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March 2, 2016

France: Metz

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 5:08 am

The cathedral in Metz

The cathedral in Metz

In 1871, at the conclusion of the France-Prussian War, the German territory of Alsace-Lorraine was created from lands annexed from France. The annexation redefined two cities in the region, Metz and Nancy.

After the division, Nancy remained part of France. The flow of refugees from the new German territories doubled Nancy’s population in three decades. During the years following the war, artistic, academic, financial, and industrial excellence flourished. The era between the Franco-Prussian and the Great War strongly influenced modern day Nancy.

Metz also underwent a Renaissance at the same time. In an attempt to “Germanize” the city, Emperor Wilhelm II decided to create a new district, the Imperial District. The distinctive Germanic architecture of the Imperial District incorporates wide influences including Renaissance, neo-Romanesque and neo-Classical, and Art Nouveau. Particularly notable buildings are the rail station and the central post office.

A street in Metz

Streets in Metz

The Imperial District sits adjacent to Metz’s historic center with its French Gothic grand cathedral and Germanic appearing half-timbered buildings. Adjacent to a branch Moselle River, Metz’s old town is beautifully situated. And like many of the towns in the Alsace and Lorraine, it is the architecture and culture clash between German and French that makes things interesting.

Metz's cathedral

Metz’s cathedral


1 Comment »

  1. I noticed that a lot of time was spent on different trips in the Alsace-Lorraine region in France but not a huge amount in southern Germany.

    My partner’s family is from southern Germany in Karlsruhle and nearby. He himself was born in Karlsruhle just before WW II ended. Immigrated to Canada as a young boy.
    His family has a long line of pastry chefs and wine-making. His mother graduated from a technical college in Germany with specialty in culinary arts. She knows how to make puff pastry ….from scratch. Her sons and myself have been recipients of her homemade multi-layered tortes which are VERY difficult to find English language recipes, all kinds of different German Christmas cookies which age over 1-2 months in airtight containers, linzertorte which ages/deepens in flavour over 1 month, etc. Yes, this is gourmet baking at its finest.

    Sure there is French influence on the cuisine but there are touches that are definitely German dominant and not heavy in taste, vs. French influence. As you can see northern German cuisine is considered much heavier than southern Germany… the Oktoberfest stereotypical stuff….bratwurst, potatoes (not spaetzel), etc.

    If you get a chance drop by in Freiburg, not far from the French border.

    And yes, we loved Strausborg, France. We’ll be cruising there for 1 day on our way to Rottenburg.

    Comment by Jean — April 19, 2016 @ 1:26 am

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