73 Facts About Nantes


Nantes belongs historically and culturally to Brittany, a former duchy and province, and its omission from the modern administrative region of Brittany is controversial.

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Nantes was identified during classical antiquity as a port on the Loire.

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Nantes has been praised for its quality of life, and it received the European Green Capital Award in 2013.

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Nantes is named after a tribe of Gaul, the Namnetes, who established a settlement between the end of the second century and the beginning of the first century BC on the north bank of the Loire near its confluence with the Erdre.

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Nantes' name continued to evolve, becoming and during the fifth century and Nantes after the sixth, via syncope .

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In Breton, Nantes is known as or, the latter of which is less common and reflects the more-frequent use of articles in Breton toponyms than in French ones.

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Nantes began to grow when Ratiatum collapsed after the Germanic invasions.

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The wall in Nantes, enclosing 16 hectares, was one of the largest in Gaul.

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The most spectacular Viking attack in Nantes occurred in 843, when Viking warriors killed the bishop but did not settle in the city at that time.

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Nantes became part of the Viking realm in 919, but the Norse were expelled from the town in 937 by Alan II, Duke of Brittany.

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Feudalism took hold in France during the 10th and 11th centuries, and Nantes was the seat of a county founded in the ninth century.

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Nantes began to trade with foreign countries, exporting salt from Bourgneuf, wine, fabrics and hemp .

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Rennes received most legal and administrative institutions, and Nantes kept a financial role with its Chamber of Accounts.

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The Duke created an independent government in Nantes, allying with Spain and pressing for independence from France.

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In 1664 Nantes was France's eighth-largest port, and it was the largest by 1700.

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Nantes was an important Republican garrison on the Loire en route to England.

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Twelve thousand Republican soldiers resisted and the Battle of Nantes resulted in the death of Royalist leader Jacques Cathelineau.

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Nantes was seen by the convention as a corrupt merchant city; the local elite was less supportive of the French Revolution, since its growing centralisation reduced their influence.

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The Drownings at Nantes were intended to kill large numbers of people simultaneously, and Carrier called the Loire "the national bathtub".

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Nantes tradesmen received a tax rebate on Reunion sugar, which was lucrative until disease devastated the cane plantations in 1863.

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In 1851, after much debate and opposition, Nantes was connected to Paris by the Tours–Saint-Nazaire railway.

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Nantes became a major industrial city during the second half of the 19th century with the aid of several families who invested in successful businesses.

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At the beginning of the 20th century, the river channels flowing through Nantes were increasingly perceived as hampering the city's comfort and economic development.

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The 1970s global recession brought a large wave of deindustrialisation to France, and Nantes saw the closure of many factories and the city's shipyards.

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Nantes has been noted in recent years for its climate of social unrest, marked by frequent and often violent clashes between protesters and police.

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Nantes is in north-western France, near the Atlantic Ocean and 340 kilometres south-west of Paris.

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Land north of Nantes is dominated by bocage and dedicated to polyculture and animal husbandry, and the south is renowned for its Muscadet vineyards and market gardens.

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The Loire in Nantes now has only two branches, one on either side of the Isle of Nantes.

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Nantes was at the point where the river current and the tides cancelled each other out, resulting in siltation and the formation of the original islands.

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Nantes is where one of these ridges, the Sillon de Bretagne, meets the Loire.

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Elevations in Nantes are generally higher in the western neighbourhoods on the Sillon, reaching 52 metres in the north-west.

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Nantes has an oceanic climate influenced by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.

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The climate in Nantes is suitable for growing a variety of plants, from temperate vegetables to exotic trees and flowers imported during the colonial era.

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Nantes has 100 public parks, gardens and squares covering 218 hectares .

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Nantes has three ecodistricts, which aim to provide affordable, ecological housing and counter urban sprawl by redeveloping neglected areas of the city.

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Nantes is the prefecture of the Loire-Atlantique departement and the Pays de la Loire region.

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Nantes is the meeting place of the region and departement councils, two elected political bodies.

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The current mayor of Nantes is Johanna Rolland, who was elected on 4 April 2014.

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Since 1995 Nantes has been divided into 11 neighbourhoods, each with an advisory committee and administrative agents.

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Nantes Metropole, created in 1999, is administered by a council consisting of the 97 members of the local municipal councils.

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Nantes' flag is derived from the naval jack flown by Breton vessels before the French Revolution.

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Breton culture in Nantes is not necessarily characteristic of Lower Brittany's, although the city experienced substantial Lower Breton immigration during the 19th century.

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Nantes has experienced consistent growth since the Middle Ages, except during the French Revolution and the reign of Napoleon I .

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Since 2000 the population of Nantes began to rise due to redevelopment, and its urban area has continued to experience population growth.

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Nantes is historically a Catholic city, with a cathedral, two minor basilicas, about 40 churches and around 20 chapels.

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Western France is traditionally religious, and the Catholic influence on Nantes was more persistent than in other large French cities.

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Nantes had a small Jewish community during the Middle Ages, but Jews were expelled from Brittany in 1240 and Judaism only reappeared after the French Revolution.

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Nantes signed the charter of the Public Office for the Breton Language in 2013.

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Centuries, Nantes' economy was linked to the Loire and the Atlantic; the city had France's largest harbour in the 18th century.

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The Nantes region is France's largest food producer; the city has recently become a hub of innovation in food security, with laboratories and firms such as Eurofins Scientific.

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Nantes experienced deindustrialisation after port activity in Saint-Nazaire largely ceased, culminating in the 1987 closure of the shipyards.

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Nantes capitalised on its culture and proximity to the sea to present itself as creative and modern.

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The communes surrounding Nantes have industrial estates and retail parks, many along the region's ring road.

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Nantes' cityscape is primarily recent, with more buildings built during the 20th century than in any other era.

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Nantes has a few structures dating to antiquity and the early Middle Ages.

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The Machines of the Isle of Nantes, opened in 2007 in the converted shipyards, has automatons, prototypes inspired by deep-sea creatures and a 12-metre-tall walking elephant.

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Nantes has five cinemas, with others throughout the metropolitan area.

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Nantes is noted for its large marionettes, and has performed in Lisbon, Berlin, London and Santiago.

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Nantes has been described as the birthplace of surrealism, since Andre Breton met Jacques Vache there in 1916.

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Nantes inspired Stendhal ; Gustave Flaubert ; Henry James, in his 1884 A Little Tour in France; Andre Pieyre de Mandiargues in Le Musee noir, and Paul-Louis Rossi in Nantes .

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Nantes appears in a number of songs, the best-known to non-French audiences being 2007's "Nantes" by the American band Beirut.

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The Nantes region is renowned in France for market gardens and is a major producer of corn salad, leeks, radishes and carrots.

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Nantes has a wine-growing region, the Vignoble nantais, primarily south of the Loire.

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University of Nantes was first founded in 1460 by Francis II, Duke of Brittany, but it failed to become a large institution during the Ancien Regime.

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In 1961 the university was finally recreated, but Nantes has not established itself as a large university city.

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Nantes has three other grandes ecoles: the Ecole superieure du bois, the School of Design and Exi-Cesi .

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FC Nantes has several French professional football records, including the most consecutive seasons in the elite division, most wins in a season, consecutive wins and consecutive home wins .

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Nantes is on the Way of the Estuaries, a network of motorways connecting northern France and the Spanish border in the south-west while bypassing Paris.

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Nantes built its first compressed-air tram network in 1879, which was electrified in 1911.

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Nantes has developed a tram-train system, the Nantes tram-train, which would allow suburban trains to run on tram lines; the system already exists in Mulhouse and Karlsruhe, Germany.

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Nantes has a satirical weekly newspaper, La Lettre a Lulu, and several specialised magazines.

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Nantes is home to Millenaire Presse—the largest French publishing house dedicated to professional entertainers—which publishes several magazines, including La Scene.

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Nantes is the headquarters of France 3 Pays de la Loire, one of 24 local stations of the France Televisions national public broadcaster.

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