A Journey To Lorraine, France

The Alsace-Lorraine region has flipped back and forth between Germany and France for centuries, and as something of a “buffer zone” between the two, it has had the advantage of both the French and the German cultures.

Both have so much to offer, after all, and the residents of Lorraine, for example, have not been shy about getting the best of both worlds! Of course, the region has been part of France for some time now, and the area has always been a very French area. Indeed, many individuals choosing to visit France end up in Lorraine, especially those seeking to better understand the culture of France that we have all come to know so well.

Lorraine the beautiful!

Many choose to visit France because something they love in their life springs from that nation. Many of the greatest figures in art are French or lived in France during their most productive periods, after all. Modern art as it is today would be very different if French artists were not working to transform the aesthetic of the 19th and 20th centuries. Take, for example, French glass artist Rene Lalique; his work has been an inspiration for many over the years, and for the true fan of Lalique’s work, there is nothing more fitting than a journey to France to better understand this talented individual.

A History of Violence and Industry

Until recently, Lorraine itself was largely known as an industrial region and as part of a large center of industrial production stretching across Europe, from France to Belgium to Luxembourg to Germany. The region has seen a number of upheavals over the years, with the decline of the iron industry and the changing of ownership of the region by Germany and France.

Nevertheless, a number of tourist attracts have sprung up over the years, and there are many reasons for the Francophile, or just a traveler, to visit Lorraine.

For the history enthusiast, a number of 18th century squares and what remains of a medieval city can be found in Nancy, whereas the Meuse-Argonne American cemetery, for those with an interest in slightly more recent European history, houses 14,000 graves from World War I, many of which are scattered among the battlefields of the 1918 offensive. A memorial exists in Verdun detailing the battle there, one which lasted nearly a year and cost 300,000 French lives.

A Region with Much to Offer

If history is not so much your speed but the sight and sounds of France are, you are in luck. While the region’s disputed nature has lent itself to a number of historical events, a vibrant and interesting life continues to be led in Lorraine.

Take, for example, Amneville, where you can find a zoological park that is forty acres in size and one of the largest parks in France of its kind, with a variety of species represented there.

Of course, as a fan of Lalique, you are ultimately a person whose tastes run towards the artistic; fortunately, Lorraine can more that satisfy those interests, for you need only attend the Centre Pompidou Metz to see a new museum of modern and contemporary art, itself a satellite of a famous museum in Paris.

If modern art as a whole is of interest you, this museum simply cannot be missed. But then, the whole of Lorraine has so much to offer, it is hard to choose. You may find yourself returning again and again!

+Mark Boyd is a website content geek with MIND Development and Design, musician and travel lover.  He rants about websites and all on the MIND blog and podcast pages.

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