Metz (Fr. pron. Mess), the strongest fortress of German Lorraine, was before 1871 the principal bulwark of the north-eastern frontier of France, and capital of the dep. of Moselle. It stands on the river Moselle at the influx of the Seille, 216 miles E. of Paris; and its strength consists in its cordon of forts. The cathedral, a Gothic edifice (14th to 16th century), is remarkable for its vast size and its architectural lightness, and has a beautiful spire of open work, 363 feet high. Apart from tanning and the making of saddles and shoes, there are few industries, though there are several ironworks in the vicinity. Pop. (1869) 48,325 ; (1875) 37,925 ; (1900) 58,462. including the garrison. Metz, known to the Romans as Divodurum, was afterwards called Mettis (corrupted from Mediomatrici, the name of the people). Under the Franks it was the capital of Austrasia, and in 870 passed to the empire. In 1552 it was treacherously taken possession of by the French ; and, although Charles V. besieged the place in 1552-53, they kept it till it was formally ceded to them in 1648. The fortifications were completely reconstructed by Vauban in 1674, and often strengthened. In August 1870 Bazaine was forced to retire with 179,000 men into Metz, which after a long siege (27th October) surrendered to the Germans; by the treaty of Frankfort it was annexed to Germany.