The administrative centre of France’s new Grand Est region, Metz has been a base of power for more than 2,000 years.
The Cour d’Or museum, which illuminates eastern France’s late-antiquity and early middle ages, will help you to come to terms with the time when the Merovingian kings of Austrasia ruled their kingdoms from this city.
You’ll notice that Metz’s historic buildings have a singular appearance: That’s because they’re made with Jaumont limestone, mined in the Moselle area and imbued with a yellowy tone by the iron oxide in the rock.
So on sunny days the city is quite literally lustrous! Wander the avenues and gardens where the old walls used to be and get some modern culture at the Pompidou centre.
Lets explore the best things to do in Metz:
1. Metz Cathedral
Constructed across more than 300 years from 1220 to 1552, Metz’s cathedral is one of the tallest in Europe, with breathtaking vaults in the nave soaring to 42 metres.
With more stained glass than any other cathedral in the world the building has earned the name, “La Lanterne du Bon Dieu” (the Lord’s Lantern). The windows have been created by gothic and renaissance master glassmakers, as well as the modern artists Marc Chagall and Jacques Villon.
Adding to this sense of radiance is the yellow Jaumont limestone, which makes the cathedral seem bright, even on dull winter days.