Embraced between Reims and Nancy, Bar-Le-Duc (pop 55 000) is nestled in a forested valley that lies along the River Ormain which meanders its way across the town.  This beautiful and quiet town is noted by its pale stonework and renaissance architecture.

Usually segregated into the aristocratic upper town and lower town, encounter awe-inducing historical monuments in the former and a dash of modernity in the latter. Wince your way up steep staircases to get to the upper town for a 16th century landscape of imposing medieval clocks and gothic churches- all under the arresting gaze of gargoyles perched on roofs. Notably, seek out to the south transept of the Saint Etienne church to take a look at Le Tranis- a sculpture by the renowned artist, Ligier Richier, who was commissioned to create a piece following the death of the Prince of Orange. The sculpture envisions the prince three years after his death and is a morbid yet fascinating piece of art reflecting mortality.

The French are quick to point the town is the origin of the Lorraine Jelly. Touted as the caviar amongst jams, the goose-quill pitting method allows whole red or white currents to still lie juicily intact amongst syrup. It would be a transgression to leave town without trying it.






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BAR-LE-DUC1. Tourist office  2. Train station  3. Cathédrale Saint-Étienne