Bastion De Metz - ThionvilleBastion De Metz - Thionville
©Bastion De Metz - Thionville|STEPHANE THEVENIN
The fortified town

Thionville, fortified town

Thionville’s fortified heritage is scattered here and there, both visible and invisible, known and unknown, but always surprising.

From rue brûlée

to Parc Napoléon

Let’s start with the invisible. Take rue brûlée. This street in downtown Thionville has a rounded shape. Why is it so? Simply because it was built along the medieval ramparts and adopts their layout.

Next, head for the Parc Napoléon. Take a good look at the little tower in the middle of the wall. This wall is, above all, one of Thionville’s ramparts. The lady, a small tower now at human height, was there to prevent the enemy from passing over the wall. If you look closely, you’ll see that it takes up the entire width of the rampart. Attackers had no choice but to turn back or run into the lion’s den.

The bastions

Two bastions stand on either side of the Pont des Alliés. The only remains of the seven originally built byVan Noyen during Thionville’s Spanish period, they blend seamlessly into the town’s vegetation and architecture. Surprising! Clad entirely in brick and yellow limestone, they shine brightly in the sunlight.

But unfortunately, there’s no original reading inside. The reason for this lies in theAnnexation and their transformation into blockhouses, due to their strategic position on either side of the Moselle. We can still make out the rooms, toilets and German power plant.

Griesberg barracks

and the former military hospital

Finally, in the invisible category, two buildings stand out for their recent, modern reuse: the Griesberg barracks and theformer military hospital. During the German Annexation, the previous fortifications were obsolete and useless, requiring new construction. From 1878 onwards, two barracks were built between the bastions that were still standing.

The Griesberg barracks was designed to house artillerymen and their equipment. It was used for military purposes until the 1980s, and since the 2020s has been transformed into living quarters. The second building now in civilian use is theformer military hospital. Designed by Louis XIV, it was built on the right bank of the Moselle, which was then reserved for military purposes. As the city itself was too small, too cramped and already well occupied by its inhabitants, the urban plans confirmed the desire to create military spaces outside the city and to approach the right bank in an ingenious and strategic manner. The result was the Couronné and the extension towards the Moselle.