Information about the region of Lorraine

The region of Lorraine, in north east France, is the country's only region to border on three other countries - Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. At the crossroad of four nations this makes it a very attractive destination for tourists and an area where property is in significant demand for purchase and leaseback.

The region is criss-crossed by numerous rivers including the mighty Rhine, the Moselle, Meurthe and Meuse. Its most celebrated daughter is Joan of Arc, whose home was at Domrémy in the Meuse valley, its most famous dish is the Quiche Lorraine.

There are four departments - Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle and Vosges - whose combined economies, involving textiles, mining and metallurgy, generate 3.4% of France's GDP. So it's a busy region in which to work, rest and play.

As you would expect from such a naturally well-watered terrain it's an area of outstanding beauty that attracts visitors from far and wide. From the streams and rivers of the Vosges mountains come minerals and salts that are said to give the famous Lorraine thermal springs their healing powers.

Metz, the region's capital, goes back many centuries and was one of the last Roman strongholds before Attila forcefully arrived on the scene. The imposing St Etienne cathedral stands resplendent above the city providing a fine example of the local yellow limestone from which it's built.

There's an abundance of clear, cold lakes that make fishing and camping a special experience, which can be combined with rock-climbing, rambling and pony trekking. And water sports abound including sailing, kayaking, water skiing and motor boating. You can cruise sedately along the Marne-Rhine canal and soak up the lush countryside.

In addition to the proverbial quiche other traditional dishes include pâté Lorraine (chopped pork and veal with white wine) and potée Lorraine (a smoked meat and sausage stew with cabbage and root vegetables). These dishes are most appetisingly accompanied by the region's Pinot Noir wine from the Toul area, along the banks of the Moselle.

A big bonus for people who invest in Lorraine properties are the convenient transport links via road and TGV to Paris in the west, Prague and all stations east and north to Luxembourg, and south to Dijon in Burgundy and Lyon.