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IRTG "Geometry and Analysis of Symmetries"

Metz

Situated at the confluence of the rivers Moselle and Seille, Metz is the capital of Lorraine. The town has a long and rich history. It was during the Iron Age (8-6th century B.C.) that the celtic tribe of the Mediomatrics settled in Metz, then known as Divodurum. The name of this tribe, contracted into Mettis, formed the origin of the town's present name. From 51 B.C. it become an important Roman center. Captured by the Huns in 451, it finally passed to the Franks at the end of the fifth century. It became the capital of the Merovingian kingdom, Austrasia, then the intellectual center for the Carolingians, and an independent city during the Middle Ages.

Taken by the French in 1552, it was formally ceded to France in 1648 through the treaty of Westphalia. Its commercial function changed then into a military one. In the 19th century, Metz prospered thanks to its iron and coal industries. The town of Metz experienced two annexations by Germany, the first between 1870 and 1918, the second between 1940 and 1944.

With its historic center and its promenades along the banks of the Moselle River, Metz is a very pleasant town. The architectural centerpiece is the Cathédrale St-Étienne. Constructed between 1220 and 1522, it is renowned for its wonderful 13th- to 20th-century 6500 m² of stained glass, including some by Chagall. Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains, dating back to the 4th century, is the oldest church in France. Other points of interest are the Chapelle des Templiers, built during the 13th century by the Knights Templar, the Porte des Allemands, which is a fortified bridge that spans the Seille River, and the Place Saint Louis.

The cultural life in Metz centers on a number of institutions such as the Opera-Theatre, the Arsenal concert hall, the National Regional Conservatoire, the Orchestre National de Lorraine, and a Fine Arts school. Remarkable in the Cour d'Or Museums is a collection of Gallo-Roman antiquities, which are exhibited in the vestiges of Roman baths. Exhibitions and fairs are regularly held at the Exposition Park of the Foir Internationale de Metz.

The University of Metz, founded in 1970, is named after Paul Verlaine, who was born in Metz in 1844. The University comprises nowadays of three main campuses: the campus Ile du Saulcy, the campus Bridoux and the Technopôle 2000.

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