Metz is famous for its lofty gothic Cathedral St Etienne and its German Imperial District and takes pride in being a vibrant provincial town in the region of Lorraine. The Christmas market in Metz is considered as France’s second most visited market after that of Strasbourg.
Christmas in Metz
For the past 15 years, the Christmas market in Metz, Lorraine has become the second largest Christmas market in France in terms of visitors, welcoming up to 3 million people. In 2015, Metz went the extra-mile, hosting a Christmas market spread over 5 sites: Place de la République, Place Saint Louis, Place de la Gare, Place Saint-Jacques, Place de Chambre and Place d’Armes.
We recommend staying in Metz overnight to enjoy the Christmas lighting set up in the streets of the old town. The cities’ its major monuments are carefully lit at night such as the beautiful cathedral, visible from far like a golden crown above the city.
Several places in Metz are worth a visit at night. The romantic square of Place de la Comédie is located on an island where can be seen one of the best sights of Metz’ illuminations: the Cathedral, the opera-theatre and the Temple Neuf.
Closer to the old town and bordered by the Gothic cathedral, the Place d’Armes has benefited from a new lighting system since 2007, enhancing the city’s self-proclaimed title of “capital of lights”. A 60m tall Ferris Wheel reveals some of Metz’ iconic monuments including the nearby Gothic cathedral.
Place de la République
The new renovated Place de la République was inaugurated on the 20th November 2010, which marked the starting point of the festive Christmas season. It features a giant ice-skating rink (1,000 m2) and a village made up of châlets (stalls) make the new Place de la République the new hub for Metz during Christmas.
The traditional Christmas market in Place Saint Louis with its 90 châlets is set amidst the medieval houses bordering the square. A double-decker merry-go-round with wooden horses is the highlight for children while their parents might wonder off and marvel at the talented craftmen exhibiting (and selling!) their products.
In Place Saint-Jacques, the village of châlets is made up of 20 carefully decorated wooden stalls presenting Christmas ornaments and decorations, next to the traditional merry-go-round. Mulled wine and bredalas are served for those fond of good food!
Place de la Gare
In the Imperial District of Metz, the newly renovated Place de la Gare is home to the lofty Christmas tree from the Vosges which dominates the giant Nativity scene. Children will enjoy the miniature steam train which runs through this Winter wonderland.
This square bordered by the cathedral and the City-Hall features a Christmas market around one of the highest panoramic Ferris wheels in Europe (60 m high).
Place de Chambre
At the foot of the cathedral a gastronomic Christmas market takes place on the Place de Chambre with oysters, foie gras, snails, sweets and confectionary, wine of Moselle, coffee and more.
Saint-Nicolas Celebrations in Metz
Saint Nicolas’ Day is mainly celebrated in north-eastern France, in the regions of Alsace and Lorraine. The festivities of Saint Nicolas usually takes place on the 6th December, in commemoration of his death.
In Metz and in other parts of Lorraine, Saint Nicolas goes throughout the town visiting schools, so every child can receive sweets and lollies from him.
Less renowned than the Saint-Nicolas celebrations in the neighbouring city of Nancy, those of Metz also take place with a magical parade and procession made up of many enchanting floats. The parade starts from the railway station and traditionally ends at the Place d’Armes in front of the cathedral in time for the 6.15pm fireworks.
In 2016, the Saint-Nicolas celebrations in Metz will take place from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 December.
(f) for féminin, (m) for masculin, (adj) for adjective and (v) for verbs
Open from 19 November to 28 December 2016.
Find out more about Advent and the Christmas season in Metz in 2016: http://www.noelmetz.com/