What it, Paul Verlaine`s homeland? Let`s glance in Metts... …
of En passant par la Lorraine avec mes sabots across Lorraine in my wooden boots... Ancient this song is popular
in France, and especially in Lorraine, still.
Continuing our small travel on not the most tourist, but because not less interesting cities and rural lands of Europe, give, dear reader, we will glance for day to the ancient Lotharingian city of Metts now. To the city where there lived Francois Rabelais, home the great poet Paul Verlaine, the composer Ambroise Thomas, the famous mathematician and the physicist Jean - Victor Poncelet and the pioneer of aeronautics Jean-Francois Pilatr de Rozie.
The city “from light and honey“ - Verlaine so called it. Evening skillful illumination of Metts forces to apprehend these words literally. The old city at bright light it becomes valid korichnevato - transparent as flower honey.
Only two hours of a way from Saarbruecken - and we at the purpose. Wooden boots, perhaps, now will not be useful to us, and here the convenient footwear on a dense sole is necessary - the old, small, seldom put Metts`s stone blocks does not recognize any heels and graceful flats.
As always, there is a little history. About Mettsa the famous monographs are written - Rene Bur and Silvia Becker write about him very in detail, and we will only designate the main historical milestones. So...
Metts - the department capital Moselle in Lorraine. There is it at a river confluence Seyl to Moselle and was well-known as the transport hub and the agricultural center since the third millennium B.C.
Divodurum was called then, and during a late Romance era Mediomatrikum, on the Celtic tribe mediomatrik or as they were called in the Middle Ages, the metis received a name. At the beginning of a Christian era, in the 2nd century, was very big - 40 000 population - the trade city, much more unimportant marshy Lutetia as then called Paris.
One of the first Christian cities of Europe which had in the 4th century of own bishop and real prospects to become the second Rome (if not claims of Trier), Metts in the middle of the fifth century was torn thoroughly down by Atilla`s troops. But the former late Roman basilica which became Saint Pyotr`s church (Seong - Pierre about - Nonen) in the 4th century, perfectly remained and it is considered nowadays the oldest church of France.
At Merovingakh the city is built up again and turned in shining culturally - the religious center of those times. In abbey Gorz prospers art of a miniature, annalistic business, the foundation so-called “captivity - Shang“, church singsongs which a little later, at the father Grigory Veliky, will be called Gregorian is laid.
Carlovingians are Charles the Great`s descendants and especially Louis the Pious - choose Metts, along with the capital of Aachen, one of the main residences, having founded Saint Arnulf`s abbey. By the 9th century in the city of 39 churches.
The eleventh and twelfth centuries - the period of big freedom for Metts. It becomes the lotarinsky city - the republic, the operated council of patrician families on the Italian political samples. Communications with Rome were very strengthened. Lotharingian language is quite official though all office-work is conducted in Latin, and influence of the bishop Metts and Catholic church in general is very considerable.
Metts as any rich transport hub, was a titbit for conquerors, passed from hand to hand many times after Louis the Pious`s death. According to chronicles, at Metts`s defense in the 14th century the firearms - small wall tools - kulevrina were for the first time used.
In the 16th century French occupy Metts, former republican freedoms remained far in the past. The city is turned from is religious - the cultural center in powerful border fortress with big garrison. In the 17th century the famous fortifikator Voban will re-plan defensive works of Metts. Wonderful examples of vobanovsky military architecture remained in Metts up to now.
Following the results of Franco - Prussian war Metts departs to the German Reich, and in 1918 - again to French. In 1940 it is occupied by Germans, in 1945 - Americans release, and after World War II it becomes again French what still and stays.
These numerous transitions from hand to hand left a mark in architecture and Metts`s planning. Is a little in Europe of the cities where the difference between “French“ and “German“ in small borders would be so accurately visible. The French Metts and the German Metts - two “different“ cities, and all this are one town.
And all - Metts - rather French. Whatever you may say - French. It is visible and on a Gothic cathedral of Saint - Etienne with his shagalovsky stained-glass windows, and on the Area of Army, and on vobanovsky German gate, and on typically French small areas and plane-tree avenues.
And what there the French candy stores, what apricot and crimson flan, what chocolate small baskets with whipped cream. What cakes with mirabelle plums - a company dessert of Metts. And what coffee, My God you mine... There now, will reproach me with gluttony now.
Metts - in general the city of the small areas and very narrow beam streets. These small asterisks - the areas are very characteristic of the French architecture of 16 - 17 centuries. Germany meets extremely seldom.
There will be time - glance in the Museum of art and Metts`s history. Time it will take at most one or one and a half hours, and derive pleasure big.
By tradition I cannot but mention also Metts`s university founded in the 17th century. At Paul Verlaine`s university very strong mathematical faculty and faculty of mechanics and faculty of language known to all France - and literary criticisms.
In Metts there is also an Engineering School, the ancient educational institution which is very respected in Europe. Its diploma is quoted in the engineering environment very highly.
If you arrive to Metts in the middle of August, you have a chance to get for the Holiday of mirabelle plums and to try the most various plum delicacies - from cakes, fruit jelly and jams to sausages and cheeses with mirabelle plums and plum sauces.
In one day, of course, you will not see everything. But all - all-... Let`s sit on the square in front of a cathedral of Saint - Etienne, we will admire, we will drink coffee with cake, we will buy in a souvenir shop wooden Lotharingian boots - a sabot, and in wine little shop - a bottle white Moselle - further, at way. Where? Well, for example, in Nancy. Do you like this idea?