metz, france

The sweet smell of fresh bread and poured coffee wafts through the air. The Cathedral of Saint Stephen of Metz was complete in 1550, and to this day towers over the city with its stylized stained glass panels. On Sundays mornings the cobblestone streets branching out of the cathedral square are filled with local art stalls, craft beers, and hand-picked flower bouquets. Situated in northeastern France right on the border with Germany, the city of Metz carries the scars of countless wars throughout the centuries but has retained its essence. Once a thriving economy based on producing the raw materials for rapid industrialization, the area has morphed into a center for tourism, shopping, and technological institutes. Nowhere else have I so starkly felt the boundary between the old and the new- a tempo at once slow and steady but at the same time vibrant and energetic.

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