Metz is a French city, and the administrative capital of Lorraine, the seat of the regional institutions, and a traditional center of exchanges conducive to trade. 200,000 people live in the city and its suburbs.
At the crossroads of the communications routes from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean and from the Atlantic to Eastern Europe, a favored trading center in Continental Europe since ancient times, Metz is a neighbor to Germany, Belgium, and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The canalized Moselle river is linked to the North Sea via the Rhine. It flows through the city.
Metz has retained numerous traces of the Roman era which made it one of the centers of the Empire. Remains can be seen in the city's Museums or in certain places in the city like Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains, the oldest church in France, dating back to the 4th century.
Later, as the cradle of the Carolingian dynasty, Metz was to become an artistic and cultural center in Europe. The reputation of its schools and craftsmen, the numerous buildings, both places of worship and secular constructions. The Cathedral bears witness to the artistic and religious preponderance of Metz in the old continent.
Afterwards, between the 12th and 14th centuries, Metz, a free city in the Germanic empire, forged a reputation for itself as a crossing and trading point. Still, it was not until the 17th century that Metz, which had become French in the meantime, discovered classical art and built the Place d'Armes, the Theatre and the Palais de Justice.
The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 was ti change the city's destiny. Annexed by Germany, a new architectural period began with many large urban building schemes: the railway station, the central post office and the wide, spacious avenues lined with imposing buildings and town houses in the German architectural tradition.
This data comes from http://www.mairie-metz.fr:8080/
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