Former church Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains in Metz!!!

And let me get back to the east and many nice memories of family visits over the years, We were drawn here by the Christmas market and then more trips to the wonderful Metz in the Moselle dept 57 of the Grand Est  region of my belle France! This is an awesome building to visit, a must I say, not only for the architecture and history but the wonderful programming now done in it. Let me tell you a bit more on the Church of Saint Pierre aux Nonnains. I must say I will be brief as the history is long as old as it is !

The Church of Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains dates from the end of the 4C ; one of the oldest churches in the world, and the oldest church in France. In Roman times, the building is used as a palestra and integrated into a thermal complex. In the 7C, it became the chapel of a Benedictine abbey. The Romanesque nave was built around the year 1000, which corresponds to the Ottonian period for the Holy Roman Empire of which Metz was then part.  The city of Metz was invaded and destroyed the first time in 253 by the Alamans (or Alemanni tribe from Germany later defeatd by Clovis in 496 founding royal France). In this climate of less security, the city surrounds itself with a wall of 3.5 meters thick pierced with several gates where architectural elements and steles of Roman monuments are reused. From this troubled time, date the construction of the Basilica St. Pierre aux Nonnains.

Metz ch st pierre aux nonnains oldest in Fr dec06

The building was built in the 4C by the Gallo-Romans. The Roman walls are recognizable by their brick links, separating rows of cut stones. In the 7C, the building was built for Christian worship, and receives a stone balustrade, or chancel, to separate the choir from the nave. This chancel is currently preserved in the museums of Metz.  In the 15-16C, Gothic arches were built over the nave and aisles. In the 7C, the Roman building became the church of a women’s abbey. From 1556, at the time of the construction of the citadel by the French, Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains becomes a military warehouse and the remained until the 20C. Unfortunately, during the siege of Metz by Charles V in 1552, François de Guise had erased forty religious buildings, including Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains.

metz ch st pierre aux nonnais inside wall mar11

In 1946, the city council approved the principle of transfer of various buildings by the army to the city of Metz. Today, Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains has become a venue for concerts and exhibitions. Wonderful historical exhibitions are held there now as well as concerts of the period and modern, a great cultural center in the city center of Metz.

Some webpages to help you  plan your trip,and it is a must are:

The city of Metz on the church

The Metz tourist office on the church

The Cité Musicale of Metz on cultural needs in the city ,especially the St Pierre aux Nonnains :

There you go folks, a wonderful space to see and enjoy it with the whole family, hope you do have a chance to visit ,it is worth the detour to the former Saint Pierre aux Nonnains of Metz!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: