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There was a city here in Roman times, that they called Divodurum. It was the capital of a Celtic tribe called Mediomatrici. They were called the "Mettis" for short, which is where the name "Metz" comes from. The Romans controlled this city for a long time as an important center in Gallia, but it was captured by Attila the Hun in 451. Soon after that it was taken over by the Franks.
It kept being a very important town after that, and as the borders changed over the years, it was at different times the capital of Austrasia (between 561 and 751) and of Lotharingia (between 843 and 925), before ending up inside the Holy Roman Empire (from 925). The city was given to the King of France in 1552. In 1633, it became the capital of a French province called the "Three Bishoprics". The Prussians captured it in 1870, and Metz again became part of Germany, until 1918 when it was again taken by France. Since then, it has been part of France, except between 1940 and 1944 when it was again part of Germany.
In 1999, about 125,000 people lived in Metz.
In this city, there are a lot of monuments like :
- The Opéra-théâtre, XVIII°s, the oldest theatre of France, it is on an island.
- The Place Saint-Louis, XIV°s, it is triangular, with arcaded houses typical of the architecture of Metz.
- The Cathédrale Saint-Etienne (St. Stephen's Cathedral), X°s, gothic style, with 6000m² of stained glass.
- The Jardin botanique de Metz (Botanical garden of Metz), 1866, there are 490.000 flowers every years and there is a greenhouse.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Metz is twinned with: