You can imagine separation of Nantes from Brittany (similar to how regional borders were drawn during Second World War), but you cannot imagine separation of Brittany from its longtime capital, Nantes (National District of Brittany).
Such a comparison shows how important Nantes is.
Bright and innovative, this artsy city on banks of Loire is known for its history of reinvention. It was founded by Celts around 70 BC. and joined Duchy of Brittany in 937 AD. In 1598, in Nantes, Henry IV signed Edict of Nantes, a historic royal charter that guaranteed civil rights of Huguenots (Protestants) in France.
By 18th century, Nantes was most important port of France, and in 19th century, with abolition of slavery, it became an industrial center; in 1826, world's first public transport, Public Cars, began operating. Here. Shipbuilding was backbone of city's economy until end of 20th century, and when shipyards moved west to Saint-Nazaire, Nantes became a thriving student and cultural center.
Baidu's view of Nantes is very dispassionate:
Nantes, largest city in west of France and sixth largest city in France, is capital of Pays de la Loire region and capital of Loire-Atlantique province (44th province). The main part of city is located on north bank of lower Loire River, at confluence of two rivers, Sevres-Nantes and L'Erdre, and Loire River, about 50 kilometers from mouth of Loire River. sea. Nantes has a typical temperate maritime climate, warm and humid all year round, rainfall is evenly distributed and climate is very pleasant. Nantes has a long history and is most important city in history of Brittany region. The Pardon of Nantes had a very profound effect on history of French religion. Time magazine named Nantes most livable city in Europe in 2004. In 2013, Nantes received European Green Capital award from European Commission. On December 26, 2019, Nantes was ranked 396th in 2019 list of world's 500 best cities.
But just look at status of Nantes.
Nantes is one of westernmost major French cities, one of those cities that is not on way to anywhere else. At least that is case today, past was very different.
Until nineteenth century, Nantes was one of most important port cities in France. In Middle Ages it was one of major ports in France for trade with rest of Europe, especially with England and Portugal; it later became gateway to North America through which much of France's international trade flowed in and out. not only with Canada, Arcadia and nascent United States, but also with Caribbean and rest of world.
Then ships got bigger, and railroads made overland transportation faster and easier, and Nantes, like Bristol in England, was "upstream" along tidal estuaries. Too far inland to meet new demands of international shipping. And, like Bristol, and still later London and other cities, Nantes' port activity declined and city's economic importance diminished as trade moved downstream, in this case at mouth of Loire St. Nazaire estuary.
However, by that time, Nantes had already established itself as a city and was too big to disappear. The city guarding lowest point of bridge over River Loire was for centuries capital of powerful Dukes of Brittany, and city grew up around great fortress of castle of Dukes of Brittany by water, and later grew in size and influence as France became one of greatest colonial powers in Europe, and trade brought great wealth to city. The merchants of Nantes, like merchants of major European port cities of that time, were actively involved in slave trade with America, which became one of activities that enriched city in 18th century.
Today, Nantes is eighth largest city in France with a population of over 600,000. The historical part of city is located on north bank of Loire, at confluence of river Edre. However, confluence of two rivers is not a feature, as lower end of Erdre was filled in as early as 1930s to make room in city center, and river now enters Loire via a canal tunnel.
In addition to medieval/Renaissance castle (now a city museum) and late medieval Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, main features of historic center of Nantes are streets and buildings of commercial heyday of city, from late 17th century to early 19th century. This helps to give Nantes a bit of a Parisian feel - like little Paris in west of France.
The once bustling port area of Nantes is now very quiet; small commercial Nantes shipping along Loire uses moorings on south bank of Loire or on western outskirts of city, a few cruise ships at mouth of Loire A should stop somewhere away from center of Nantes. The Fossey promenade closest to city center has no commercial shipping but is operated by yachts and is home to some historic ships, including a historic warship and Maillet Brezet Naval Museum.
Today, Nantes is more than just a port, it is administrative and commercial center of North-West of France. The city of Naoshima, which only became capital of Brittany in 16th century, is no longer part of Brittany; Loire-Atlantique was capital of a department that came under Vichy government during World War II. The Brittany region was divided and has since become capital of a new administrative region - with little historical basis - Pays de la Loire, created in 1963. In this respect, Nantes is still regional capital... but no longer capital of Brittany. Now it's Ryan.travel
Castle of Duke of Brittany
Night view of Nantes
The castle of Dukes of Brittany is last castle on Loire River before it merges with Atlantic Ocean. From side of city of Nantes, there is a fortress surrounded by a 500-meter ring road, on which there are seven towers connected by parapets. This very urbanized castle is residence of Duke Francis II and his daughter Anne. Anne de Brittany was built at end of Middle Ages to protect independence of Duchy of Brittany, which was threatened by French kingdom. On side of courtyard is 15th century ducal mansion, built in limestone in Renaissance style, with other buildings built in 16th and 18th centuries. They are bright white, with graceful curves and fine carvings, in contrast to crude style of city's outer walls. The castle is listed on Register of Historic Buildings and has been completely restored.
Forget outdated furniture: bright rooms at Chateau du Dukes of Brettany are filled with rich multimedia exhibits detailing history of city. Find suggestive documents about slave trade, as well as vintage scale models of Nantes' ever-changing cityscape.
The herbal gardens of castle, surrounded by moats, and paths along ramparts are conducive to leisurely walks and picnics. Don't miss summer slide built against backdrop of 15th century city walls by contemporary Breton artist Tangui Robert. Who wouldn't want to skip past?
Contemporary Art Center in Nantes
The Center for Contemporary Art in Nantes, formerly known as LU Biscuit Factory, is now National Center for Performance. It often hosts various events such as music, dance, cultural, art exhibitions and exchanges. It also has bookstores, restaurants and bars. Nantes Art Museum (Musée des Beaux Arts de Nantes) with architectural design and rich collections from late 19th century, from pre-Renaissance to contemporary artists such as Ingres, De la Tour, Cours, Works by Courbet, Monet, etc.
A six-year renovation by London architects Stanton Williams has done wonders for Nantes Museum of Art, which reopened in late 2017 in historic Palais des Arts. The museum building was built to house city's fine art collection from 1891 to 1900. Today's permanent museum collection covers period from 13th to 21st century and consists of palaces and a striking new cubic building linking palace to Oratoire Chapel 18 century (1777) . The defiled chapel hosts temporary art exhibitions.
Highlights from impressive 19th century collection include works by Gustave Courbet, severalsculptures by Auguste Rodin and "Anemone" (1900), as well as The water lilies of Giverny by Claude Monet (1917), one of 250 Impressionist paintings of water lilies in his house in Giverny (room 18, first floor).
La Tour Bretagne is a modern high-rise building located in center of Nantes. The Brittany Tower, built in 1976, has a height of 144 m. It is tallest building in Nantes and one of tallest buildings in France, with exception of La Défense. Take fast elevator up and you can reach top in tens of seconds. On top floor, there is a coffee shop that overlooks entire city of Nantes and Atlantic Ocean in distance in fine weather .
Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Nantes
Port of Nantes
The Cathedral of Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul de Nantes (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Nantes) was built in 1434 and completed in 1891. After more than 500 years of construction from 15th to 20th century, it still remains in Gothic style. The imposing façade (completed in 1508) has three entrances and two towers. Destroyed during World War II, a fire destroyed roof in 1972 as renovation was nearing completion. Fortunately, magnificent tomb of Francis II has been preserved intact. From outside, church looks like a fortress surrounded by battlements, but inside it is a typical renaissance palace. The Museum of Fine Arts in Nantes is located in church and is second largest painting museum in French Republic after Louvre. The modern apartment (Cité Radieuse), designed by Le Corbusier and Nouvel (Jean Nouvel), overlooks black courtyard (Palais de Justice) on banks of Loire River, fully demonstrating power of justice through an architectural design that breaks away from tradition.
Not far from La Cigale restaurant, Bomley Corridor (LePassage Pommeraye) in city center is not only a shopping center, but also a shopping center with clothes, boutiques, fashion clothes, jewelry and books, it is also an old building that combines neoclassical style and luxurious finishes. Often used as a location for filming movies. In terms of ancient buildings, Museum of History of Nantes in castle of Duke of Brittany, one of must-see attractions, reproduces past and present of Nantes in a space full of design concepts that combine tradition and multimedia; Inside Castle there are also exhibition halls, French restaurants and souvenir shops.Jules Verne Museum
This is an amazing museum overlooking river, with first editions of books, hand-edited manuscripts and cardboard theatrical cutouts. The child-friendly interactive display introduces you to work of Jules Verne, born in Nantes in 1828. The sign is in French, but Jules Verne's books like Around World in 80 Days are so famous they're worth a visit anyway. The museum is located 2 km from center along river. cities.botanical garden
This picturesque park, opened in 1860, is one of most interesting botanical gardens in France. Centuries-old magnolias and mulberries, Japanese maples, tulip trees, sequoias (sequoias) and majestic cedars rise above beautiful flower beds, duck ponds, fountains and charming Serre de l'Elé de Palmieres. strong>filled with palm trees and decorated with seating areas with tables and chairs. In northern part of park, next to train station, there is a playground and goats that can be bred. Nantes Botanical Garden is such an interesting place! Admission is free, and walk beautiful paths to view impressive botanical exhibits and installations.ii. This is definitely one of most fun and exciting city parks you will ever come across.
Other attractions include Les Bancs Processionaires, a collection of stylish wooden benches in sizes ranging from small to large.Machines de l'Isle
Unleash your inner child and play Machines de l'île . Inspired by works of Jules Verne and Leonardo da Vinci, this unique place is an art theme park for whole family (sort of!). The famous giant elephant is, of course, star of show, but impressive workshop with other mechanical creatures is also a must-see. This is a truly unique mini-universe in Nantes.