Lorraine is a pretty region swept with agricultural land and quiet farming towns, which borders Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the thin strip of Alsace to the east of the Vosgos Mountains. The architecture in Lorraine's towns and cities is some of the most distinctive in Eastern France. In Nancy, the region's historic capital, the impressive eighteenth century Place Stanislas takes centre stage - the masterwork of the Duke of Lorraine, Louis XV's father-in-law. Meanwhile in the city of Metz, the magnificent gothic Cathédral Saint Etienne de Metz is another major attraction and a great reason to visit Lorraine.
Like the neighbouring French region of Alsace, Lorraine has experienced a rocky history. It was here that Napoleon III's troops were defeated by the Prussians in 1870 and here too that some of the bloodiest battles of the First World War took place. A visit to the battlefields around Verdun and to the Ossuaire de Douaumont - a memorial to the 130,000 unidentified French and German soldiers who died here - is a poignant and stirring reminder of Lorraine's historically strategic importance. Joining a guided battlefields tour is the best way to learn about the events that took place and many visitors choose to extend their travels to include other sites further along the Western Front, including the Somme and Flanders.