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From the Château des ducs de Bretagne (Castle of the Dukes of Brittany) to the exquisite 19th century indoor market of Passage Pommeray, and from the Fine Arts Museum to the majestic and futuristic project of Les Machines de l'ile, Nantes is a city with a very rich historical, artistic and architectural heritage. Get ready to fall under the spell of its amazing contradictions: the enchanting greenery, beautiful parks, plants and vegetations, contrasted with the city's formidable urban design. The center of Nantes is practically a medieval nucleus, the source from which the unique old and contemporary exquisiteness of Nantes emanates. The elements of the city are always poised to charm travellers and lull them into a journey in the past, colored with modern hues. Being the birthplace of Jules Verne, as well as the largest port and 6th largest city in France, Nantes is a metropolitan city that never sleeps! In fact, it is said that Nantes was the inspiration for Verne's masterful novel ""Around the world in 80 days"". Enjoy your walks around the city and admire its unique sights and museums. Take a stroll down its harbor and feel the pulse of the then largest slave-trading port in France - until 1848, when slavery was abolished. Taste the excellent local foods of Nantes in one of its restaurants, found both within the city and in its idyllic fishing harbors. So, get ready! Nantes is waiting for you to explore it...
The history of Nantes begins with the Namnètes, a Gaul tribe that founded the city in 70 B.C. When Britain was conquered by the Roman Empire, a large number of Britons fled to French Brittany (Bretagne). This is the reason for the many battles fought in the Duchy of Brittany between the Kings of France and the Breton leaders after the death of Charlemagne in 850 A.D. Nantes finally fell in 1488 and in 1532, during the rule of Francis I of France, the Duchy of Brittany was united with the Kingdom of France thanks to queen Claude de France, who gave the Duchy to her husband as a gift. Nantes was also the epicenter of the religious war in France until the signing of the Edict of Nantes in 1598, which brought an end to the troubles between Catholics and Protestants. Many conflicts followed, which persisted well until the 19th and 20th centuries. During the Second World War, Nantes became the center of the French Resistance. The city grew quickly after the war, becoming the first city in France with its own modern tram network. Nantes continues to grow to this day, and is regarded as the most vibrant and attractive city in West France.
Castle of the Dukes of Brittany
The Château des ducs de Bretagne (Castle of the Dukes of Brittany) is a fortress built in the Renaissance style and situated at the center of the city of Nantes, on the right shore of the Loire. This enchanting castle served as the residence of the Dukes of Brittany, and today stands as the most important landmark of Nantes, having been classified as a historical museum since 1840. It was built in late 15th-century by Francis II, the last Duke of Brittany, and his daughter, Anne of Brittany, twice queen of France. Make a visit and learn everything about Nantes and its history.
That's right! The well-known petit beurre biscuits, the emblematic treat of our childhood years and still the favorite biscuits of the younger generations, are a product originating from Nantes! Their story began in 1846, when Jean-Romain Lefèvre and Pauline-Isabelle Utile opened a pastry shop under the name "Lefèvre Utile". Their son, Louis Lefèvre-Utile, who assumed the management of the enterprise 36 years later, was inspired by the shape of his grandmother's placemat to create a cookie. One thing led to another, and the first Petit-Beurre by LU biscuits were born. Their shape, too, had a particular meaning: its four corners stood as symbol for the four seasons, the 52 "teeth" for the 52 weeks in a year, and the 24 small holes for the 24 hours in a day!