Vive la France! …and Metz
Last year (as it happens in July), when I was writing a post about Marc Chagall for our Artists’ Birthdays section (Chagall was born in 1887 on the 7th of July), I didn’t think I’d be visiting Metz – a city in France that has an incredibly beautiful Cathedral. Metz and even France weren’t in my plans, so I’m guessing that this can be attributed to the peculiar things that happen to us in life – you simply have to want something and sooner or later it will come true!
Well, I didn’t have to wait that long – a bit less than a year. End of June I enter the spectacular Saint-Stephen Cathedral in Metz… and found Chagall’s stained glass windows, that I had previously read about on Wikipedia.
“One of Chagall’s major contributions to art has been his work with stained glass. This medium allowed him to further express his desire to create intense and fresh colors and had the added benefit of natural light and refraction interacting and constantly changing. Everything from the position where the viewer stood to the weather outside would alter the visual effect. It was not until 1956, when he was nearly 70 years of age, that he designed windows for the church at Assy, his first major project. Then, from 1958 to 1960, he created windows for the Metz Cathedral.”
I don’t speak French (I don’t think that 10 basic phrases, that I could try and pronounce, count), so it was an interesting experience… Nevertheless I loved Metz and its old town. By the way, even the heat, that was brought by weather masses from Saharh, didn’t spoil it. +41C at five o’clock in the evening didn’t scare me!
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Metz is a city in the northeast of France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers. Metz is the capital and the prefecture of both the Lorraine region and the Moselle department. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, Metz forms a central place of the European Greater Region and the SaarLorLux euroregion.
Just a Few Facts:
– (This is a long one… Ready?) – A Celtic oppidum, an important Gallo-Roman city, the Merovingian capital of the Austrasia kingdom, the birthplace of the Carolingian dynasty, a cradle of the Gregorian chant, and one of the oldest republics of the common era in Europe.
– Metz has a rich 3,000-year-history. No wonder it possesses one of the largest Urban Conservation Areas in France, and more than 100 buildings of the city are classified on the Monument Historique list. Because of its historical and cultural background, Metz benefits from its designation as French Town of Art and History.
– The city has been steeped in Romance culture, but has been strongly influenced by Germanic culture due to its location and history.
– A basin of urban ecology, Metz gained its nickname of The Green City (French: La Ville Verte), as it has extensive open grounds and public gardens.
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P.S. I will need to go back and spend a bit more time there…