A Town Like Nancy

During my long coach journey from Switzerland to France, I stayed overnight at a French city called Nancy in the Lorraine region. By the end of the evening, I wished I could have had an extra day or two to explore this very historical city.

Nancy has an air of finesse found nowhere else in Lorraine. Thanks to Place Stanislas, she is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the world and is inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Up to the mid-17th century, Nancy comprised two distinct fortified towns separated by an esplanade. Stanislas I, King of Poland and father-in-law of Louis XV, wanted to honour his son-in-law. So he embarked on an ambitious project to join the towns and extend the area. The French architect, Emmanual Héré de Corny, was commissioned to look for an ideal site and in 1752, the foundation stone for the first building in the Stanislas Square was laid.

Place Stanislas is Nancy’s crowning glory.  The magnificent pale-stone buildings and facades, fountains and gold-coloured wrought-iron railings, are regarded as one of the most exquisite and homogeneous examples of 18th century neo-classical architecture.

Place Stanislas
Place Stanislas is a rectangular square measuring approximately 400 by 350 feet (120m by 105m)

 

Famous buildings surrounding the square include the handsome Town Hall (Hôtel de Ville), the Opera House (Opéra National de Lorraine) and the Fine Arts Museum (Musée des Beaux-Art).

Hotel de Ville
The Hotel de Ville is the largest monument in the square measuring 90m long
The statue of Stanislas I stands in the middle of the pedestrian square.
The statue of Stanislas I stands in the middle of the pedestrian square.
Place Stanislas has its on Arc de Triophe, designed by the architect, Héré, to honour Napoleon Bornapare
Nancy has its own Arc de Triomphe, built by Emmanual Héré

 

Besides being an arts and cultural melting pot, the square is also home to many cafes and restaurants. This makes it the undoubted venue for events and festivities in Nancy.

Fountain of Neptune
The Fontaine Amphritite – one of two symmetrical fountains fashioned by Barthelemy Guibal, a French sculptor.
A Clear Day at the Place Stanislas
The square is a good place to hang out
Golden gates by Jean Lamaur
Place Stanislas is surrounded by wrought-iron railings with each corner carefully embellished with gold leaf, earning its nickname, “The City of Golden Gates”.

Ornomantal Grills

 

Outside the golden gates, the Old Town becomes recognisable with its narrows streets, alleyways, tall houses and mullioned windows.

Old Town Area
The small, inviting shops and cafés that line the paved streets make it a delightful area for strolling.

 

Life In The City
Flowers growing opposite my hotel which is a 10-minute walk to Place Stanislas

 

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3 thoughts on “A Town Like Nancy

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  2. The photos you take are simply splendid! Nancy seems like a wonderful place to be. The architecture looks beautiful. I might go to France in the coming year. Keep posting your informative and visually amazing posts! 🙂

    1. Thank-you very much, Faqeeha! You always make my day! Hope you get to visit France next year. That city is just “wow”. So many things to see and experience, so little time!

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