Metz, France

by Airman 1st Class Kristen Richards
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***If you are looking for a short day trip with a little of everything for the whole family, look no further than an hour and a half drive to Metz, France. One of the oldest established cities in France, Metz boasts historical sites dating as far back as the 4th century, an extensive shopping center − more than 2,000 shops − and art galore, with its theatre the Arsenal, one of the oldest theatres in France still in operation.

Metz is the place that has seen the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, Celtic tribal control and Germanic influence. There is so much history that its large Museum of Cor d’Or has three museums in one location and covers 6,000 years of history.

***image2***And, if you want to see historical churches, Metz will not disappoint. Its most famous church is the St. Etienne Cathedral, (St. Stephens) which that was built from two separate churches and is ginormous! And for those who love Gothic architecture, Metz is home to one of France’s major Gothic cathedrals − construction started during the 13th century and was completed in 1520. You’ll also see one of the oldest churches in France, the St. Pierre-aux-Nonnians, which was originally a Roman gymnasium and then converted into a church in the 7th century.

During the Carolingian Dynasty (752 to 911), Metz was regarded as the artistic and cultural Mecca in Europe. Today,  the Orchestre National de Lorraine is based in the theatre and welcomes guest performers each year, covering everything from ancient to modern music. And for that reason, Metz still piques visitors’ artistic interests.

On your way home, stop in St. Avold to visit the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial. The cemetery is the resting place to the largest number of American servicemembers from World War II in Europe − a total of 10,489.
Ayez un grand voyage!