The city of Nancy is located in the northeastern part of France, in the Lorraine region (Lorraine). The area is known for its quiche, fine wines and beautiful cities such as Nancy. As the former capital of the Duchy of Lorraine, Nancy has enjoyed great prestige in the past. Today, part of the historic center of Nancy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The historic center and the fascinating museums of Nancy attract many visitors every year. The old town is full of historical sites. The new and more modern part of the city is located around the train station and streets such as Rue Saint Jean, Rue Saint Dizier, Rue Saint Julien and Rue des Ponts. Here you can go shopping, enjoy a drink on the terrace or visit a market. The status of Nancy as a student city Nancy ensures that there are more than enough places to go out.
According to Sunglasses Tracker, Nancy has a lot to offer tourists. Beautiful squares and atmospheric streets are home to nice shops, delicious restaurants and many beautiful places. You can enjoy yourself or brush up on your knowledge in one of the museums that Nancy has. And don’t forget to move through the streets of Nancy at a moderate pace. Along the way, you can discover beautiful examples of architectural movements such as Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
Nancy ‘s Top 10 Things to Do
#1. Place Stanislas
Place Stanislas is one of the most beautiful squares in the world. Everything seems to be right on this rectangular square. Yes, don’t be fooled. Place Stanislas appears to be square, but is not. Remarkable about the Place Stanislas are the four fences installed at the corners in which you will see a beautiful example of ironwork. What you will also notice when you stand on the Place Stanislas is that each of the four sides has a symmetry. The west side and the opposite east side also appear to be copies of each other.
In the middle of Place Stanislas is the statue of Stanislaw Leszczynski, King of Poland and eventual father-in-law of Louis XV of France. The square was developed in the eighteenth century according to an idea of Stanislaw I. At the Place Stanislas you will find gilded gates and exceptionally beautiful buildings such as the town hall ‘Hôtel de Ville’, the museum of fine arts and the opera house. Place Stanislas is now completely car-free.
#2. Art Nouveau
Nancy is known as the city of Art Nouveau. This was an art movement from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Nancy had its own variant: École de Nancy or the School of Nancy. There is even an entire museum dedicated to the École de Nancy. The former residence of Eugène Corbin, a French artist, businessman and avid collector, has been turned into an art museum since 1964. In the Musée de l’École de Nancy you can enjoy special pottery, ceramics, glassware and other crafts. In addition, valuable furniture can still be admired in the various rooms of this nineteenth century mansion.
You don’t have to go to the museum to discover the Art Nouveau in Nancy. Walking through the streets you can see beautiful examples of Art Nouveau architecture. A number of buildings should be viewed from the inside. For example, the interior of Brasserie Excelsior is one of the most beautiful places to see applications of École de Nancy. Or walk into the bank building of LCL Banque et Assurance at 7 B Rue Saint-Georges. Not to open an account or take out insurance. No, here you have to see the glass roof. A typical Art Nouveau work of art has been created here by means of stained glass.
#3. Place de la Career
The Place de la Carrière is a quaint square and event venue, surrounded by several historic buildings. The Place de la Carrière is an extension of the famous Place Stanislas, from which it is separated only by the Arc Héré and Rue Héré. Place Neuve de la Carrière was created in the 16th century when the fortifications of the medieval city were enlarged and the nobles of Nancy built their mansions there. It soon became the place where tournaments, jousts and other equestrian activities were held. In the eighteenth century there was a restructuring, whereby the Place de la Carrière was given the appearance that you still largely see today.
At the end of the Place de la Carrière is the Palais du gouvernement de Nancy. It is a huge mansion built in the eighteenth century in the classicist style. Having served several purposes, the palace is used, among other things, to house thematic exhibitions of the Lorraine Museum.
#4. Light show on the Place de Stanislas
It has now become a tradition for sound and light shows to be held on Place de Stanislas in Nancy in the summer months. After sunset, the buildings on the square form the backdrop to an unsurpassed multimedia show. Five facades are used, but the centrally located facade of the Hôtel de Ville can be considered the main stage. The show is held almost every evening from about mid-June to mid-September in the Place de Stanislas. Admission is completely free. Finding a good spot shouldn’t be too difficult. Anyone who is smart will combine a terrace visit with the show. You will have to sit at a table on the terrace in time or have reserved one.
#5. Musee des Beaux-Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts is located on the impressive Place Stanislas square. The Musée des Beaux-Arts of Nancyis one of the oldest museums in the country. Since its foundation at the end of the eighteenth century, the collection has continued to expand. You can enjoy a variety of works from the fourteenth century to the present. The museum is housed in a historic building designed by Emmanuel Héré around 1755. In the years 1999 and 2011, the museum received quite a few adjustments. Laurent Beaudouin and Luca Lotti have been given the honor of linking the past with the present. An assignment that many believe they have successfully accomplished. Among the many works of art you will find famous names such as Peter Paul Rubens, Claude Monet, Paul-Emile Colin, Pierre Michel, Jean Prouvé and Felice Varini.
#6. Place d’Alliance
The Place d’Alliance is located in the immediate vicinity of the aforementioned Place Stanislas and Place de la Carrière. It belongs to the same urban ensemble of classical style that Stanislas Leszczynski applied and which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. Characteristics of this square are the lime trees with classical mansions behind them. In the center of the square is an eighteenth-century fountain in Baroque style, created by Belgian sculptor Paul-Louis Cyfflé. It was placed in commemoration of the treaty between France and Austria.
In contrast to the Place Stanislas, the Place d’Alliance is mainly quiet. Tourists do come here to take a look and sometimes take a seat on one of the benches, but there are few visitors who will spend a long time here. This is mainly because you will search in vain for restaurants, terraces, shops or museums on Place d’Alliance.
#7. Notre Dame de l’Annonciation
Nancy Cathedral was built in the eighteenth century. The Italian architect Giovanni Betto sketched a clear design for this. Unfortunately, he died during construction and was never able to admire the final result. His work was taken over by the French architect Germain Boffrand. As decoration, works by Claude Jacquart, the Dupont brothers and Ligier Richier can be admired on the walls and other parts of the cathedral. The Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation is located on Rue Saint-Georges. You can visit Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation freely during opening hours.
#8. Porte de la Crafte
There are several city gates in Nancy, such as the Porte de Stanislas and the Porte de Citadelle. Both are worth checking out. In our opinion, the most beautiful city gate of Nancy is the Porte de la Crafte. This structure is the oldest surviving structure in the city. It was built in the 14th century on the north side of the old town. The Porte de la Crafte is located in the heart of the Ville Vieille – Leopold district. The gate marks the northern boundary of the Grande-Rue, which connects to the rue de la Citadelle.
#9. Arc Here
Nancy has its own triumphal arch: the Arc Héré. This triumphal arch – also known as Porte Héré – stands at the transition from Place Stanislas to Place de la Carrière. The Arc Héré was designed by Emmanuel Héré de Corny in honor of the French King Louis XV and was built between 1752 and 1755. Its architecture is inspired by the Arch of Septimius Severus in Rome. The Arc Héré, which is in excellent condition, is one of the most beautiful triumphal arches in Europe.
#10. Place Charles III
The Place Charles III is in several respects an interesting and worth seeing square within the center of Nancy. It is an important hub of Nancy’s trade as it is located in a vast commercial area that runs from Saint-Jean and Saint-Dizier streets to the Saint Sébastien shopping center and home to the Nancy covered market. This Marché Central de Nancy is the place where you can get delicious fresh ingredients and delicacies. It is a typical example of a French market where the most beautiful regional products are offered under one roof. On the other side of Place Charles III is the sixteenth-century church of Saint-Sébastien.