The region of Lorraine is located on the Franco-German border and as a result has a mixture of both German and French heritage. Locations such as Metz and Forbach are testament to the region's German links. Lorraine is divided into four departments: Meurthe-et-Moselle; Meuse; Moselle and Vosges. The region's most famous character was Jeanne d'Arc, or Joan of Arc, who received divine guidance during The Hundred Years War and was later named a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. You can visit her birthplace in the Vosges department, among many other attractions when you stay at the apparthotel Lorraine. The capital of the region is Metz, an historic city, which is supposedly the location of the oldest church in France in the form of Eglise St. Pierre aux Nonnains. The old part of the city is also worth a visit for its impressive renaissance and medieval architecture. For art lovers Metz also offers the Centre Pompidou Metz, a museum of contemporary art. In its more recent history, the Lorraine region witnessed the horror of the First World War. Visitors with an interest in this aspect of the area's past can visit the memorial museum at Verdun and the Meuse-Argonne American cemetery, which is the largest American cemetery in Europe. If you want a break from history, the zoo at Amneville may be the perfect option. It offers one of the largest ranges of species of any zoo in France.