Strategically located in north-east France, and sharing borders with Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany, Lorraine is often said to be at the crossroads of Europe. This explains its very rich and colourful, often turbulent, history – from the Roman heritage in the city of Metz to the Renaissance charm of Nancy. The departments in Lorraine are: Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle and Vosges.
As there is a concentration of Iron Age and Roman sites located on the French-German border, this archaeological park is a joint venture between the respective authorities in France and Germany. The park is set up well for a great day out. On view are excavations and reconstructions of Iron Age and Roman villages, an Iron Age tomb and a Roman villa. Photograph © Anna16
During Roman times Châtel-sur-Moselle was situated at the junction of three major roads. Built towards the end of the 11th century for the Duke of Lorraine, the Medieval fortress here – one of the biggest castle forts in Europe – covers over five hectares, it has 22 towers, ramparts that run for over a kilometre, and there are three floors as well as a network of subterranean galleries and tunnels. [Website]
The Musée Lorrain offers an extensive history of eastern France, from prehistory to the twentieth century, set in the buildings of a 16th century Ducal Palace in the heart of the Old Town of Nancy. The archaeological galleries are somewhat typical in that they deal, chronologically, with the usual themes such as everyday objects, ornaments, weapons, as well as religious and funerary sculpture. Photograph © dalbera
Musées de Metz Métropole La Cour d’Or is the full name given to a series of collections that encompass the heritage of the greater Metz area from Antiquity to the Renaissance. The archaeology exhibits have extensive Roman and Medieval displays, with a range of objects that demonstrate daily life during these times, as well as religious themes. [Website]
In a very modern, state-of-the-art building, the Musée du Pays de Sarrebourg displays over 800 objects from the Roman and Medieval periods of the Sarrebourg area. The Roman artefacts were recovered in local excavations and include some exquisite jewellery, wall paintings, artisans’ tools, agricultural instruments and various other everyday items. The Medieval collections include sculptures made for various churches in this region of north eastern France. [Website]