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Lonely Planet: Lorraine, France
Lorraine has high culture and effortless grace thanks to its historic roll-call of dukes and art nouveau pioneers, who had an eye for grand designs and good living. The art and architecture in blessedly underrated cities like Nancy and Metz leave visitors spellbound, while its WWI battlefields render visitors speechless time and again with their painful beauty.
Main tourist attractions and sites in Lorraine
Nancy: Place Stanislas, one of the finest city squares in France, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with two other 18th century squares. Porte de la Craffe (14th Century) and other remains of the medieval city.
Meuse-Argonne American cemetery: The largest American military cemetery in Europe, with over 14,000 war graves from World War 1 located among the main battlefields of the 1918 offensive.
Verdun: The Memorial is a museum devoted to the battle that lasted almost a year, taking 300,000 French lives.
Amnéville: Zoological park. This 40 acre zoo is one of the three largest in France in terms of species represented; it is strongly involved in conservation of rare species.
Malbrouk: Right on the border with Germany, this castle owes its name to the duke of Marlborough, who used it as his headquarters in 1705.
Metz Cathedral St. Etienne: Gothic cathedral with fine stained glass: Eglise St. Pierre aux Nonnains, supposedly the oldest church in France. Musées de la Cour d'or. Place St Louis (14th Century), renaissance and medieval architecture in the old city. The neo-romanesque railway station, finished 1908, is among the finest in France.
Centre Pompidou Metz: Opened 2010. New museum of modern and contemporary art, a satellite of the famous Paris museum. One of Europe's major museums of modern art, providing extra display space for the Paris collection.
Neufchef: Mineral mining museum; take an underground trip with a former miners in this industrial museum
Petite Rosselle : La Mine, Musée Carreau Wendel. Opened in 2006, an exceptional coal mining museum, with a visit into the "bowels of the earth". the visit lasts 2 hours.
Rodemack: Nicknamed the Carcassonne of Lorraine, Rodemack, 7 km from the Luxembourg border, is a "mediaeval village" protected by its ramparts and its castle.
Sarrebourg: East of the town, in the Vosges hills, the Abreschviller Forest steam railway. 12 km trip.
Vekring: Ouvrage du Hackenberg, part of France's Maginot Line defences in the First World War.
Vosges mountains: Hiking, mountain biking, nature, skiing in winter.
Domrémy la Pucelle: Birthplace of Joan of Arc, Joan of Arc interpretive centre, and pilgrimage basilica.
La Bresse-Hohneck : The biggest ski area in north east France. 21 km of pistes, 21ski lifts. Altitude 900 to 1350 m.
Gerardmer: Mountain resort in the Vosges, famous for its lake and natural environment.
Jeanménil: Fraipertuis-city. Wild-west theme park, in the forests of the Vosges.