Metz an important fortified city of the province of Lorraine, lately conquered by the Prussians in their contest with France, and situated on the Moselle, at its confluence with the Seille, holds an important position in Church history.
This place, known to the Romans by the name of Divodorum, was the chief town of a people called the Mediomatrici, whose name it took at a later date. In the 5th century the corrupted form Mettis first came into use, whence the modern Metz. It was destroyed \y the Huns in 452. At the death of Clovis it became Line capital of Austrasia, and later the capital of Lorraine. In 985 it became a free imperial town. It was finally secured to France by the peace of Westphalia in 1648, and was held by the French until ceded to the Germans in 1870. It has a population of over 50,000, somewhat diminished of late by the excursions of families unwilling to live under Prussian rule. Its streets are wide and clean, and it contains numerous spacious squares. The cathedral, a Gothic edifice, begun in 1014, and finished in 1546, is remarkable for its boldness, lightness, and elegance, and has a beautiful spire of open work, 373 feet in height. The church of Notre-Dame-de-la-Ronde is a noteworthy structure. Its choir was built in 1130. Metz contains also many other noble edifices and institutions, religious, civil, and military. Its industry is active, the chief employments being lacemaking, tanning, embroidering, and the manufacture of brushes, clothing for the army, flannels, pins, and canes; there are also brass and copper foundries.
Metz figures quite prominently in the history of religious persecutions during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Huguenot war, especially, affected the peace of the Protestants of this place. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes was put in force at this place only five days after its publication. More than 4000 people left the place. (Comp. La persecution de l'eglise de Metz, d'ecrite par le sieur Olry [2d ed], by O. Cuvier [Paris, 1860]).