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Places to Visit in the City of Nantes, France

When you envisage a holiday in France, perhaps you envisage wandering the streets of Paris, relishing the sun on the shorelines of Nice, maybe exploring Marseilles or residing in a countryside villa in Provence - however, we want to draw your attention to a different part of the nation and encourage you to go to Nantes. It is the sixth-largest city in the country, located on the banks of the Loire River, and is famous as the "City of Dukes" due to its noble past. To make it clear why Nantes is worth visiting and should be your next stop, we have compiled a list of the top 11 attractions, places, and destinations in the city, just waiting for you to check them out - now or at any other time.

1. Château des Ducs de Bretagne

attractions in Nantes, France
Positioned in the core of Nantes is this ancient castle. It is one of the most popular attractions and may very well be the first one you should visit when you enter the city. It was constructed in the 15th century. In comparison to its solid exterior, its internal courtyard reveals the delicate beauty and grace that characterized the design of the Renaissance. In the past, this castle served as the abode of the French monarchs, and later it was used as a prison, an arms depot, and a military hostel. When the Germans attacked France in WWII, they constructed a sheltered bunker at the base. Today, the long past of this castle is still visible, and it is the home of the Nantes History Museum and a vacation destination that attracts tourists from all around the globe.

attractions in Nantes, France

אטרקציות בנאנט: כיכר בופה

It is true that when we hear the word "buffet," we tend to imagine a food bar with many options available at events or hotel breakfasts. To an extent, the historical district of the city can be likened to that. Place de Beauvais is surrounded by numerous attractions, and you can stroll through the cobblestone streets and appreciate the delightful atmosphere. There are many boutique shops and an array of delightful restaurants and cafes in the area. Additionally, you can visit the beautiful Nantes Art Museum and the Cathedrals of St. Pierre and St. Paul, with the Gate of St. Pierre being the last remnant of the medieval wall that was once a part of the city's fortifications. Another place to explore is the Jules Verne Museum.

אטרקציות בנאנט: כיכר בופה
אטרקציות בנאנט: מוזיאון ז׳ול ורן

Jules Verne, a forerunner of science fiction who composed iconic works such as "Around the World in 80 Days," "20 Thousand Miles Under the Sea," "Journey to the Bottom of the Earth," and more, was born in Nantes, so it is only right that a well-respected museum would be dedicated to him there. This remarkable institution was designed to take its patrons on a trip matching the style of Verne. It features imaginative exhibitions that include videos, posters, and models of some of the imaginary inventions described in his books. Although the display is presented in French, even those who don't comprehend the language will be able to enjoy it immensely by simply watching it. The Flower Garden (Jardin des Plantes) is the fitting setting for this tribute.

אטרקציות בנאנט: מייצג במוזיאון ז׳ול ורן
אטרקציות בנאנט: גן הפרחים של נאנט מלמעלה

Located among a forest of tall trees and adorned with exquisite flowers, the Nantes flower garden holds the prestigious title granted by the French government of being one of only four "Noteworthy Gardens" in the country. Its pathways, lined with benches, provide the perfect spot to enjoy the peaceful ambiance and take a break from the city. Spread across 17 acres, this beautiful green space is home to giant bushes that have been trimmed into the shapes of a cat, a frog, and a snoozing bird - among other designs.

אטרקציות בנאנט:
אטרקציות בנאנט: מתקן הפיל בפארק המכונות

This amazing amusement park looks like it has come straight out of a fairy tale and is an enjoyable, surreal, and fun experience for visitors of all ages. It has been designed with boundless creativity and a deep regard for mechanics and technology, with all its exhibits and attractions reflecting this. Among them is an enormous 48-tonne steel elephant that takes visitors on a 30-minute tour around the area, as well as the multi-level 'Carousel of the Sea Worlds' which takes riders on a voyage through the depths and has won international accolades for its design.

אטרקציות בנאנט: מתקן בפארק המכונות
אטרקציות בנאנט: המזרקה בכיכר ברובע גרסלן

If you're visiting Nantes, a visit to the fashionable, prestigious, and elegant Graslan district is a must. Here, you can shop in high-end stores and boutiques, take a leisurely stroll in a live and stylish area, and observe the fountain in Place Royale, which symbolizes the Loire River upon which Nantes is situated. Additionally, the streets surrounding the plaza are full of eateries and cafes. If you wish to experience some art and culture, the Greslan Theater, which has been in existence since the 18th century, offers opera, music, and dance performances.

אטרקציות בנאנט: מבנה תיאטרון גרסלן בלילה
אטרקציות בנאנט:  מבנה מוזיאון היסטוריית הטבע

The Natural History Museum, situated in a former mint, has galleries devoted to different areas of natural science, ranging from mesology to paleontology, mineralogy, and ethnography. This museum, which has been in place since the eighteenth century, also features a wide variety of other fields of inquiry. However, the most remarkable piece may be found in the zoology gallery - a whale skeleton that is 60 feet (18 meters) in length and suspended from the ceiling.

אטרקציות בנאנט: תצוגה במוזיאון היסטוריית הטבע
אטרקציות בנאנט:  חזית אנדרטת ביטול העבדות

The city of Nantes in France serves as a reminder of its difficult past, as it was the first to export slaves from Africa in the 18th century. In 1998, a local student erected a statue on the banks of the Loire River to honor the victims of slavery. This was to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the law that abolished it. This monument was officially recognized by the mayor of Nantes in 2012. The complex consists of a 75,000 square feet (7,000 square meters) walkway with the names of the slave ships that sailed from Nantes, and it concludes with an underground passage leading to the display of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

אטרקציות בנאנט: מעבר תת קרקעי באנדרטת ביטול העבדות
אטרקציות בנאנט: האיי פיידו

Up until the 1940s, Feido was a distinct island from Nantes, in the center of the Loire. An extension of the landmass to the island transformed the locale into a celebrated region. This region also maintains the beliefs of the past centuries in which it was created and flourished. During the 1700s, when the harbor of Nantes was one of the most prominent in Europe, the local shipowners grew extravagantly wealthy due to the energetic maritime business. They constructed their grandiose manors here on the island of Faydo. Even today, while wandering around this exquisite area, one can be astounded by the design and architecture of the environment. In addition, one can be astounded by the vegetation and the gorgeous flowers that characterize the whole place. The Bretagne Tower (Tour Bretagne) is also a notable sight.

אטרקציות בנאנט: האי פיידן
אטרקציות בנאנט: מגדל ברטאן על רקע נהר בנאנט

The Bretagne Tower stands an impressive 460 feet (140 meters) tall and is one of the most towering structures outside of Paris in France. The building is located on the north side of the city and can be seen from any angle of the city. Its modern, industrial architecture stands in stark contrast to the classic, traditional values that the city is known for. Nevertheless, the view from the top of the building is breathtaking; there is even a bar at the summit so that visitors can relax, sip a beverage, and take in the sights of Nantes from above.

אטרקציות בנאנט: מגדל ברטאן על רקע שדה פרחים
אטרקציות בנאנט: מבנה קתדרלת נאנט

To see a living representation of the long-lasting Gothic style of architecture, a visit to Nantes Cathedral is a must. Starting in 1434, it took over four centuries to construct the church, which underwent four phases of development. The result is an awe-inspiring building that is incredibly large and designed beautifully. Additionally, the cathedral is home to the tombs of some of the most powerful rulers in the area, like Francois II, Duke of Brittany.

אטרקציות בנאנט: פנים קתדרלת נאנט

Photo sources: Jean-Marc Ayrault ,Nono vlf ,Jibi44 ,Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, Nantes culture&patrimoine, , Groume, Llann Wé²Patricia RipnelGuillaume PiolleOlga.Mach, cercamon, canva.com

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