"Metz: One of the Crossroads of History" Top 5 Page for this destination Metz by Tom_Fields

Metz Travel Guide: 186 reviews and 584 photos


The capital of Lorraine is the town of Metz, which dates back to ancient times. It was founded by the Celts, who named it Divodurum. The Romans occupied it from 51 BC until Attila the Hun sacked and burned it in 451 AD. During the Dark Ages, it became the capital of the Carolingian dynasty. In time, it became a center of art and learning in medieval France. Heavily fortified, it also became a linchpin of France's eastern defenses.

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, Prussian forces annexed all of Alsace-Lorraine. Following Germany's unification, Metz became a German city. The Germans reinforced its defenses, adding it to the line of forts along their western frontier. Following World War I, Alsace-Lorraine returned to France.

In World War II, Germany occupied France. In late 1944, the US Third Army under General Patton retook the city. So it's been French ever since. Today, it's a modern city with reminders of its long history, and a blend of French and German cultures.

The Walls

Today, a few remnants of the city's old medieval walls still stand, mostly in the northeastern areas along the Seille River. These walls once surrounded the city. They still give you an idea of how it appeared centuries ago.

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  • In a nutshell:A blend of France and Germany
  • Last visit to Metz: Jun 2000
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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