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Sentier des Lanternes Bubbles Meanwhile at Place de la Comédie the whole Christmas market is devoted to food – and it’s the perfect place to pop for a glass of bubbles, an aperitif, snack or delicious street food. Tip: Moselle was an important wine region in the 18th and 19th centuries producing Pinot Noir to make Champagne in Reims. But phylloxera, war and the creation of the Champagne AOC meant the wines of Moselle were almost entirely wiped out. In recent years there has been a resurrection of the vines and you can now enjoy superb reds, whites, rosés and even a Moselle sparkling wine… Bells Make a stop at the grand Gothic Saint- Etienne Cathedral in the city centre, a jewel of a building with a whopping 6,500m² (1.6 acres) of stained glass windows from the 13th century to the 20th century including windows by Marc Chagall. All this glorious glass art has earned the Cathedral the nickname “The lantern of God”. Unusually one of the bells of the cathedral rings out at 9.50pm each night. The bell is named Anne de Turmel, after the daughter of Joseph de Turmel who was the mayor of Metz (1816- 1830). Anne was engaged to be married but her fiancée was attacked and his body thrown in the river. Legend has it that the Mayor ordered a 10pm curfew and commissioned a bell to remind the inhabitants of the time. It’s said that the heartbroken Anne threw her engagement ring into the molten liquid of the bell cast. Alas the legend is untrue, the bell once belonged to a hospital but was acquired to apparently remind the Messines – people from Metz – to clean the streets each morning and to go home before dark each night! Sentier des Lanternes – a luminous Christmas event As darkness falls, Place Boufflers in the centre of Metz, a stone’s throw from the Christmas market in Place de la Republique is transformed into a magical lantern trail. The ‘lanterns’ are giant light sculptures – snowflakes, gingerbread men, elves, toy soldiers, lollipops, teddy bears, rabbits on scooters. Trees are decorated with LED lights, so that they look as if they have come from the Magic Faraway Forest. into a wonderland of giant light sculptures. In 2021 it featured more than 1 million LED lights, 2000 lit up figures including a gingerbread house, and a 4 metre high St Nicolas on his donkey! There are 9 kilometres of cable involved on an area of 3000sqm. It’s totally free. 26 November-30 December 2022. See the Metz Tourist office for details of Christmas festivities and much more: tourisme-metz.com Find out more about Christmas in Moselle: noelsdemoselle.fr 64 | The Good Life France The Good Life France | 65
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