General Information

General Information

Welcome to the city of Nantes

Nantes is the eighth largest city in France, with a population of over 600,000 in the urban area. The historic part of the city stands on the
north bank of the Loire, around the confluence of the river Erdre. The meeting of the two rivers is not however a feature, as back in the
1930s the lower end of the Erdre was filled in to make more room in the city centre, and the river now flows out into the Loire via a canal tunnel.
Apart from its medieval / Renaissance castle, which now houses the city’s museum, and the late medieval cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, the historic centre of
Nantes is largely characterised by streets and buildings that were put up in the period of the city’s commercial heyday, from the late 17th century to the early
19th century. This helps to give Nantes a slight Parisian feeling - like a small version of Paris in the west of France. The once busy port area of Nantes is now
very quiet; the little commercial shipping that still comes up the Loire as far as Nantes uses wharves on the south side of the Loire or on the western outskirts
of the city, and the few cruise liners that make it up the Loire estuary have to dock well away from the centre. The Quai de la Fosse, closest to the city centre,
has no commercial shipping, but is served by pleasure craft and is home to some historic ships, including the Maillé-Brézé, a historic warship and naval museum.
Today, more than a port, Nantes is the administrative and commercial hub of north-western France. The city that was until the 16th century the capital of
Brittany is now no longer part of Brittany; the department of Loire Atlantique, of which it is the capital, was definitively hived off from Brittany under the Vichy
government during the second world war, and has since become the capital of a new administrative region - with little historic basis - the Pays de la Loire, created
in 1963. In that respect, Nantes remains a regional capital, but no longer the capital of Brittany. That is now Rennes. Nantes welcomes and trains over 3,700
international students. Its 200 laboratories and 2,200 researchers in health and biotechnologies are ranked among the best. The nine industrial competitiveness
clusters in Nantes Métropole - aerospace, shipbuilding, energy and transport, imaging, health and biotechnologies, the maritime industry, etc. - have international reach.

  Picture3Picture1Picture3Nantes 4 2023