Quartier de GuentrangeQuartier de Guentrange
©Quartier de Guentrange|STEPHANE THEVENIN

Guentrange, a former wine village

A former wine-growing village, the Guentrange district dominates the Thionville landscape. What is its history? The name Guentrange only appears in 1147 in the cartularies of the Abbey of Villers-Bettnach under the name Guntringas, then a possession of the Counts of Luxembourg.

The golden age

of winegrowing

Like Thionville, Guentrange was neither a town nor a village in Gallo-Roman times. Several small vineyards were scattered across the landscape, but there was no large-scale administrative structure. Its golden age came in the 19th century, when the armies of the Revolution, then of the Empire, became good customers for Guentrange wine, whose red is said to be the best in the Moselle department, while the white is pleasant.

In the twentieth century, disease, competition from southern wines and the large-scale desertion of winegrowers’ sons, who sought work and a fixed salary in the industrial complexes built below, led to the gradual dislocation of Guentrange’s vineyards.

Stroll and architecture

Strolling through the village, a pleasant, bucolic and poetic stroll, we can only guess at the way the neighborhood functioned and its social hierarchy of yesteryear. The smallest houses are those belonging to the labourers.

They consist of a single square room on one level, with a chimney and oven in the gable, and are attached to a large farm. The front of the house is generally eaves-facing, with a door and a small window. Furniture includes a table, benches, beds and a wardrobe. They sometimes have a small attic accessible via a gerbil. You can find one at 26 rue Guérin.

Winegrower’s house

The larger winegrower’s house is of the Lorraine type. A corridor runs from the front door to the backyard. Slightly inclined, it allows barrels to be transported to the building at the rear of the house. The front door is central, usually located between two windows on the second floor. Some are built over a cellar, with an outside staircase leading up to the dwelling. Two fine examples are located at 38 and 4 rue Guérin.

Maison de maître

Finally, the maison de maître is the home of the Bourgeois, a wealthy landowner who moved to the hillside to enjoy the peace and quiet and the wine trade. A large property with several bays, it is often composed as follows: the cellar, the barn, the living quarters, with one part reserved for the owner and another for the employees. A dovecote may or may not be attached to the house, a sign of wealth.

The Guentrange cave

The Guentrange district is also a memory of private rituals and cults. The Guentrange grotto is also a testimony to this. In 1943, the Muller family from Guentrange were forcibly sent to Silesia by the Nazis. During this forced exile, they made a promise to the Virgin that if all four of them returned, they would build a grotto in Guentrange. On their return, the promise was kept, and the Abbot offered them the site. The grotto was built in 1949 using stones from the slag heap.


protector of the vines

In the heart of the village, Guentrange’sSaint-Urbain church makes its appearance. This former chapel was built in the late 17th century. Why Saint-Urbain? He’s the protector of the vines. His feast day, May 25, announced whether the grape harvest would be saved or not, since after this date there was no longer any risk of frost.

It is customary in Guentrange to hold a procession on this date: the statue of Saint-Urbain is carried by 6 masters from the brotherhood and 6 from the guild of winegrowers and coopers. When the vines froze, the statue was thrown into the hedges, and the procession took place without Saint-Urbain.