of St. Segolene.

Attesting to the city’s brief German past are the quaint Protestant Temple Neuf near the Place Municipal, built between 1901 and 1904, and the huge Temple de Garnison near the St. Marcel Bridge, built in the late 19th century.

The Museums of the Cour d’Or in the rue du Haut Poirier are the main points of interest in Metz, containing a Municipal Museum (specialising in local history), an Archaeological Museum and a Municipal Art Gallery.

Many festivals and events take place in Metz, the most important of which being the Music Festival between June and September, composed of plays, concerts and other types of entertainment.

The local football team, FC Metz, have recently been relegated to Ligue 2 and play their games at the Stade Municipal Saint-Symphorien. Former players include Louis Saha and Robert Pires.


One of the best places to shop is the Marques Avenue shopping mall, just outside Metz in Talange.

However, there are many excellent places in the city centre. The rue Sainte Marie is a good place to start.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Metz is packed with outstanding establishments. Of the many gourmet restaurants in the city, the Restaurant Marie in the rue du pont des Morts, the Restaurant San Leone in the rue des Parmentiers and the Restaurant des Roches in the rue des Roches are all highly recommended.

There are all international alternatives like Italian at the Pizzeria Omeletterie du Port in the rue du Pont St. Marcel and Indian at the Restaurant Le Taj Mahal in the rue des Jardins.

Reflecting the city’s atmosphere, Metz has a quiet nightlife with a few bars and clubs around the city centre. However, most activity revolves around the shows at both the Opéra Théâtre in the place de la Comédie and the Arsenal Concert Hall in the place de la Republique, which hosts the world famous Orchestre National de Lorraine.

Tourist Information

Metz Tourist OfficePlace d’Armes, 2B.P. 80367MetzTel: +33 387 555


Although some distance away, the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris is recommended for its regular train services to Metz.

International and domestic connecting flights are available, being one of the busiest airports in the continent.

British Airways (London-Heathrow), bmi (London-Heathrow, Leeds-Bradford) and easyJet (multiple) all use Charles de Gaulle to and from British destinations.

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