Discovering and photographing the unknown beauty of Europe
Lars and I spent about 2 hours in the Centre – Pompidou Metz and when we were back outside, it had stopped raining. We didn’t feel like going back to the hotel already, but decided to go to the center of town. We first went to the Tourist Information Office and then to Metz Cathedral, which is situated right next to it:
What can we say? What an incredible building! According to Wikipedia,
The edification of Saint-Stephen of Metz took place on an Ancient site from the 5th century consecrated to Saint Stephen protomartyr.According to Gregory of Tours, the shrine of Saint Stephen was the sole structure spared during the sack of 451 by Attila‘s Huns. The construction of the Gothic cathedral began in 1220 within the walls of a Ottonian basilica dating from the 10th century. The integration into the cathedral’s ground plan of a Gothic chapel from the 12th century at the western end resulted in the absence of a main western portal; the south-western porch of the cathedral being the entrance of the former chapel. The work was completed around 1520 and the new cathedral was consecrated on 11th April 1552.
In 1755, French architect Jacques-François Blondel was awarded by the Royal Academy of Architecture to built a Neoclassical portal at the West end of the cathedral. He disengaged the cathedral’s facade by razing a adjacent cloister and three attached churches and achieved the westwork in 1764.
In 1877, the Saint-Stephen of Metz was heavily damaged after a conflagration due to fireworks. After this incident, it was decided the refurbishment of the cathedral and its adornments within a Neogothic style. The western facade was completely rebuilt between 1898 and 1903; the Blondel’s portal was demolished and a new Neogothic portal was added.
Of everything that we have seen in Metz, this was certainly the highlight! Today I post the pictures I took outside the building, tomorrow the other ones.