Nancy, France

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This article is about the city in France. For other uses, see Nancy.
Nancy
Place Stanislas in the centre of town
Place Stanislas in the centre of town
Coat of arms of Nancy
Coat of arms
Nancy is located in France
Nancy
Nancy
Coordinates: 48°41′37″N 6°11′05″E / 48.6936°N 6.1846°E / 48.6936; 6.1846Coordinates: 48°41′37″N 6°11′05″E / 48.6936°N 6.1846°E / 48.6936; 6.1846
Country France
Region Grand Est
Department Meurthe-et-Moselle
Arrondissement Nancy
Intercommunality Greater Nancy
Government
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Laurent Hénart
Area1 15.01 km2 (5.80 sq mi)
Population (2012)2 105,067
 • Density 7,000/km2 (18,000/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 54395 / 54000
Elevation 188–353 m (617–1,158 ft)
(avg. 212 m or 696 ft)
Website http://www.nancy.fr/

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Part of the series on
Lorraine
Flag of Lorraine.svg
Flag of Lorraine since the 13th century

Nancy (French pronunciation: ​[nɑ̃.si]; German: Nanzig[1]) is the capital of the north-eastern French department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, and formerly the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine, and then the French province of the same name. The metropolitan area of Nancy had a population of 410,509 inhabitants at the 1999 census, 103,602 of whom lived in the city of Nancy proper (105,067 inhabitants in the city proper as of 2012 estimates).

The motto of the city is Non inultus premor, Latin for "I'm not touched with impunity"—a reference to the thistle, which is a symbol of Lorraine.

Place Stanislas, a large square built between March 1752 and November 1755 by Stanislaus I of Poland to link the medieval old town of Nancy and the new town built under Charles III in the 17th century, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

History[edit]

Engraving depicting the capture of Nancy through Duke René II of Lorraine in 1477

The earliest signs of human settlement in the area date back to 800 BC. Early settlers were likely attracted by easily mined iron ore and a ford in the Meurthe River. A small fortified town named Nanciacum (Nancy) was built by Gérard, Duke of Lorraine around 1050.

Nancy was burned in 1218 at the end of the War of Succession of Champagne, and conquered by Emperor Frederick II, then rebuilt in stone over the next few centuries as it grew in importance as the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine. Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy, was defeated and killed in the Battle of Nancy in 1477, René II, Duke of Lorraine became the ruler.

Following the failure of both Emperor Joseph I and Emperor Charles VI to produce a son and heir, the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 left the throne to the latter's yet unborn daughter, Maria Theresa of Austria. In 1736 Emperor Charles arranged her marriage to Duke François of Lorraine, who reluctantly agreed to exchange his ancestral lands for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Exiled Polish king Stanisław Leszczyński, father-in-law of French king Louis XV, was given the vacant duchy instead. Under his nominal rule, Nancy experienced growth and a flowering of Baroque culture and architecture. With his death in 1766, the duchy became a regular French province and Nancy lost its position as a residential capital city with its own princely court and patronage.

As unrest surfaced within the French armed forces during the French Revolution, a full-scale mutiny took place in Nancy in later summer of 1790 known as the Nancy affair. A few reliable units laid siege to the town and shot or imprisoned the mutineers.

In 1871, Nancy remained French when Prussia annexed Alsace-Lorraine. The flow of refugees reaching Nancy doubled its population in three decades. Artistic, academic, financial and industrial excellence flourished, establishing what is still the Capital of Lorraine's trademark to this day.

Nancy was freed from Nazi Germany by the U.S. Third Army in September 1944, during the Lorraine Campaign of World War II at the Battle of Nancy (1944)).

In 1988, Pope John Paul II visited Nancy. In 2005, French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski inaugurated the renovated Place Stanislas.

Geography[edit]

Nancy is situated on the left bank of the river Meurthe, about 10 km upstream from its confluence with the Moselle. The Marne–Rhine Canal runs through the city, parallel to the Meurthe. Nancy is surrounded by hills that are about 150 m higher than the city center, which is situated at 200 m amsl. The area of Nancy proper is relatively small: 15 km2. Its built-up area is continuous with those of its adjacent suburbs. The neighboring communes of Nancy are: Jarville-la-Malgrange, Laxou, Malzéville, Maxéville, Saint-Max, Tomblaine, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy and Villers-lès-Nancy.

The oldest part of Nancy is the quarter Vieille Ville – Léopold, which contains the 14th century Porte de la Craffe, the Palace of the Dukes of Lorraine, the Porte Désilles and the 19th century St-Epvre basilica. Adjacent to its south is the quarter Charles III – Centre Ville, which is the 16th–18th century "new town". This quarter contains the famous Place Stanislas, the Nancy Cathedral, the Opéra national de Lorraine and the main railway station.

Climate[edit]

Nancy has an oceanic climate (Cfb in the Koeppen climate classification).

Climate data for Nancy (1981–2010 averages)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.8
(62.2)
20.0
(68)
24.3
(75.7)
29.3
(84.7)
32.5
(90.5)
36.1
(97)
38.2
(100.8)
39.3
(102.7)
33.7
(92.7)
27.2
(81)
22.1
(71.8)
18.5
(65.3)
39.3
(102.7)
Average high °C (°F) 4.6
(40.3)
6.4
(43.5)
10.9
(51.6)
14.8
(58.6)
19.2
(66.6)
22.6
(72.7)
25.1
(77.2)
24.7
(76.5)
20.3
(68.5)
15.1
(59.2)
8.9
(48)
5.4
(41.7)
14.9
(58.8)
Average low °C (°F) −0.8
(30.6)
−0.7
(30.7)
2.0
(35.6)
4.1
(39.4)
8.4
(47.1)
11.7
(53.1)
13.7
(56.7)
13.2
(55.8)
10.1
(50.2)
6.8
(44.2)
2.8
(37)
0.4
(32.7)
6.0
(42.8)
Record low °C (°F) −21.6
(−6.9)
−24.8
(−12.6)
−15.9
(3.4)
−6.8
(19.8)
−4.2
(24.4)
1.6
(34.9)
2.0
(35.6)
2.8
(37)
−1.3
(29.7)
−7.9
(17.8)
−12.7
(9.1)
−21.3
(−6.3)
−24.8
(−12.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 65.4
(2.575)
55.3
(2.177)
59.5
(2.343)
49.3
(1.941)
67.6
(2.661)
69.2
(2.724)
62.4
(2.457)
63.0
(2.48)
64.7
(2.547)
73.8
(2.906)
65.9
(2.594)
79.0
(3.11)
775.1
(30.516)
Average precipitation days 11.2 9.5 10.6 9.3 11.0 9.9 9.6 9.2 9.2 11.4 11.6 11.8 124.3
Average snowy days 8.0 6.7 4.5 1.8 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 3.4 6.1 30.7
Average relative humidity (%) 87 83 78 74 75 75 75 77 81 86 87 87 80.4
Mean monthly sunshine hours 55.9 79.7 129.1 173.9 199.1 220.9 229.1 213.7 162.8 104.8 51.7 44.3 1,664.9
Source #1: Météo France[2][3]
Source #2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity and snowy days, 1961–1990)[4]

Main sights[edit]

Notre-Dame Cathedral of Nancy
City hall and monument to Stanislaus I of Poland, at Place Stanislas

The old city center's heritage dates from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. The cathedral of Nancy, the Triumphal Arch and the "Place de la Carriere" are a fine examples of 18th-century architecture.[5] The Palace of the Dukes of Lorraine is the former princely residence of the rulers. The palace houses the Musée Lorrain.

A historic church is the Church of Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, Nancy, final resting place of the last duke Stanislas. Other notable churches are the Church of Saint-François-des-Cordeliers and the Basilica of Saint-Epvre (fr:Basilique Saint-Epvre de Nancy), which have historical ties to the imperial House of Lorraine.

The Place Stanislas[6] named after king of Poland and duke of Lorraine Stanislaus I, Place de la Carrière, and Place d'Alliance were added on the World Heritage Sites list by the UNESCO in 1983.

The "École de Nancy", a group of artists and architects founded by the glassmaster and furniture maker Émile Gallé, worked in the art nouveau style at the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century. It was principally their work which made Nancy a center of art and architecture that rivaled Paris and helped give the city the nickname "Capitale de l'Est." The city still possesses many Art Nouveau buildings (mostly banks or private homes). Furniture, glassware, and other pieces of the decorative arts are conserved at the Musée de l'École de Nancy, which is housed in the 1909 villa of Eugène Corbin, a Nancy businessman and supporter of the Art Nouveau there. The Musée des Beaux-Arts has further collections of the art nouveau movement.

A major botanical garden, the Jardin botanique du Montet, is located at Villers-lès-Nancy. Other gardens of interest include the city's earliest botanical garden, the Jardin Dominique Alexandre Godron, and various other public gardens and places of interest including the Pépinière and Parc Sainte-Marie (public gardens). The town also has an aquarium.

The surroundings of the train station are a busy commercial area.

Culture[edit]

National Opera of Lorraine
Museum of the École de Nancy

The city is known for its World Heritage buildings at the Place Stanislas, which was opened April 2005 by Jacques Chirac after refurbishment.

At the turn of the 20th century, Nancy was a major center of the Art Nouveau with the École de Nancy. The city possesses a unique and interesting Musée de l'École de Nancy (School of Nancy Museum) with artworks by Émile Gallé, Louis Majorelle, Daum, Caravaggio,[7] and others.

Nancy also has other museums:

The city is also the seat of the Diocese of Nancy and the home of the Opéra national de Lorraine. There is a network of libraries, the central of which is Bibliothèque municipale de Nancy.

Universities and colleges[edit]

Faculty of Law, Economics and Management of the University of Lorraine

Nancy has a large number of institutions of higher learning.

Sports[edit]

Nancy is home to two of the three professional sport clubs in Lorraine: AS Nancy-Lorraine in football and SLUC Nancy in basketball. AS Nancy-Lorraine's Hall of Fame includes triple-Ballon d'Or and UEFA President Michel Platini, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, 1998 World Champion Aimé Jacquet, 2000 European Champion Roger Lemerre, 1998 African Ballon d'Or Mustapha Hadji, Irish legend Tony Cascarino, 1986 European Cup winner Sacha Zavarov and 1958 World Cup Semi-finalist Roger Piantoni.

AS Nancy-Lorraine won the French cup 1978 with captain Michel Platini who scored the only goal of the match (Nancy 1 – 0 Nice). More recently AS Nancy-Lorraine won the "Coupe de la Ligue" (French League Cup) in 2006 and reached fourth place in the French football league in 2007/2008.

SLUC Nancy won the last Korac European Cup in 2002, reached the finals of French championship of basketball (Pro A) four consecutive times and finally won his first trophy in 2008. Also winner of "Semaine des As" in 2005 and champion of 2nd league (pro B) in 1994.

Winner of the 2010–2011 French Championship.

Cours-Léopold
Place Stanislas – Arc Héré
Place Stanislas – Fountain of Neptune


Native sons and daughters[edit]

Nancy was the birthplace of:

Transport[edit]

Nancy's guided busway, known as the 'tramway on tires'

The main railway station is Gare de Nancy-Ville, with direct connections to Paris (high-speed rail line), Metz, Lyon, Strasbourg and several regional destinations. The motorway A31 connects Nancy with Metz, Luxembourg and Langres.

Public transport within Nancy is provided by Service de Transport de l'Agglomération Nancéienne (STAN),[14] operated by Veolia Transport, operating the Tram by STAN and around 20 conventional bus routes.

The most heavily used route, the Tram T1, is a so-called 'tramway on tires', which is actually a guided busway based on Bombardier Transportation's Guided Light Transit (GLT) technology and using articulated trolleybuses. In addition to diesel buses, Nancy has been served by trolleybuses since 1982, but in 2000 the three-route trolleybus system was reconfigured into a single, longer route[citation needed] and with a surface guidance system added (GLT, or TVR in French). The guidance systems covers about two-thirds of the approximately 10-km route, and the trolleybuses are separated from other traffic over that portion of the route, speeding travel times. During its first two years, the new system suffered many incidents and malfunctions of the guidance system, but now works without significant problems.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]

Art Nouveau-related links