By checking the list of articles I have written about Lunéville I have discovered I haven't mentioned the factory which used to make earthenware from 1730. The faïence de Lunéville is well known in France and famous in Lorrraine.
A lot of people living in Lunéville and its surroundings have had one or several members of their families working at the factory. Young boys used to have their first job there. They had to be careful if carrying pieces of earthenware, the rule was "one thing broken, one thing paid".
Nowadays the factory has closed and the dishes, plates, cups, vases, ... which were made in Lunéville are made in Saint-Clément, a big village nearby. But there is still a magasin d'usine (factory shop) in the town where you can find the traditional patterns but also the new ones, sometimes things you can't find easily in shops with a better price.
I bought the dish on the picture above last time I visited the shop. Earthenware made in Lorraine showing specialities of Alsace, a good opportunity to have both regions together. I regret not to have bought pieces with Christmas patterns, they were really beautiful and unusual, they looked more British than French in fact. It could have been a nice present.
Metz already existed three thousands years ago and its Roman name was Divodurum. It became French in 1648. The pronounciation of Metz is "mes", the letter "t" is not pronounced.
The town was included in the part Prussia took from France from 1871 to 1918. Some buildings were built during these years and are known as the "imperial town". I think about the station, so big and impressing and its beautiful bookshop.
The old part of Metz is pleasant to have a walk. At the time of Christmas market, each year, five or six places can be visited to find treats, presents and traditional things. One of the newest buildings is Centre Pompidou where I took this picture from.
I like going to Metz to do some shopping as it is quite different from Nancy. Shops are different, streets too. The town organizes the Fête de la Mirabelle and people from Nancy think it is not fair as their mirabelles are called "mirabelle de Nancy" but there is also a "mirabelle de Metz", a bit different. Anyway it is worth spending time in both towns as both have got beautiful and interesting places to visit.
Of course there were places in Lorraine to admire paintings, sculptures and other works of art before Centre Pompidou was opened in Metz in 2010, but visiting this museum is a good opportunity to see the work of famous artists whose exhibitions were not coming to the east of France before.
Each year several exhibitions are organized on the different floors of Centre Pompidou, and also talks, concerts, exhibitions for children.
I have been twice there and enjoyed it. I feel it is a place which is different from the other local museums. I was really pleased to discover modern art nearly at home. I have kept in mind a sculpture by Max Ernst, paintings by Vasarely, a compression by César. The most surprising was Merda d'Artista by Piero Manzoni, really unexpected ! The one I preferred : Le Magasin de Ben on which there are so many things to look at and to read.
And it is so convenient to arrive at the station in Metz and just cross a footbridge and a square to arrive at the museum. The view from the top part is beautiful, an invitation to go to the center of the town.
We used to drive through Thiébauménil when I was a child to go to the north of the Vosges mountains, then a new road was built and I nearly forgot about this village.
It is situated near Lunéville, on the east side. There are about 400 inhabitants there, near a small river called La Vezouze.
It was devastated during the Thirty Year's War. Later soldiers and people working for the duke of Lorraine used to live in the village as it was so near from the castle. After the French Revolution there was less work and some years less food, so a few families left and went to the USA. I know descendants of at least two of them, the CALAIS and HENRY families.
The old church was replaced by a new one about 200 years ago. At one point of its history the village didn't have a church and people had to go to the nearest village called Marainviller for the children to be christened.
Nowadays Thiébauménil is a quiet village where you can stop to have lunch. People living there use the new road to go to town to work, either to Nancy or to Lunéville, or even somewhere in Moselle, the nearby département.
When you walk in Grande Rue in Nancy, you more or less feel you are among medieval buildings. If you walk along Musée Lorrain, or Palais Ducal as you want, you arrive at the end of it and turn right between the palace and Chapelle des Cordeliers. A small street goes straight to the gates of La Pépinière.
A few months ago, by entering this street, I imagined I would see more old medieval buildings, but I discovered a big building which looked quite like the ones of Place Stanislas, so from the 18th century.
In fact it was built one century later in 1872. It used to be the gendarmerie, offices and flats.
The statue in front of it is one of Maréchal Lyautey (1854-1934). His house can be visited in Thorey-Lyautey.
Compared to Grande Rue nearby, it is a very quiet place, pleasant for relaxing but I don't think it is possible to visit the former gendarmerie.