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Metz is an ancient German city in Lotharingia (Lothringen) or Lorraine. It is currently in France.

Metz has a recorded history dating back over 2,000 years. Before the conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar in 52 BC, it was the oppidum of the Celtic Mediomatrici tribe. Integrated into the Roman Empire, Metz became quickly one of the principal towns of Gaul with a population of 40,000, until the migration period depredations and its transfer to the Franks about the end of the 5th century.[1][2] Between the 6th and 8th centuries, the city was the residence of the Merovingian kings of Austrasia. After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, Metz became the capital of the Kingdom of Lotharingia and was ultimately integrated into the Holy Roman Empire, being granted semi-independent status. During the 12th century, Metz became the Republic of Metz until the 15th century.

With the signature of the Treaty of Chambord in 1552, Metz passed to France.[3] As the German Protestant Princes who traded Metz (with Toul and Verdun) for the promise of French military assistance had no authority to cede territory of the Holy Roman Empire, the change of jurisdiction was not recognised by that Empire until the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. Under French rule, Metz was selected as capital of the Three Bishoprics and became a strategic fortified town.[4] With the creation of the Departments of France by the revolutionary Estates-General of 1789, Metz was chosen as capital of the Moselle département.

After the Franco-Prussian War and under the Treaty of Frankfurt of 1871 the city reverted to the German Empire, becoming part of the Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine and serving as capital of the Bezirk Lothringen.[5]

Metz remained German until the end of the First World War, when the Treaty of Versailles Allies awarded Lothringen (Lorraine) to France.


  1. Di Rocco A. (2009) Année 451 : la bataille qui sauva l'Occident. Eds. Thélès. ISBN|978-2-303-00228-8 pp. 156–158
  2. Gibbon E (1788) History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. 4:35
  3. Brasme P. (2011) Quand Metz reçoit la France. Eds. des Paraiges. ISBN|979-10-90185-03-6 pp. 17–34
  4. Vigneron B. (2010) Le dernier siècle de la république de Metz. Eds. du Panthéon. ISBN|978-2-7547-0356-7
  5. Roth F. (2011) La Lorraine Annexée – version 2011, nouvelle édition. Eds. Serpenoise. ISBN|978-2-87692-866-4