Sights of Lorraine, France
There are special places to discover in the northern French region of Lorraine. For most, the region is better known by its French-speaking name Lorraine. The area covers the towns of Metz, Nancy, Toul, Thionville, Lunéville and Pont-à-Mousson. Especially in Metz and Nancy there are very nice places to discover. The distances from the Netherlands are very doable, making the cities also great destinations for a weekend trip. Besides historical sights, you can also visit the Amnévile zoo, there are nice shopping areas to discover and the natural park ‘Parc naturel régional de Lorraine’ is ideal for long walks in beautiful surroundings. In terms of gastronomy, you are also in the right place in the Lorraine region. In particular the quiche Lorraine, potée Lorraine and pâté Lorraine are world famous. Of course it is all enjoyed with a delicious glass of good wine.
Lorraine ‘s Top 10 Things to Do
#1. Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d’Alliance
In the center of north-eastern Nancy, there are a number of attractive sights to discover. Place Stan (Place Stanislas) is an excellent example of this. The square is named after the initiator who significantly embellished the inner city, namely Stanislaw Leszczynski, King of Poland. His architect, Emmanuel Héré, assisted him in this. When his daughter marries the Louis XV, the ties with France are further strengthened. In addition to a statue of this person, Place Stanislas also houses beautiful buildings such as the town hall ‘Hôtel de Ville’, the museum of fine arts, the Arc de Triomph and the opera building. The gilded gates give the whole a royal appearance. Place de la Carrière from the sixteenth century and Place d’Alliance with the beautiful eighteenth century fountain, are finally merged with Place Stan. The passage is via the Arc Héré.
#2. Centre Pompidou
In the always beautiful Metz, in addition to many historical sights, striking modern buildings can also be found. For example, the striking Center Pompidou has been located here since 2010. In Paris, the capital of France, the cultural center ‘Centre Pompidou’ has been attracting millions of visitors for years. The branch from this cultural center in Metz can also be called successful. Here too, Georges Pompidou’s initiative attracts a huge audience. The building, which opened its doors in 2010, was designed by the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and the French architect Jean de Gastines. The appearance of the building is derived from a Japanese hat. In the Center Pompidou in Metz you can enjoy a variety of works of art, various events and special performances. Check the website below for the current agenda.
#3. Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial
According to Rrrjewelry.com, this military cemetery is a stark reminder of the Second World War. The long rows of white Latin crosses are the burial places of the more than ten thousand American soldiers who died here while fighting the Germans. This part of the war is known as ‘the advance to the Siegfried Line’. The white cube-shaped building is the chapel. On the west side is a statue by the American sculptor Walker Kirtlan Hancock. A number of statues in the chapel are creations by sculptors Jean Juge and Michael Lantz. The austere yet impressive cemetery itself is a design by Murphy & Locraft. They were assisted by landscape architect Allyn R. Jennings.
#4. Metz Cathedral
The Gothic Cathédrale Saint-Étienne is located in a prominent position within the center of the city of Metz. The cathedral, built in typical yellow limestone, has its origins between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. Although the appearance on the outside can already be called phenomenal, the inside is certainly worth recommending. The many historic, but also more modern stained glass windows fill the cathedral with a very special incidence of light. The crypt and the church treasure can also be admired for a fee.
#5. Douaumont Ossuary
The fighting that took place during the First World War left many casualties. This memorial monument has been erected in Douaumont in memory of the many unknown soldiers who died in the ‘Battle of Verdun’. The Douaumont Ossuary can best be described as a mix between a bunker and a church. The 46 meter high tower with a bronze bell in the center is also known as the ‘lantern of the dead’. From the top you have a distant view of the surroundings. The monastery is located in the lower part of the Ossuary. Every stone in this monastery is inscribed with the name of a missing soldier.
#6. Opéra National de Lorraine
The current theater of the city of Nancy was built around the beginning of the twentieth century. It replaced the eighteenth century theater which was built under the direction of Stanislas Leszczynski. Unfortunately, it was lost in a blazing fire. Opéra National de Lorraine opened its doors to the public around 1919. The theater is still highly regarded in the region. On the inside you can see clear traces that are typical of the Rococo and Art Nouveau style. Styles that go well together in this beautiful theatre.
#7. Musée des Beaux-Arts
One of the oldest museums in France can be visited on the expansive Place Stan square. Lovers of classical art should therefore definitely not miss this museum. The collection shows European art spanning the fourteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Think of big names like Pouvé, Rubens, Monet and sculptors like Rodin. The museum is closed on Tuesdays.
In the lesser-known fortified town of Toul, there are at least as many beautiful sights to discover as in Metz and Nancy. The city is located on the Moselle River in a hilly area. The cultural heritage here offers places of interest such as ancient Roman ramparts, an eighteenth century town hall, the Saint-Etienne cathedral, the fortifications of Toul and fascinating museums such as the Museum of Art and History.
#9. Fraispertuis City
The kids especially can appreciate a day trip to Fraispertuis City. As a welcome change from the cultural cities of Lorraine, the children can relax here. The Fraispertuis City theme park opened in 1966. The western influences were warmly received and the first expansions soon took place. Today, the park features super-fast roller coasters like the Grand Canyon, water rides like Pirates Attack and for the little ones the Pony Express. Young and old will have a great time in this versatile amusement park.
#10. Fort Douaumont
Near the place Verdun in the municipality of Douaumont you can visit a fairly large fortress. At the end of the nineteenth century it was decided that new fortresses should be built and placed in a ring around the city of Verdun. Around the year 1913 there were about 38 fortresses around the city. Shortly afterwards the First World War broke out and a lot of blood was spilled on this site. The Second World War has left traces again. Today, the fortress can be visited in peace and you can see with your own eyes how it was here in the past. Next to the fortress you can also visit a German cemetery, where the victims of the ‘Battle of Verdun’ are buried.