See you in Metz
Metz: City of Lights, Heritage and Gardens
Metz offers strolls through its many gardens in the heart of the city and along the ramparts. This famous french city reveals many treasures: one of the tallest cathedrals in the gothic world, a mixed heritage of history, contemporary art and the Centre Pompidou which has brough charm and excitement since May 2010 to Metz.
In Metz, don’t miss
- St Steven’s Cathedral: built from 1220 to 1520, it’s actually the union of two churches. At 42 meters, the nave is one of the tallest among gothic churches in Europe. Metz’ cathedral is nicknamed “God’s Lantern” because of its stained-glass windows from the 13th to the 20th century, by Hermann of Munster, Thiébault of Lixheim, Valentin Bousch, Jacques Villon and Marc Chagall, in total covering a surface area of 6500 m².
- The Museum La Cour d’Or: the Cour d’Or Museum is named after the palace of the Austrasian kings which was located in Metz. The Gallo-Roman archaeological collection is one of the most important in France: ancient baths to be seen in place, the column from Merten, Mithra’s Altar etc. This museum is a maze of rooms and passageways which take you to the Chèvremont corn granary (15th century), to the painted ceilings of Voué (13th century) and to the stone balustrade from the church St-Pierre-aux Nonnains, which is known as one of the most beautiful set of Merovingian sculptures in Europe (7th century).
- The Centre Pompidou-Metz: the first decentralised site of a museum in France, the Centre Pompidou Metz is a masterpiece of contemporary architecture. Designed by the Franco-Japanese duo: Jean de Gatines and Shigeru Ban, the building offers 3 exhibition galleries covered by a daring roof inspired by a Chinese hat. The spire at 77 metres refers to the year 1977, the opening year of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The Centre Pompidou Metz presents modern and contemporary art through its temporary exhibitions.
- The German’s Gateway and the ramparts: the German’s Gateway, a miniature castle standing astride the river Seille, is one of the jewels of the remains of the city’s medieval ramparts. The walls stretched 7 km around the city, had 18 gateways and were protected by 38 towers.
- The Arsenal: the Arsenal, renovated by Ricardo Bofill, is home to one of the most beautiful concert halls in Europe, with exceptional acoustics and sumptuously decorated in marquetry of beech and sycamore. It is host to the Lorraine National Orchestra and prestigious temporary exhibitions.
- The Imperial Quarter: built from 1902, the Imperial Quarter is a remarkable example of early 20th century German town planning. Around the imposing central station developed a real encyclopaedia of historical and new styles: the Post Office, square Mondon, the luxurious villas on avenue Foch that reinterpret Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles, alongside audacious Art Deco or Jugendstil works. Conceived as an exceptional quarter, and with the quality of its construction, the Imperial Quarter is applying to be included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage s-Sites.
- The Squares: in the heart of Metz the renovated squares like place de Chambre (nicknamed the gourmand square of Metz), place d’Armes (18th century), the medieval square St Louis, and Place de la République offer space and conviviality. The squares host a number of events throughout the year, transforming them into lively meeting places.
34 km of walks along the banks of the Moselle and Seille rivers, and 5 golf clubs in a radius of 25 km, Metz, with its 37 m² of green space per habitant, prides itself on its parks and gardens. The leisure marina, in the heart of the city has been raising the Pavillion Bleu flag since 2007. Right next to the Plan d’Eau, it is the starting point for many walks, loved by Messins and tourists alike.
Metz Grand Prix National Lumière des Arts de Rue: as night falls, Metz metamorphoses into a diva of light under the beam of more than 13,000 spotlights. The Cathedral becomes “God’s Lantern”, the Temple Neuf stands out between the banks of the Moselle river, the medieval city, the squares with their buildings of golden Jaumont limestone and the Imperial Quarter amaze with the glow of their beauty.
Touristic and gourmand breaks: the flavours that had to be invented
If the Mirabelle plum is still the unchallenged gastronomic emblem of Lorraine, other local specialities should be mentioned and above all tasted. Here are some examples that even talking about gives you a gargantuan appetite:
- Part of Lorraine’s traditions, discover the Mirabelle schnapps and the AOC Moselle wines.
- The pâtés Lorraine’s marinated minced pork in a puff pastry envelope.
- Invented in the 16th century, la quiche Lorraine is known worldwide.
- The Paris-Metz: a small cake in acid colours composed of macaroons filled with Arlequin mousse topped with raspberries.
- On the sweet side, fruit tarts, batter pudding, meringues and specialities based on the Mirabelle.
- Without forgetting the cured meats and charcuterie (smoked Lorrain etc.).
Try these at the “Table de Rabelais” partners, the signature of the gastronomic “art de vivre” in Metz. Restaurateurs, caterers and producers are ready to share their know-how.
What’s On: calendar
- Art Metz: contemporary art fair in the Grand Region.
- Eté du livre: book and literature festival.
- L’Art dans les jardins (July to September): contemporary art exposed in the town’s parks and gardens throughout the summer.
- Metz en fête:program of free events, concerts, performances etc. in the summer months.
- Metz Beach:a sandy beach installed at the Plan d’Eau to celebrate the summer.
- Fêtes de la Mirabelle: usually after the 15th August, street performances, concerts, dances, Mirabelle market, fireworks displays, parade, and the election of Miss Mirabelle.
- Nuit Blanche: end of September/beginning of October, contemporary art festival, an artistic kaleidoscope.
- Saint Nicolas and the Christmas markets during Advent (December).
Visit with a Metz City Pass
- a Metz Passport/Metz city Pass (per adult) includes: 1 entrance to the Cour d’Or Museum, 1 entrance to the Centre Pompidou Metz, 1 audio guide for the city centre, plus other offers for reductions on leisure, food tasting etc.
- (6-12 years old) the Metz Passport/City Pass enfant is aimed at families, gifts (colouring pencils, discovery circuit, post cards), reductions in certain shops, leisure activities, gastronomy.
On sale at Metz Tourist Office, at certain hotels/gites etc. and at the Centre Pompidou-Metz (Metz Passport / City Pass adult) .
How to get to Metz
- SNCF /TGV train station: 82 min from Paris.
- Metz-Nancy-Lorraine airport: 30 min from City Centre
- Luxembourg Airport: 60 km from Metz
- Motorway: A4, A31: 330 km from Paris
Office de Tourisme de Metz
2, place d’Armes
F-57007 Metz Cedex 1
Tel: 0033 (0)3 87 55 53 76
Fax: 0033 (0)3 87 36 59 43