Porte des Allemands (France)

Grand Est     See list of castles in Francia

The picturesque Outre-Seille district is dominated by the imposing Porte des Allemands. It owes its name to the adjacent street where, in 1229, the Teutonic Knights, or Hospitallers of Our Lady of the Germans, obtained permission to build a hospice. Today, this massive defensive structure is the only remnant still in elevation of the medieval gates of the city. Its imposing silhouette, its powerful buttresses, dark vaults and black underground evoke the impressive châtelet of the fifteenth century. It is still possible to guess the location of the drawbridge and the opening for the passage of the harrows. The strategic position is of prime importance on the eastern front of the Messina defense.

This door actually undergoes several construction campaigns. Its oldest part dates from the thirteenth century. It is the part facing the city, decorated with two semi-cylindrical towers sixteen meters high. Originally, they were connected by an arc. In 1445, a second door is built, framed by two powerful circular towers of 28 meters and equipped with crenellations and machicolations. The walls of this second work are impressive since they are three and a half meters thick. They are realized by Henri de Ranconval, who also builds the tower of the Mutte of the cathedral. This addition is created so that the door can withstand metallic and stone balls. Around 1480, a bridge with a gallery of arcades was built to connect the two doors. It replaces a previous bridge dating from the origins of the building. Vauban integrates the door into its fortifications, without destroying it, and also brings it into a form, in the form of a smaller door. But its addition was destroyed at the end of the nineteenth century.

The building underwent several restorations in the following centuries. It seems that the first dates from the 16th century, for an inscription mentions "Sir Philippe d'Ex, master and governor of the work in the year 1529". The door is restored again between 1860 and 1862. This operation concerns the top of the towers. In 1892, battlements were added on the wall located on the city side, in order to unify this work as well as possible.

The city became the owner of the German gate in 1900. The seventeen halls of the building were then converted into a museum of the Messin people. This museum contains archaeological remains of the city, documents on the history of Metz, furniture, a collection of seals, coins and medals as well as costumes Lorraine. But it closes in 1918 and its collections are integrated with those of the museum of the Court of Gold. The 1944 fighting for the liberation of Metz caused serious damage. Rehabilitation work was carried out in 1945. After a major restoration project, this magnificent work, classified since 1966 as a Historical Monument, reopened in 2014 and has since hosted numerous exhibitions, shows, conferences and meetings . It includes several rooms, a private garden and a panoramic terrace.

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Useful infos

Latitude: 49.117857
Longitude: 6.185319
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Map of Porte des Allemands