City of art and history since 2000, Nantes has remarkable heritage buildings, witnesses of the past of the city of Jules Verne.
Essential places of Nantes heritage :
Very few European cities can boast of having a covered passage of such architectural value. Created in 1843, it entered the 21st century intact. This haven of peace has inspired more than one artist, from the filmmaker Demy (Lola, Une chambre en ville) to the cartoonist Tardi (The True Story of the Unknown Soldier); let us also quote Agnès Varda during a 2012 trip.
Castle of the Dukes of Brittany
Founded in the 13th century, the first ducal castle disappeared in the 15th century to make way for the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany, the work of François II, the last duke of independent Brittany. Classified as a historic monument in 1862, since 2007 it has housed the Nantes History Museum. It was at the castle that Henri IV signed the Edict of Nantes, an edict of tolerance which put an end to the wars of religion on April 30, 1598.
Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul
Cathedral of the Diocese of Nantes and seat of the Bishop of Nantes, Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul Cathedral has been listed as a historical monument since 1862. In Gothic style, its construction took 457 years, from 1434 to 1891. While visiting the cathedral, you can admire the tomb of François II, Duke of Brittany and his wife Marguerite de Foix. It was made of Carrara marble (Italy) at the beginning of the 16th century by the sculptor Michel Colombe. A fire in July 2020 forced this monument to be closed to the public. Restoration work will take years. A partial reopening is nevertheless envisaged at the end of 2022-2023.
River and industrial heritage
In Nantes, the naval tradition dates back to Antiquity ! The first written mentions of “Portus Namnetum” (the port of the Namnètes) evoke this privileged relationship between the city and the Loire. From the 19th century, shipyards developed on an industrial scale, employing up to 6,000 people. Arrested since 1987, they have nevertheless left a heritage still visible today. In particular, you can admire the Titan cranes, classified as historical monuments since 2005.
Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery
The City of Nantes, with the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery located on Quai de la Fosse, affirms its “willingness to keep the memory of the past and warn for the future” (K. Wodiczko and J. Bonder) . Inaugurated in 2012, it recalls, through two routes, the history of Nantes, the first French slave port in the 18th century. You will discover, in particular, 2000 glass plates which recall the names of the slave ships, the dates of the expeditions and the trading posts and ports of call in Africa, the Antilles, the Americas and the Indian Ocean.