a A
Famous characters

Famous characters

Rabelais, Schuman, Verlaine, Cocteau and Chagall are among the famous names who made their mark on Metz. Discover some of the characters who helped make the city what it is today…


François Rabelais

François Rabelais

In 1545, François Rabelais, a Renaissance writer, doctor and humanist, moved to Metz for two years to work as a doctor. As a lover of fine food, it inspired him to write the “Quart Livre” in which he recounts the legend of the Graoully and uses typical Messin expressions.

Robert Schuman

Robert Schuman

Robert Schuman lived in the small village of Scy-Chazelles, 5 km from Metz. As a site of Moselle Departmental Council, Robert Schuman's house is open to the public.

It stands opposite the 13th-century fortified church where he lies buried.


Jacques Bénigne Bossuet

After joining the Chapter of Metz Cathedral at the age of 13, Jacques Bénigne Bossuet is famous for his eloquence. As the leader of the counter-reform in Metz, he left the city in 1669 to become a Bishop in Condom.

Paul VerlainePaul Verlaine

Paul Verlaine was born in Metz on 30 March 1844. Although he left the city at a very young age, Metz had a big impact on him. He talks about it in “Confessions” and later, after its defeat and annexation in 1871, Metz inspired him to write an “Ode to Metz” and a poem, “Invectives”. Paul Verlaine's house is open to the public.

Bernard-Marie Koltès

A native of Metz, Bernard-Marie Koltès (1948-1989) studied at Saint-Clément secondary school in Metz. A writer and playwright, one of the most widely translated in the world, he implicitly refers to the city of his birth in "Return to the Desert".


Pilâtre de RozierJean-François Pilâtre de Rozier

Born in 1754, in Metz, Jean François Pilâtre de Rozier took part in the world's first hot air balloon flight. He died while attempting to fly to England on 15 June 1785 in his experimental gas-powered balloon.

Marquis de la Fayette

It was in Metz, while attending a dinner given in honour of the King of England's brother, that the young Marquis de la Fayette, aged 19, decided to support the American insurgents against his family's advice and the King's orders. He was rewarded with glory and fame, and was known as “the hero of the two worlds”.


Ambroise ThomasAmbroise Thomas

Charles-Louis Ambroise Thomas, born in Metz on 5 August 1811, is a famous composer. His operas “Mignon” in 1866 and “Hamlet” in 1868 earned him international fame. He passed away in Paris on 12 February 1896.

Gabriel Pierné

Gabriel Constant Pierné, born in Metz on 16 August 1863, was an organist, conductor and composer. His musical works are very diverse (chamber music, comic operas, oratorios…).

Jean Cocteau

An eclectic artist, Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) came to Metz to create a work unlike anything else in his career, by designing stained glass windows for the medieval church of Saint-Maximin in 1962. The Atelier Brière completed his work by installing the finished windows after his death.

Jacques Villon-Duchamp

In 1957, Metz Cathedral was adorned with stained glass windows by Jacques Villon (1875-1963). The artist, a half-brother of Marcel Duchamp, belonged to the Cubist movement and produced a major work of art for the Cathedral in the form of these windows.

Marc Chagall

From 1959 onwards, Marc Chagall created four large sets of stained glass windows for Metz Cathedral, inspired by stories from the Old Testament. He made stained glass windows for five cities in France: Metz, Reims, Sarrebourg, Le Saillant and Nice.


Pierre Perrat

Of all the architects of Metz Cathedral, only Pierre Perrat is the subject of a local legend. He finished building the 42 m high vault which made his name. He died on 25 July 1400 and his body now lies in the Cathedral's nave.

Jacques-François Blondel

A professor and theorist of architecture in the 18th century, Jacques-François Blondel (1705-1774) devised the plan to develop the Place d'Armes and all the buildings adjacent to this square, erected between 1761 and 1771.

Paul Tornow

In 1874, Paul Tornow (1848-1921) was entrusted with restoring Metz Cathedral, which took him 30 years. He consolidated the vaults, restored the piles and flying buttresses and built the new Neo-Gothic door in the western façade between 1898 and 1902.

Conrad Wahn

The architect of the city of Metz from 1877, heavily influenced by the town planning theories of his day, Conrad Wahn (1851-1920) worked on many of the city's buildings. He also designed the plans for the Nouvelle Ville.

Shigeru Ban et Jean de Gastines

Created by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines, in collaboration with Philip Gumuchdjian for the design of the award-winning project, the Centre Pompidou-Metz is considered one of the 10 most spectacular cultural institution in the world (Nouvel Observateur of 24.05.2013).



How do I get to Metz?

Comment venir à Metz ?


Agence Inspire Metz - Office de Tourisme
2, Place d'Armes - CS 80367
F-57007 Metz Cedex 1
+33 (0)3 87 39 00 00
+33 (0)3 87 36 59 43

Open to the public

April to September and during the Christmas markets:
Mon. to Sat. from 9 am to 7 pm
Sun. and bank holidays from 10 am to 4 pm

October to March:
Mon. to Sat. from 10 am to 6 pm
Sun. and bank holidays from 10 am to 4 pm

Closed on Dec. 25th and Jan. 1st


Follow us