The Porte de Serpenoise, 13C marked the limits of the fortified city and the new areas at the time. It is an important monument to the city, but seldom look up. so here it is the story of it and do come on to see it
The Serpenoise gate is a city gate located at the corner of avenue Robert Schuman and rue General Gaston Dupuis .
The current Serpenoise gate was rebuilt in 1852, not far from the site where once stood the gate of Scarponne. It is a curved tunnel of 30 metres across the slope of the southern rampart. Its curved form, in an arc, to avoid the direct artillery fire in the city. The door serves as liaison with the former station. Outside, a bridge spans the moat of the fortifications. In 1892, the door is enlarged and thrown shorter - the double entry preceding the door, so difficult for the traffic flow.
In 1902 - 1903, during the dismantling of the walls, the inner part is also destroyed. The Serpenoise gate is redesigned and takes its current form of triumphal arch. It retains only a portion of the door and adding four turrets and a staircase. It thus becomes a stand-alone monument, embellishing the promenade of the new tree-lined boulevard. The Serpenoise gate is called Prinz Friedrich Karl Tor during the German annexation.
It was then taken its two facades dismantled and assembled to become a triumphal arch crowned with booths from the ramparts, capped of a grassy slope that evokes a bastion. Some items come from the destruction of the Saint-Thiébault rampart.
Part and sides of the porch, on the two pillars, the dates of construction and several events in the history of the city are recalled to passers-by:
April 9, 1473, the city is saved from invasion as the Duke of Lorraine soldiers disguised as merchants, by the Baker Harelle who sees them cross the door when working at night nearby, and makes it sound the horn.
in November 1552, the soldiers of the Duke of Guise defend the city heroically facing Charles Quint who besieged him and is unable to seize this door;
October 31, 1870, the Prussian troops entered after the defeat of Napoleon III at Sedan;
on November 19, 1918, the Allied troops make their entry by the Serpenoise gate for the liberation of Metz.
architecture and history, go see it.
Most visitors to Metz probably will not explore the Sainte-Croix area, up a small hill beyond the Musee de la Cour d'Or...but I would suggest you find time for that detour if you possibly can.
Around 3000 years ago, the very first inhabitants of what is now Metz lived on the hill. They were followed by the Medimatriques, a Gallo-Belgian tribe and then the Romans, whose thermal baths lie underneath the Musee. Neither made the hill the centrepoint of their settlement.
It wasn't until the Middle Ages that the town's rapid development led to building on the hill of Sainte-Croix and you can still see glimpses of that construction remaining. The Lombard bankers who came to Metz lived in the area too, bringing an Italianate influence to its architecture. I'm sure one of the houses was, originally, built in the style of the Italian 'tower-houses', structures whose height was an indication of the owner's wealth and status.
You have to look closely to see the Medieval origins of these buildings: they have undergone much restoration and change over the intervening centuries. But you'll see the stone windows, and the decorative arches (a Moorish influence).
The Hotel du Bulette, on Place de la Fontaine, dates from the 1300s although you would hardly know it nowadays. It has, of course, been much enlarged over the centuries and is now a maternity hospital, having previously been a private house, the town prison and a girls' school.
It's well worth wandering Sainte-Croix. Although small in area, I found it perhaps the most historically-atmospheric areas of Metz.
To find it from the Musee, walk up the Rue du Haut Poirier.
A symbol of the city the porte des Allemands or German Gate is at the same time a gate and a bridge! Along the river Seille at the level of bridge or pont Henry-de-Ranconval that link the east with the boulevard André-Maginot, this later one,had replaced the ramparts early in the 20C!
The monument gives the main well with western orientation for more than 1200 meters from the porte Mazelle to the porte Sainte-Barbe. The porte des Allemands fait is a real fortress deco with towers, cracks and figurines and takes the name from the teutonics chevaliers or brothers of the hospitaliers de Notre-Dame-des-Allemands, that had founded the hospice in a near street. It was destroyed in 1552, while the siege by Charles V.
Surprisingly enough, just a 20 minute drive to the north can get you to another country from Metz! Luxembourg is just a stone's throw away, and definitely worth a visit. Besides that, the whole country can be seen in just a day! The capital, Luxembourg City, is just a great town built up on huge stone cliffs that drop to another city neighborhood below. Another great thing to see in Luxembourg is the castle in Vianden, about 25 mins north of Lux. City. It has been restored by the government and provides a great look into the medievil history in the area. It's also a stunning castle to see, also perched on cliffs above a small village.
My trip consisted of just visiting the historical cemetarys, museums, and viewing the battlefields...One monument is an entire French Battalion ( about 900 soldiers) who were killed in one battle in one of the defensive trenches..the site is memorialized and the rifles of the fallen soldiers are still visibly sticking out of the ground after all of these years..
People keen on history like me must have special attention to Roman and Medieval ruins. Another thing is the vital place of Metz during battles between France and Germany.