Thu, August 30th, 2012 - By

Spotlight on Nantes, France

Nantes is situated  on the river Loire in western France. It is the capital city of the Loire-Atlantique departement, as well as the Pays de la Loire region. Nantes is considered both a great place to live and a hub of innovation.

Historically, Nantes was successively occupied by the Gauls, Romans, Saxons, Franks, Britons and Normans. It was the 18th century it was the slave trade capital of France. Nantes residents were active participants in the French Revolution. The city suffered heavy bombardment by the Allies during WW2, as it was occupied by the Germans. A recognized seat of learning, Nantes has its own University, Polytechnics, Institutes and several colleges and academies.

Places of interest to visit include the courtyard of the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany (which houses the History Museum), Nantes Cathedral, the 1844 Basilica of Saint Nicolas and the Basilica of Saint-Louis.

Nantes’ three  Mosques (El Forkane, Arrahma and en langue Turque) add to the atmosphere of cosmopolitan and tolerant co-existence. The gardens (Jardin des plantes de Nantes) and the famous Park of Procé make for pleasant urban living.

Amongst the many museums in Nantes are the Fine Arts Museum, the Thomas Dobrée Archaeological Museum, the Jules Verne Museum, the Natural History and Naval museums. Nantes Planetarium makes for a great family day out.

One of Nantes’s best preserved traditions is love of cinematography, with Le Cinématographe being the city’s oldest cinema, Pathé Atlantis the largest, while Gaumont and Concorde also very characterful and historic. Graslin Theatre opera house and the Zénith concert hall are full of nostalgia.

The Isle of Nantes has been transformed into a vibrant cultural/leisure centre, while the  Île de Versailles Japanese garden is very beautiful.

Photo credits: Oliver Letourneux, Jean-Pierre Dalbera, tongeron91, genevieveromier, Mr Thinktank

Karen Bryan

As well as writing about travel, Karen Bryan offers tips on saving money, frugal living and how to live well on less, on her site Help Me To Save

Posted : Thursday, August 30th, 2012 at 10:00
Category : Spotlight
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