I closed my eyes and let my index finger do all the work, picking the next city for exploration on this trip. Metz. I had never even heard of this eastern city in the Lorraine region of France, let alone seen any images of the place itself so I had no idea what to expect. Upon entering the stretch of road into the city, I was met with a thick heavy fog, inducing an overpowering eerie feel, much like that portrayed in the Silent Hill franchise. But have no fear, which was the one and only fearful element of this beautiful city.
Close your eyes and imagine this yourself, you’re slowly walking through a blanket of fog, the closer and closer you find yourself to the edge brings the faint shadows of towering buildings into view. The air clears slowly and your eyes widen in awe at the collection of architectural wonders that make you feel as if you’ve taken a small leap back in time. Without even knowing any information about the city, it is clear that each building alone contained a deep cultural history. Cobbled streets lined with yellow limestone buildings that were decorated with gargoyles staring down at us. Protecting us? Who knows, but their intricate beauty was undeniable.
The vast city itself has modern present day shops lining the maze of buildings, each store front an anchor to the present day, preventing a complete escape back in time. However, by just taking a short walk from the city centre, you’ll find yourself face to face with both the Temple Neuf, and Cathedrale Saint-Etienne de Metz. Each of these wondrous structures depict the Germanic and gothic influences from the countries German neighbours. Not only externally is the history of the city visible, but the cathedral itself contains the largest expanse of stained glass in the world, with works by prominent Renaissance and Gothic glass makers.
The city also contains many local patisseries and restaurants, enabling you to literally have the pick of the French cuisines to satisfy your rumbling stomach after enjoying the magnificent architectural works on display in front of you.