The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Spring 2022

Discover Paris in the spring, Caen in Normandy and its marvellous markets plus Yvoire, a picturesque village on the edge of Lake Geneva in Haute-Savoie. Explore Saint-Omer, a historic city in the far north that's full of secrets and treasures, and Evian, where Frankenstein's monster stayed! Head with us to Metz in Lorraine to find out about its incredible past, La Couvertoirade, one of the prettiest villages in France, and the UNESCO heritage of Avignon. Guides, gorgeous photos, what's new in France, the best tours and delicious recipes from the legendary Le Nôtre bakery in Paris - and more.

Le Weekend Metz,

Le Weekend Metz, Lorraine Janine Marsh explores the historic city of light where a dragon once lived… 36 | The Good Life France Place Saint-Louis © Arnaud Hussenot

“Anyone been to Metz?” I asked in my local bar in the Seven Valleys, Pas de Calais. There was silence. Even in France, Metz is not well known and if you’re from outside of France you might not even have heard of it. Metz is in the north-east of France, in the Moselle department. It is the capital of the region formerly known as Lorraine, now joined up with Champagne, Ardennes and Alsace and called Grand Est. Metz is one of France’s oldest cities with a history going back some 3,000 years and the fact that it is rather under the tourism radar is astonishing. Close to Luxembourg and Germany, it is a superbly gastronomic city. It is historic, architecturally glorious, home to arguably France’s oldest church - the basilica of Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains which began life in the 4th century, and a Cathedral which has one of the largest expanses of stained glass windows in the world. There are magnificent museums including a branch of the Pompidou, the city is surrounded by glorious, mountainous countryside – and yet, it’s less than an hour and a half from Paris. 48 hours in Metz Metz is steeped in history and character. It’s a city of architectural contrasts, with a medieval district, classical 18th century architecture in the Place d’Armes and Palais de Justice, the enormous neo-Romanesque train station built by the Germans at the start of the 20th century, and a modern side too including the extraordinary Pompidou centre behind the station. It’s a compact city that’s easy to discover on foot, but if you want to take it easy there's a free hop-on-hop off navette bus, and there are loads of cosy café’s and funky bars to tempt you to stop awhile. The must-sees The great Gothic cathedral of Metz In medieval days, Metz was a mecca for artists and the Cathedral St Etienne, the third highest nave in France, beautifully illustrates the skill of stone masons and artisans of the day. Made from golden local Jaumont stone it has stood for more than 800 years (built between 1220-1522). The vast stained glass windows (69,920 sq ft) have earned it the nickname ‘God’s Lantern’. The windows here range from medieval masterpieces by Hermann de Münster and Thiébauld de Lixheim to striking modern panes by Jacques Villon and Marc Chagall. During WWII windows were removed and stored in crates, sent to Château de Dissay, near Poitiers. This didn’t save them however, they were discovered and sent to Germany. Miraculously they were found in a salt mine and returned to their home after the war. At night the cathedral is illuminated and is one of the reasons the city is known as the Ville Lumières. Museums Housed in an old Carmelite convent, Le Musée de la Cour contains three museums. The Musée Archaeologique has one of the most important collections of Gallo- Romain archaeology in France including ancient baths preserved in situ. The Musée d’Architecture showcases Romanesque and Gothic pieces. And the Musée des Beaux Arts includes works by a range of prominent artists including Delacroix, Corot and Sargent. The Good Life France | 37