The sacred union of two river banks connected by a bridge. The emblem of Pont-à-Mousson, this bridge after which the town was named, was rebuilt in 1949, despite the German’s best attempts to destroy it in 1944. Once upon a time, it was a capital element for the Counts of Bar to link the Mousson hillside to the “Town of the Saint Anthony bridge”, better known today as Pont-à-Mousson (lit. Bridge to Mousson), since it allowed the Counts to control certain commodities by means of a toll.
- Mousson hill
History lovers, this place is for you: overlooking the Moselle valley, this was where the Counts of Bar built their castle to control the traffic of the old Roman road that went from Lyon to Trèves. Nowadays, after the harsh fighting of two World Wars, and numerous fires, the town has managed to preserve certain parts of the old castle’s walls, nicknamed “the Big Tower” (La Grosse Tour), as well as the Templar’s chapel.
- The Place Duroc
One of its kind in Europe, this triangular town square, paved and decorated with Renaissance style arcades, is named after the Maréchal Duroc, a famed Mussipontain (inhabitant of Pont-à-Mousson) appointed Grand Marshal of the Palace by Napoleon. True symbol of the Mussipontain gratitude towards the dedication of the American ambulance workers during WW1, the fountain on the Place Duroc perpetuates the values of the town.
Must-see : built from 1786-1791, the Town Hall in Louis XVI style is the result of Claude Mique’s talent
Right next to the fountain, at the corner of the rue Victor Hugo is the House of the Seven Deadly Sins. Partly destroyed then rebuilt, nowadays you can admire the difference in architecture between the turret and the rest of the building. Our challenge to you: try to identify the correct deadly sin and which character on the facade it belongs to (Sloth, Pride, Gluttony, Lust, Greed, Wrath and Envy).
- The Prémontrés Abbey
Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful monastic monuments of Lorraine, discover the remarkable architecture of this Abbey built between 1705 and 1735. Enjoy a haven of peace and tranquility in the midst of the Abbey’s three gardens. Admire the three uniquely shaped and stunning staircases: square, round and oval. The bombing of 1944 deeply impacted this architectural masterpiece for over 20 years, but it was reborn of its ashes and now serves as a reminder of monastic life through its architecture and history.
- The high school
The teachings of this establishment were at the origin of the reformation of the religious orders of the Prémontrés, the Benedictines, the Canon regulars and the Carmelites. It was here, in this spiritual centre, that Jacques Marquette, discoverer of the Mississippi studied in 1656.
- Religious heritage
Built at the end of the XVIth century, the gothic style Saint Martin church was the University’s private church. Must-see: the Entombment, stunning masterpiece from the beginning of the XVth century, and a source of inspiration for many of the Entombments that followed.
The Saint Laurent church catches the eye, with its gothic style. Listed as a historical monument for the past century or so, this architectural jewel at the heart of Pont-à-Mousson contains a flamboyant masterpiece: the altarpiece of the Passion of Christ. An artisan from Antwerp was commissioned by Philippe de Gueldre to create this piece that recounts the life of Jesus Christ.
- War memorials
Both the Foch square in the St Martin district, and the Thiers square pay tribute to the soldiers, civilians and resistants that gave their lives for France with war memorials in their honour.
- The “Au fil du Papier” museum
Discover household items from the olden days. The museum offers a large, unique collection of lacquered papier-mâché and cardboard items. Unearth the history of the town, from the creation of the first University of Lorraine and the town’s popular printing house, to the room entirely dedicated to the smelting plant that made Pont-à-Mousson into an internationally known industrial town.
- The forest of Bois-le-Prêtre
Relive WWI through the woodlands of Bois-le-Prêtre, where the land still bears the wounds of the violent fighting that took place: shrapnel, the remains of trenches and bunkers, … The Croix des Carmes or Carmelite cross, is a historical monument in the middle of the old battle grounds. Two WWI French soldiers are represented holding the cross, in honour of their sacrifice. Further down the path, discover the house in the forest of Father Hilarion, an essential position to hold at the time of the fighting because it guaranteed water supplies for the allied and enemy camps.
- The Ile d’Esch
At the heart of the town centre is the Riolles boulevard, with its plaisant tree canopy that protects you from the elements as you walk down to the Ile d’Esch. Nature and urban lovers will enjoy the greenery of this little island and can discover the local fauna by walking alongside the Moselle. Come and enjoy the sporting activities and games areas on the island.
- The Great Blue (or Grand Bleu)
An old gravel quarry converted into a nautical activity site; the Grand Bleu is open all year round for you to enjoy the cool water breeze. During the summer, relax on the beach by the water. For those looking for slightly more intense activities, make the most of the inflatable water park and windsurfing lessons.
- The red fountain
Enjoy a splendid panorama over the town of Pont-à-Mousson from the Red Fountain. This little fountain was renown by doctors in the XVth century for having miraculous properties, and being able to heal anaemia, chronic fatigue and paleness. Thanks to the ferruginous qualities of the water, the myth cemented itself. Caution to travellers: do not drink the water from the fountain, it is no longer fit for consumption.
- Prémontrés garden
Let the pastoral and rural comfort of the Prémontrés Abbey’s gardens soothe you. Travel through scents and cultures with both the French, more formal styled gardens, and the English landscape gardens.
Maidières : Discover the areas around Pont-à-Mousson with the “Boucle des Vergers” (or Orchard route), a 6km hike, combining rural and urban settings, suitable for all ages. Leave from Maidières and let yourself be guided by the shaded paths.
Jézainville : Put on your walking shoes! Hiking lovers will enjoy the flora that is waiting to be discovered on the “Esch Valley” trek, an 11,5km trail starting in Jézainville. And once you’ve finished your hike, you can enjoy a well earned reward: the La Dilligence restaurant will be happy to serve you.
Lesménils : If you want to gain altitude, discover the “Froidmont view crossing”. Feel like the kings and queens of nature, thanks to this 12km trail overlooking Pont-à-Mousson. This path offers a 360° view over the Prémontrés Abbey, the Saint Gobain factory, Lesménils and the Mousson hill.
Mousson, a panoramic view from the ruins
Far beyond the medieval history of Mousson, this small village nestled in the heart of a nature that has taken back its rightful place, offers a panoramic view over the city of Pont-à-Mousson. On days with exceptionally clear skies, you can even catch a glimpse of the Metz and Cattenom cathedrals.
The Pont-à-Mousson basin Tourism Office welcomes bikes ! Discover the bike rides in the area:
- The Petite Suisse Lorraine (Lorrain Little Switzerland)
Follow the Esch river through the villages of Griscourt, Rogéville and Martincourt for an adventure close by. Nature lovers, let yourself be charmed by the quiet and gentleness of the landscapes and the chalky soil, with its field of orchids reminiscent of the mediterranean. This preserved environment introduces you to the rich rural heritage of this basin, through its churches, wash houses, crosses, mills, …
- The Seille Valley
Discover the Seille Valley by meandering around the historic hill of Mousson. This 32km-long trail will lead you through quiet villages and the Facq forest. Explore the villages to the East of Pont-à-Mousson by crossing through Atton, Eply, Bouxières-sous-Froidmont and many more ! Starting point: the Pont-à-Mousson town hall.
- The Lac de Madine
For the brave at heart, a 70 km trail to make the most all the greenery of the Lac de Madine. Cool down at one of the three sites around the lake, or with one of the many nautical activities available. Through Pagny-sur-Moselle, Arnaville, Jaulny, right back to the starting point, discover this plaisant area of the Pont-à-Mousson basin on bike.
- The Blue way (La voie bleue)
Do you fancy going to Metz or Nancy on bike? You can, thanks to the Blue Route (or Voie Bleue), a cycle path that follows the Moselle. Suitable for all ages, this path will allow you to discover all the different landscapes along the banks of the Meurthe and the Moselle. Your journey will take you through small paved roads and cycle paths.