A beautiful town with so much to offer. Capital of the Dukes of Lorraine, Nancy is known throughout the world for its array of eighteenth century architecture in place Stanislas, place de la Carrière and place d’Alliance - listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites since 1983.
A visit to Nancy can begin in the large square dedicated to Duke Stanislaus - Place Stanislas - which falls between the Old Town (Vielle Ville) and the newer neighborhoods of the city, and is surrounded by impressive buildings and feature wrought iron decorations. It was created in the late eighteenth century by Jean Lamour (1698-1771) and Emmanuel Héré (1705-1763).
Here you will also find the old Town Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts, the 'Neptune Fountain' and the Triumphal Arch, an 18th century addition which pays tribute to King Louis XV and is decorated with trophies, gold bars and floral motives.
Before enjoying all these cultural museums visit the Park of Péoinière, with its garden and the Nancy Basilica of Saint Epvre in flamboyant Gothic style. The basilica has beautiful stained-glass windows (over 70 in total) and the Tour de la Commanderie dating from the twelfth century.
Other squares in Nancy to visit include the Place de la Carrière, a square once dedicated to races and with imposing gates in the Rococo style, and the Place d'Alliance with a Baroque Fountain by Louis Cyfflé (1724-1806).
In particular look at the Art Nouveau style visible in the stained glass and floral motives of the palaces which you can admire in the district of Saint Leon and Saurupt, and various buildings by Lucien Weissenburger (1860-1929).
Even more than being a town dedicated to art (which it is), Nancy has turned to “live” culture, with a national opera, a ballet, a symphony and opera orchestra, a national drama center and 6 museums, among which is the unique, genre-transcending École de Nancy (School of Nancy museum).
At first glance, Nancy is best known for its sweet specialties: the pearlescent Macarons de Nancy that melt in the mouth; the little golden Bergamotes de Nancy, those translucent square sweets, that are so portable you can send, or have them sent, all around the world!
On closer inspection, the gastronomic picture also has a savory side in quiches, potées (hotpot), Bouchées à la Reine (chicken vols-au-vent), Lorraine pâté, pies, tarts, cooked meats and all the variations of Lorraine’s best-loved fruit, the Mirabelle plum.
And to finish off, what about a little cheese from the nearby Vosges mountains, some hand-made bread, Côtes de Toul wine = bliss !
Gourmands, don’t forget to schedule a visit to the central market in the heart of the New Town! There you will discover products from this wooded region with our rich history and generous nature: freshwater fish, water fowl, woodland and wild game, orchard fruits, mushrooms, and truffles…
Must-sees in Nancy
Place Stanislas (town hall, Grand Theatre etc), place de la Carrière, place d’Alliance, are listed as UNESCO world heritage sites. The old town. The École de Nancy museum. The Lorraine museum. The fine art museum and its Daum collection. The Museum and Aquarium. Art Nouveau. The botanical garden at Le Montet with its 20,000 species of plants. The gourmet specialities: Bergamotes and Macarons de Nancy, Mirabelle plums, Quiche Lorraine. The marina and its water gardens.