Quartier Impérial


The stately boulevards and bourgeois villas of the German Imperial Quarter, including rue Gambetta and av Foch, are the brainchild of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Philippe Starck lamp posts contrast with Teutonic sculptures, whose common theme is German imperial might, at the monumental Rhenish neo-Romanesque train station, completed in 1908. The massive main post office, built in 1911 of red Vosges sandstone, is as solid and heavy as the cathedral is light and lacy.

Built to trumpet the triumph of Metz’ post-1871 status as part of the Second Reich, the architecture is a whimsical mix of art-deco, neo-Romanesque and neo-Renaissance influences. The area’s unique ensemble of Wilhelmian architecture has made it a candidate for Unesco World Heritage status.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Metz attractions

1. Chapelle des Templiers

0.32 MILES

Nearly always closed (enquire at the tourist office about guided tours that visit here), this octagonal, 13th-century chapel is the only one of its kind…

2. Centre Pompidou-Metz

0.32 MILES

Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, with a curved roof resembling a space-age Chinese hat, the architecturally innovative Centre Pompidou-Metz is…

3. Église St-Pierre-aux-Nonnains

0.37 MILES

Originally built around AD380 as part of a Gallo-Roman spa complex, Église St-Pierre-aux-Nonnains is a fine example of a pre-medieval basilica, tracing…

4. Esplanade

0.39 MILES

The formal flowerbeds of the Esplanade – and its statue of a gallant-looking Marshall Ney – are flanked by imposing buildings, including the Arsenal…

5. Place St-Louis

0.42 MILES

On the eastern edge of the city centre, triangular place St-Louis is surrounded by medieval arcades and merchants’ houses dating from the 14th to 16th…

6. Riverside Park

0.47 MILES

In summer, pedal boats and rowboats can be rented on quai des Régates. The promenade leads through a leafy riverside park, with statues, ponds, swans and…

7. Cathédrale St-Étienne

0.64 MILES

The lacy golden spires of this Gothic cathedral crown Metz’ skyline. Exquisitely lit by kaleidoscopic curtains of 13th- to 20th-century stained glass, the…

8. Musée La Cour d’Or

0.71 MILES

Delve into the past at this trove of Gallo-Roman antiquities, hiding remnants of the city’s Roman baths and a statue of the Egyptian goddess Isis…