Our last stop in France was at Metz, which has a rich 3,000-year long history, having variously been a Celtic oppidum (a fortified Iron Age settlement) an important Gallo-Roman city, the Merovingian capital of Austrasia, the birthplace of the Carolingian dynasty, a cradle of the Gregorian chant, and one of the oldest republics in Europe. The city has been steeped in Romance culture, but has also been strongly influenced by Germanic culture due to its location and history.
The opera was inaugurated with a public ball in 1752 and is today the oldest opera house still working in France and one of the oldest in Europe.
The cathedral was built during the 13th century. Its nickname is “Good Lord’s Lantern“, as it has the largest expanse of stained glass windows in the world and the tenth-highest nave in the world.
The Saint-Eucaire church was built between the 12th and 14th centuries on the site of a previous church of this name, mentioned for the first time in 944. Its 12th century bell tower is undoubtedly the oldest in the city. Massive and square in appearance, it is a mixture of architectural styles: Romanesque like the bell tower and Gothic in most of the other parts.
The Germans’ Gate dates from the 13th century. It is one of the last medieval bridge castles found in France.
We are now leaving Metz and France to travel north into Belgium. More on our next post!