French Lorraine is a fascinating French region that historically consists of the old Duchy of Lorraine, the Duchy of Bar and the three dioceses : Metz, Toul & Verdun.
Many battles have been fought in this region, including “The Mother of Wars”, being the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, which triggered WWI and, in its wake, WWII 26 years later.
French Lorraine is a fascinating French territory. The cause and the consequences are the common thread in the travel program. We discover the Maginot Line and numerous fortresses such as :
- Fort de Douamont
- Fort de Vaux
- Fort de Belleville
- Fort Belrupt
- Fort de Bois Bourrus
- Fort de la Chaume
- Fort de Dugny
- Fort d’Haudainville
- Fort de Landecourt
- Fort de Marre
- Fort Queuleu
These places give us a better insight into the history of this region.
During this exploration we also visit some surrounding cities and enjoy their rich cultural historical heritage.
Cities that are always included in the program :
Thionville: the town is located on the banks of the Moselle in the department of Moselle. The Carolingians had a country house in Thionville. Thionville was annexed twice by Germany in 1871- 1918 and 1940-1945 and was called Diedenhofen.
Metz: This beautiful town is situated in the department “Moselle” where the Moselle flows through the centre of Metz. Metz has many buildings that testify to the presence of both the Roman Templars and the rule of the Germans in both WWI and WW II. The influence of the German architectural style is prominent. Especially not to forget : the beautiful Gothic Cathedral with its famous stained glass windows. A bustling rich city with very beautiful boutiques with big brand names especially for the ladies !!!
Nancy: A town in the department Meurthe-et-Moselle and situated on the river Meurthe. Here you can admire the most beautiful square in France such as “Place Stanislas” with its famous gilded wrought ironwork made by master locksmith Jean Lamour. These fences earned Nancy the nickname of “Ville aux Portes d’Or”. Nancy is also the cradle of the French school of glass pastry or “pate de verres”.
Bar-Le-Duc: A quiet little town in the department of Meuse. It was important in the 10th century as the seat of the County and later the Duchy of Bar. Bar-Le-Duc was part of “La Voie Sacré” in WW I. During the war the road was simply called “La Route”. It played an important role in supplying Verdun.
Verdun: Located in the department of Meuse. When pronouncing the name VERDUN, you instantly become silent for a moment. At least I do, if you know what happened there during World War I. If you’ve never visited Verdun before, I strongly recommend that you take your children with you, because they shouldn’t forget the madness that took place there. The Bastille, just like the city centre, is definitely worth a visit. Verdun was a famous Roman city in the 3rd century and occupied a key position on the Reims-Metz road.
Toul: A fortified town in the department Meurthe-et-Moselle. In Roman times it was more important than Metz. In Celtic times, Toul was the capital of Leuci. Toul also possesses a very beautiful Gothic church. Vauban’s remarkable fortifications surround the city and testify to the rich past of Toul that translate into narrow attractive alleys, churches, monasteries that are in remarkably good condition are highly recommended.
Commercy: A small town located in the French department of Meuse , with a rich history linked to the town of Nancy. The history goes back to the 9th century. The beautiful palace of Stanislas Lesczyncki puts Commercy on the map of France, a walk in this domain is a must. Numerous monuments such as the American military cemetery Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, as well as the Ossuary of Douaumont are not to be missed.
That is why I recommend a minimum programme of four days in order to visit and admire most of the City Monuments.