Nantes

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Nantes

Motto: Latin: Favet Neptunus eunti
("Neptune favours the traveller")

Nantes aérien château3.jpg
Aerial view of the Château des ducs de Bretagne
Flag of Nantes
Coat of arms of Nantes
Traditional flagCoat of arms
Nantes is located in France
Nantes
Administration
CountryFrance
RegionPays de la Loire
DepartmentLoire-Atlantique
ArrondissementNantes
CantonChief town of 11 cantons
IntercommunalityNantes Métropole
MayorPatrick Rimbert (PS)
(2012-)
Statistics
Land area165.19 km2 (25.17 sq mi)
Population2283,025  (2007 census)
 - Ranking6th in France
 - Density4,342 /km2 (11,250 /sq mi)
Urban area524.6 km2 (202.5 sq mi) (2008)
 - Population580,502 (2007)
Metro area2,242.6 km2 (865.9 sq mi) (1999)
 - Population804,000 (2008)
Time zoneCET (GMT +1)
INSEE/Postal code44109/ 44000, 44100, 44200 and 44300
Dialling code02
WebsiteOfficial website www.nantes.fr (French)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
 
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Nantes

Motto: Latin: Favet Neptunus eunti
("Neptune favours the traveller")

Nantes aérien château3.jpg
Aerial view of the Château des ducs de Bretagne
Flag of Nantes
Coat of arms of Nantes
Traditional flagCoat of arms
Nantes is located in France
Nantes
Administration
CountryFrance
RegionPays de la Loire
DepartmentLoire-Atlantique
ArrondissementNantes
CantonChief town of 11 cantons
IntercommunalityNantes Métropole
MayorPatrick Rimbert (PS)
(2012-)
Statistics
Land area165.19 km2 (25.17 sq mi)
Population2283,025  (2007 census)
 - Ranking6th in France
 - Density4,342 /km2 (11,250 /sq mi)
Urban area524.6 km2 (202.5 sq mi) (2008)
 - Population580,502 (2007)
Metro area2,242.6 km2 (865.9 sq mi) (1999)
 - Population804,000 (2008)
Time zoneCET (GMT +1)
INSEE/Postal code44109/ 44000, 44100, 44200 and 44300
Dialling code02
WebsiteOfficial website www.nantes.fr (French)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Coordinates: 47°13′05″N 1°33′10″W / 47.2181°N 1.5528°W / 47.2181; -1.5528

Nantes (French pronunciation: [nɑ̃t]) (Breton: Naoned, Gallo: Naunnt) is a city in western France, located on the Loire River, 50 km (31 mi) from the Atlantic coast.[1] The city is the 6th largest in France, while its metropolitan area ranks 8th with over 800,000 inhabitants.[2]

Nantes is the capital city of the Pays de la Loire region and Loire-Atlantique département. Together with Vannes, Rennes and Carhaix, it was one of the major cities of the historic province of Brittany, and the ancient Duchy of Brittany. Though officially separated from Brittany over 60 years ago, Nantes is culturally Breton and still widely regarded as its capital city.[3]

In 2004, Time described Nantes as "the most liveable city in Europe".[4] In 2010, Nantes was named a hub city for innovation in the Innovation Cities Index by innovation agency, 2thinknow.[5] The city was ranked 36th globally from 289 cities and 4th overall in France, behind Paris, Lyon and Strasbourg for innovation across multiple sectors of the economy.[6]

Etymology

The name Nantes, pronounced [nɑ̃t] in French, derives from that of its pre-Roman-era inhabitants, the Gaulish tribe known as the Namnetes, who founded a town there around 70 BC. The city was called Portus Namnetum during the Roman occupation that began in 56 BC. The inhabitants of Nantes are known in French as Nantais ([nɑ̃tɛ]).

Nantes' most common nickname is the Venice of the West (French: La Venise de l'Ouest, Breton: Venezia ar C'hornôg),[7] a name owing to its position on the river delta of the Loire, the Erdre, and the Sèvre.[8]

History

The Marité schooner anchored in the port of Nantes
L'île Feydeau

After having been occupied by the Gauls and the Romans, Nantes was Christianised in the 3rd century. The city was successively invaded by the Saxons (around 285), the Franks (around 500), the Britons (in the 6th and 7th centuries) and the Normans, who laid waste to it in 843: "The city of Nantes remained for many years deserted, devastated and overgrown with briars and thorns." The Chronicle of Nantes continues until about 1050 and it recounts that Alain Barbe-Torte, who was the grandson of Alan the Great, the last king of Brittany who was expelled by the Norse, drove them out and founded the Duchy of Brittany.[9][10]

When the Duchy of Brittany was united to the kingdom of France in 1532 by the Treaty of Plessis-Macé, Nantes kept the Parliament of Brittany for a few years before it was moved to Rennes. In 1598, King Henry IV of France signed the Edict of Nantes here, which granted Protestants rights to their religion.

During the 18th century, prior to abolition of slavery, Nantes was the slave trade capital of France.[11] This kind of trade led Nantes to become the largest port in France and a wealthy city. When the French Revolution broke out, Nantes chose to be part of it, although the whole surrounding region soon degenerated into an open civil war against the new republic known as the War in the Vendée. On 29 June 1793 the town was the site of a Republican victory in this war. The Loire was the site of thousands of executions by drowning, including those using the method which came to be known as the Republican marriage, in which a man and a woman were stripped naked, tied together, and thrown into the river.[12]

In the 19th century, Nantes became an industrial city. The first public transport anywhere may have been the omnibus service initiated in Nantes in 1826.[citation needed] It was soon imitated in Paris, London and New York. The first railways were built in 1851 and many industries were created. In 1940, the city was occupied by German troops. In 1941, the assassination of a German officer, Lt. Col. Fritz Hotz, caused the retaliatory execution of 48 civilians. The city was twice severely bombed by British forces, on 16 and 23 August 1943, before being liberated by the Americans in 1944.[13]

Until the 1970s, Nantes' harbour was located on the Île de Nantes, when it was moved to the very mouth of the Loire River, at Saint-Nazaire. In the subsequent 20 years, many service sector organisations moved into the area, but economic difficulties forced most of these to close. In 2001, a major redevelopment scheme was launched, the goal of which is to revitalise the island as the new city centre.[14]

Nantes seen from Spot Satellite

In 2003, the French weekly L'Express voted Nantes to be the "greenest city" in France, while in both 2003 and 2004 it was voted the "best place to live" by the weekly Le Point. In August 2004, TIME designated Nantes as "the most livable city in all of Europe."[4][15]

Geography

Nantes is located on the banks of the Loire River, at the confluence of the Erdre and the Sèvre Nantaise, 55 km (35 mi) from the Atlantic Ocean. The city was built in a place where many branches of the Loire river created several islands, but most of those branches were filled in at the beginning of the 20th century (and the confluence with the Erdre river diverted and covered) due to the increasing car traffic.

Nantes is the central point of the land hemisphere (the half of the earth containing the largest possible area of land).

A panoramic view of the Île de Nantes, taken from the Butte Saint Anne

Climate

About 50 kilometres from the coast, Nantes has generally cool winters and mild summers, with rainfalls at least every week, which makes Nantes a temperate city, though winters can bring freezing temperatures and occasional hot spells in summer, especially during the month of July.[16]

Politics

Nantes is the préfecture (capital city) of both the Loire-Atlantique département and the Pays de la Loire région.

The Nantes metropolitan area (Nantes Métropole) is the intercommunal structure connecting the city of Nantes with nearby suburbs. It had a 1999 population of 554,478, 48.7% of which comprised the city of Nantes. The current mayor of Nantes is Patrick Rimbert, (PS), elected on 29 June 2012 to replace long-serving mayor Jean-Marc Ayrault, who had become Prime Minister of France.[17]

Neighbourhoods

Traditional houses on the Île Feydeau

Since 1995, Nantes has been divided into 11 neighbourhoods, each resembling a historic city quarter. Each of these neighbourhoods is controlled by a Comité Consultatif (Consultative Committee), comprising directly elected officials and a team of municipal members, similar to a New England board of selectmen. These neighbourhoods are:

  • Centre-ville
  • Bellevue-Chantenay-Sainte Anne
  • Dervallières-Zola
  • Hauts-Pavés-Saint-Félix
  • Malakoff-Saint-Donatien
  • Île de Nantes
  • Breil-Barberie
  • Nantes-Nord
  • Nantes-Erdre
  • Bottière-Doulon
  • Nantes-Sud

Nine of these neighbourhoods are situated on the right bank of the Loire, one is on the left bank, and one is on the Île de Nantes island.

Nantes and Brittany

Flag of the Pays de la Loire
Flag of Brittany
Panoramic view of Nantes.

The city of Nantes, and the Loire-Atlantique département, were formerly part of the historic province of Brittany; Nantes was one of its traditional capitals, along with Rennes.[18]

Historically, the country around Nantes (French: Le Pays Nantais; Breton: Bro Naoned; Gallo: Paeï de Nàntt) was always seen as being part of Brittany. In 1207, the Dukes of Brittany made Nantes their home, building the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany on the banks of the Loire. Most of the dukes and duchesses were buried in either the cathedral or the nearby abbeys.

In 1789, the separation of the historical provinces of France resulted in Brittany being split in five; the lower of the five, Loire-Inférieure (today Loire-Atlantique) was where Nantes was situated. As such, Brittany as an administrative region did not exist during the 19th and early 20th centuries, although it did still exist culturally and informally.[19] When regional regroupments during the 20th century resulted in the reinstatement of the regions, Loire-Atlantique found itself split from the other four départements by the Vichy regime in 1941; a new région had been created centred on Nantes, the Pays de la Loire.

Much debate surrounding this move persists. Those against (sometimes called the Breton militants) maintain that the separation was made by a non-democratically elected government, and that Loire-Atlantique is culturally, historically and geographically united to Brittany; those in favour argue that any reunification would reopen a "quarrel of the capitals" between Nantes and Rennes, and that it would be fatal to the Pays de la Loire région.[20]

The issue of language is also relevant; in Upper Brittany (locally called Bretagne Gallèse or Haute Bretagne) Romance languages especially the local Gallo, as well as French, have long had more influence than Breton. However, in many large cities, including Nantes and Saint-Brieuc, the Breton language has sometimes been spoken more widely than Gallo by the very urban and bourgeois population there (even though in Le Pays Nantais the opposite was true). In recent years, many bilingual plaques have appeared on tourist attractions in the city, with the help of the Ofis ar Brezhoneg (French: Office de la Langue Bretonne; English: Office of the Breton Language).

Most recently, on 15 May 2004, a hastily organized demonstration in Nantes calling for the reunification of Brittany attracted 6,000 participants, while in five surveys on the issue, between 62% and 75% of the population of Loire-Atlantique have come out in favour of reunification.[21]

In 2008, 1.4% of the children in Nantes attended bilingual primary schools.[22]

Education

Colleges and universities

Transport

The first organized omnibus transit system within a city appears to have originated in Nantes in 1826.[23] The current network operated by Tan network includes three tramway lines, one bus rapid transit route (known as BusWay), dozens of bus routes, an express bus between Nantes Atlantique Airport, and the city centre (known as Tan Air), three navibuses lines and four suburban train lines (operated by SNCF and running on four intercity train lines within the city's limits). Longer distance travel throughout the Loire-Atlantique département is operated by Lila network, which runs interurban buses. The Tramway de Nantes originally began operation in 1879, but this first generation network closed in 1958. A new generation of tram lines opened in 1985, and the tram network is now the longest in France. The tram network, also part of the Tan network, shares a common ticketing system with buses and other modes within that network.[24]

Nantes railway station lies on a number of rail lines. Nantes is connected by TGV (high speed train) to Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Lille, and Strasbourg, with trains to Paris via the LGV Atlantique taking just over 2 hours. By Corail, Nantes is connected to Quimper, La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Lyon, and Toulouse. The regional trains and buses of the TER Pays de la Loire provide links to Saint-Nazaire, Angers, Le Mans, La Roche sur Yon, and many other regional cities.

Nantes was formerly a major commercial port, with port facilities on the River Loire in the city centre. Much of the commercial traffic has since migrated downstream, principally to the area around Saint-Nazaire, although the river remains navigable to ocean-going ships as far as Nantes. River cruises operate on both the Loire and its tributary the Erdre. The Tan network also includes three urban water bus routes on both rivers (known as Navibus).

Nantes Atlantique Airport, located 8 km to the south-west of the city centre, serves the city and surrounding areas. It is the biggest airport in western France, linking with several French and European cities, as well as Montreal in Canada and some northern Africa cities. It is currently planned that this airport will be replaced by the Aéroport du Grand Ouest, that will be situated 30 km to the north-west of Nantes in the commune of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. The €580 million project was approved in February 2008, with construction expected to start in 2012 and an opening date in 2015.[25]

The Nantes built-up area’s inhabitants make about 2 million journeys a day. So as to ensure all its inhabitants of mobility, while at the same time conserving its environment, Nantes Métropole provides efficient complementary modes of travel, public transport in particular. Furthermore, Nantes Métropole provides soft mode of transport: bicycles. Bicloo: 790 self-service bikes, 89 stations in ultra-central Nantes. • City by bike: in partnership with NGE, rent a bike at the car parks. • Velocampus: over 300 bikes for hire for students. • The Loire Valley by bike: 240 km of continuous cycle tracks in the Pays-de-la-Loire. • 376 km of cycle tracks. Nantes Métropole is also taking part in the bid process of Velo-city 2015 under the guidance of the European Cyclist Federation. http://blog.bid-nantes-france-velo-city2015.com/

Main sights

Castles, churches and mosques

The courtyard of the Château des Ducs de Bretagne
The cathedral
Sainte Croix church

The Château des ducs de Bretagne (Castle of the Dukes of Brittany) is the most important castle and hosts the History Museum of the City of Nantes.

Nantes has many churches, amongst which the most famous are:

Nantes has three mosques[26]:

Museums

Historical places

Gardens and parks

Leisure

Nantes has several cinemas including:

Concert halls

  • Nantes Zénith (concert hall) with 8,500 seats
  • Théâtre Graslin (Graslin Theatre), Angers-Nantes opera house with the Grand Théâtre of Angers & historic theatre
  • Lieu Unique, located in the former LU biscuit factory
  • Olympic, built in an old cinema in 1927
  • Carrière, located in the borough of Saint-Herblain
  • Trocardière, located in the borough of Rezé
  • Onyx, located in the Atlantis commercial zone, designed by Jean Nouvel
  • Pannonica
  • Cité des congrès
  • Terrain Neutre Théâtre
  • Bouche D'Air
  • Théâtre universitaire (University Theatre)

Culture

Japanese garden on the Île de Versailles, Nantes

Cultural events

Nantes hosts a variety of cultural events, among which:

Music and artistic creation

There are quite a few bands from Nantes who play different genres but are not well known outside of France.

To see a list of Bands from Nantes, see fr:Rock à Nantes (French).

Royal de Luxe street theater company, famous for its performance featuring giant puppets, is based in Nantes.

Food

Galettes, which are a heavier, less sweet version of the crepe, are traditional fare in Bretagne, the region in which Nantes historically resides. Galettes can be eaten at any time of the day, feature buckwheat flour, and are usually filled with meat, eggs, cheese, or a variety of other things. However, they are much less of a dessert food than the traditional crepes.

Sport

The local football team is FC Nantes, members of the Championnat de France de Ligue 2 for the 2011-12 season. Since its creation in 1943, the club has gained reputation for its offensive style of play, locally named "jeu a la nantaise", and captured 8 Championnat titles and 3 Coupes de France.

Former players include Didier Deschamps, Marcel Desailly, Christian Karembeu and Fabien Barthez who were members of the France team that won the 1998 World Cup. Other notable players are Maxime Bossis, Philippe Gondet, Henri Michel, Claude Makélélé and Mickaël Landreau.

FC Nantes holds several records in the history of French professional football, including most consecutive seasons in the elite (44), most wins in a season (26), season invincibility (32 games) and all-time home invincibility (92 games, nearly 5 years). No French player has ever scored more goals than Philippe Gondet in a single season (36 in 1965-1966).

Media

Nantes seen from Erdre river

Local television channels

  • Nantes 7
  • Télénantes
  • France 3 Pays de la Loire

Radio stations

Local newspapers

Newspapers for sale:

  • Nantes Poche
  • Nouvel Ouest
  • Presse Ocean

Free newspapers:

Site Internet Locaux:

Famous People

International relations


Nantes has established sister-city cooperation agreements with:


The city has also built close ties with:


References

Notes

  1. ^ Nantes Hutchinson Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14 August 2007.
  2. ^ Population des villes de France au dernier recensement PopulationData.net. Retrieved 14 August 2007.
  3. ^ A New Luster in the Ancient Heart of Brittany The New York Times, 5 August 2007. Retrieved on 7 August 2007.
  4. ^ a b The Last Best Place In Europe Time Europe, 22 August 2004. Retrieved on 4 August 2007.
  5. ^ "Innovation Cities™ Top 100 Index » Innovation Cities Index & Program – City data training events from 2THINKNOW for USA Canada America Europe Asia Mid-East Australia". Innovation-cities.com. 1 September 2010. http://www.innovation-cities.com/innovation-cities-top-100-index-top-cities/. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Innovation Cities™ Global Index 2010 » Innovation Cities Index & Program – City data training events from 2THINKNOW for USA Canada America Europe Asia Mid-East Australia". Innovation-cities.com. 1 September 2010. http://www.innovation-cities.com/innovation-cities-global-index-2010-city-rankings/. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  7. ^ The Venice of the West RugbyWorldCup.com. Retrieved on 07-12-07.
  8. ^ Blue Nantes FranceGuide.com. Retrieved on 07-12-07.
  9. ^ David C Douglas, ed. English Historical Documents (Routledge, 1979) "Secular Narrative Sources" pp 345f.
  10. ^ Chronicle of Nantes English Historical Documents. Dorthy Whitelock, David Charles Douglas. Routledge, 1996 ISBN 0-415-14366-7 Retrieved on 30-10-07.
  11. ^ Leslie Choquette, Frenchmen into peasants: modernity and tradition in the peopling of French Canada (1997), p. 56
  12. ^ Ruth Scurr, Fatal Purity: Robespierre And the French Revolution (2006) p. 305
  13. ^ "tourisme/culture – France – Nantes – histoire page". reception. 22 October 1941. http://www.reception.com/US/nantes/histoire.htm. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  14. ^ Revit Metropolitan Development[dead link]
  15. ^ A recognized quality of life Business in Western France. Retrieved on 4 August 2007.
  16. ^ Climate information for Nantes Retrieved on 08-09-07.
  17. ^ "Ville de Nantes: Mairie - Conseil Municipal". Nantes.fr. http://www.nantes.fr/mairie/conseil-municipal. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  18. ^ Presentation of Nantes CRWFlags.com. Published on 28-04-07. Retrieved on 07-12-07.
  19. ^ "Reviews of The Life and Science of Léon Foucault. The Man who Proved the Earth Rotates.". .phys.canterbury.ac.nz. http://www2.phys.canterbury.ac.nz/~wjt23/Horn.html. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  20. ^ Loire-Atlantique guide
  21. ^ "Does the Breton language have a future?". Breizh.net. May 2004. http://www.breizh.net/icdbl/saozg/endangered.htm#Does%20the%20Breton%20language%20have%20a%20future. Retrieved 7 August 2007. 
  22. ^ (French) Ofis ar Brezhoneg: Enseignement bilingue
  23. ^ Rodrigue, Dr. Jean-Paul. "Omnibus, Paris Late 19th century". Hofstra University. http://people.hofstra.edu/geotrans/eng/ch6en/conc6en/omni.html. Retrieved 9 August 2007. 
  24. ^ Wansbeek, C.J. (January 2001). "Nantes expansion – City tram now a mature network". Tramways & Urban Transit (Ian Allan Ltd / Light Rail Transit Association). http://www.lrta.info/articles/art0101.html. Retrieved 9 August 2007. 
  25. ^ "New Notre Dame des Landes Airport, Nantes, France". airport-technology.com. http://www.airport-technology.com/projects/newnantes/. Retrieved 24 July 2008. 
  26. ^ Nantes religious buildings. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  27. ^ Birkin, Jane (9 February 2003). "My favourite table". The Observer. UK. http://shopping.guardian.co.uk/food/story/0,,889437,00.html. Retrieved 21 March 2008. 
  28. ^ "DMC website". Dmcworld.com. http://www.dmcworld.com/championships/worldchampions/. Retrieved 13 April 2010. 

External links