Toul

History

Toul is a vibrant, cultural and floral town located in the Lorraine region.

Ideally located on the Grand Est axes, a stone’s throw from Nancy, Toul is snuggled up against its vineyard, overlooking the Moselle River and the Marne-Rhine Canal.

Capital of Leucques, the ancient city experienced an economic boom during the Pax Romana period. It was forced to fortify itself following the onset of the first Germanic invasions.

Evangelized in the fourth century by St. Mansuy, its fate was sealed: It would be an Episcopal see or it would not be at all!  It remained so for fourteen centuries during which the Church had complete political power, alongside the largest of the Three Bishoprics, under the Holy Roman Germanic Empire.

In 1552, as a result of the Austrasia Cavalcade, Henry II occupied the town and reinforced the role of the French centre of Toul owing to the constant military presence.

Toul  place forte (Christophe Voegelé)

The fortified town
© Christophe Voegelé

Vauban began fortification of the ancient wall, which had undergone substantial modification in the thirteenth century, in 1698, which was completed after the war of 1870, under the Seré Rivières system which saw the building of forts along all the surrounding uplands of Tou

The town was very badly affected by combat in June 1940.

Its 516th Transport Regiment, its ramparts and gates through which one can stroll peacefully at their own pace are what today remain of its military past.

The magnificent cathedral stands as a reminder of its Episcopal splendour, giving endless examples of compared architecture owing to its combination of Romanic construction design, Ottonian influence, with its radiant Gothic nave and the flamboyance of its majestic façade.

At the heart of the old town where the beautiful architectural reminders of the fifteenth to the eighteenth century still remain, visitors can stroll through the back streets with their intriguing or puzzling names, and bring back to life the memory of children from Toul from another amazing time.

L’amiral de Rigny was commander of the French Squadron at the Battle of Navarino. Baron Louis held several ministerial posts during the two Restorations.

Laurent de Gouvion-Saint-Cyr, Marshal of the Empire, War and Navy Minister during the Restoration.

Bruno d’Eguisheim-Dabo was enthroned under the name Leo IX, a Pope who travelled throughout Europe promoting peace.

Louis Majorelle, who was introduced to Art Nouveau by Emile Gallé, was one of the founders of the Nancy School (l’Ecole de Nancy).

Our Museum of Art and History, housed in the former Maison Dieu, is worth dropping in on to get to know its rich collections.

Moving further on to the Collegiate Church of Saint Gengoult, you can admire its cloister, a pure Gothic gem.

Whether coming from the Port de France, along the water’s edge, over the greenways, or on the Wine and Mirabelle Route, the visitor will discover our delicious vin gris, often associated with pâté lorrain, or quiche.

However, Toul also attracts those seeking peace and even meditation.

Located in the heart of Lorraine, here more than anywhere else can tempt you off the beaten path, where the light is an indicator of the happiness of those passing through here, taking the time to be themselves: valuable patience!

Itinerary of fortifications from Vauban to Séré-de-Rivières

Situated between the cathedral and the tourist office, the postern allows you access rue DROUAS crossing the City Hall gardens (the former Episcopal palace). In front of you, you will find the facade of the xx in front of you. The Corps of Engineers built a standardized barracks in different places in 1842, called 1843 model. Toul received a model in the bastion in front of you.

The Bastion was the key defence point, consisting of an earthern berm held up by the escarpment, the inside wall of the ditch.  The berm comprises a platform, a raised walkway, where the heaviest artillery of the fortress was held.

The city’s water supply used to consist of two identical bodies of both sides of the rampart, only the small building remaining today.

Remparts de Toul ©Meurthe et Moselle Tourisme

Toul ramparts
© Meurthe et Moselle Tourisme

The path along the rampart offers the best perspective of the fortified outer wall. A little later on after the second bastion, the Moselle gate was completely rebuilt in 1882 to provide a wider passage space and easier manoeuvrability for the troops and equipment stored inside.

On entering the city, discover a set of casemates dating back to1884, consisting of a two-storey bay. Beautifully restored, they now house the library.

Moving north along the route, continue until you come to the Saint-Claude passage and walk along the St Claude casemates. The ditch and demi-lune can be accessed via the poterne in the centre of this alignment, an advanced piece of work, interspersed with the bastions, masking the tenailles, which allowed the attackers to be taken out under the heavy fire of the defenders on both sides of the bastions.

Die Stadttor Metz © Stadt Toul

Metz gate
© City of Toul

Taking a right along the canal, you arrive at the Metz gate. Originally a royal gate, it is now the only gate remaining of what originally stood there. It consists of a gate flanked by two imposing bossed pilasters supporting a triangular pediment.

If time allows, you can continue on to the Museum of Art and History which houses a range of high quality Archaeological, fine arts and medieval collections.

Close Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>