Metz has a rich 3,000-year-history, having variously been a Celtic oppidum, an important Gallo-Roman city, the Merovingian capital of the Austrasia kingdom, 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 been strongly influenced by Germanic culture due to its location and history.
Because of its historical, cultural, and architectural background, Metz has been submitted on France’s UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.
We visited Saint-Étienne de Metz “Saint-Stephen of Metz“, also known as Metz Cathedral. It is a historic Roman Catholic cathedral. Saint-Stephen of Metz has one of the highest naves in the world, displaying the largest expanse of stained glass in the world with 6,496 m2 . Those stained glass windows include works by Gothic and Renaissance master glass makers Hermann von Münster, Theobald of Lixheim, and Valentin Bousch and romantic Charles-Laurent Maréchal, tachist Roger Bissière, cubist Jacques Villon, and modernist Marc Chagall (my favourite).
The construction of the Gothic cathedral began in 1220 and the work was completed around 1520 and the new cathedral was consecrated on 1552.
Today was yet another rainy day so we decided to enjoy art and went to the Centre Pompidou-Metz. The building is designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and it was inaugurated by President Nicolas Sarkozy on 2010. It’s roof structure is one of the largest and most complex built to date. It was inspired by a Chinese hat found in Paris by Shigeru Ban. The institution has become one of the most visited cultural venues in France outside Paris.