There are a lot of churches here, some old, some newer, some very large and some small. All great in their own right, all steeped in history. Metz Cathedral is no different.
Saint-Étienne de Metz (French for “Saint-Stephen of Metz”), also known as Metz Cathedral, is a historic Roman Catholic cathedral in Metz, capital of Lorraine, France. The cathedral treasury exhibits the millennium rich collection of the Bishopric of Metz, including paraments and items used for the Eucharist.
Saint-Stephen of Metz has one of the highest naves in the world. The cathedral is nicknamed the Good Lord’s Lantern (French: la Lanterne du Bon Dieu), displaying the largest expanse of stained glass in the world with 6,496 m2 (69,920 sq ft). Those stained glass windows include works by Gothic and Renaissance master glass makers Hermann von Münster, Theobald of Lixheim, and Valentin Bousch and romantic Charles-Laurent Maréchal, tachist Roger Bissière, cubist Jacques Villon, and modernist Marc Chagall.
According to Gregory of Tours, the shrine of Saint Stephen was the sole structure spared during the sack of 451 by Attila’s Huns. The construction of the Gothic cathedral began in 1220 within the walls of an Ottonian basilica dating from the 10th century. The integration into the cathedral’s ground plan of a Gothic chapel from the 12th century at the western end resulted in the absence of a main western portal; the south-western porch of the cathedral being the entrance of the former chapel. The work was completed around 1520 and the new cathedral was consecrated on 11 April 1552.
It is staggering how much stained glass there is here. This place is simple but the standards of St. Peter’s Basilica but beautiful in its own right.