Nancy 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.
|Mayor (2020–2026)||Mathieu Klein|
|Area||15.01 km2 (5.80 sq mi)|
|Density||7,000/km2 (18,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
The motto of the city is Non inultus premor, Latin for ‘”I am not injured unavenged” —a reference to the thistle, which is a symbol of Lorraine.
Nancy is situated on the left bank of the river Meurthe. 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 above mean sea level. The area of Nancy proper is relatively small: 15 km2.
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.
Nancy has an oceanic climate, although a bit more extreme than most of the larger French cities.
Winters are cold and dry in freezing climates. Summers are not always sunny, but warm enough. Mists are frequent in autumn and the winds are light and not too violent.
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. 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, which have historical ties to the ducal House of Lorraine.
The Place Stanislas 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. 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.
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 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).
Nancy also has other museums:
- Museum of Fine Arts of Nancy
- Lorraine History Museum
- Aquarium and Natural History Museum of Nancy
- Musée de l’École de Nancy
- The Iron History Museum
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.
Nancy is known for its macarons and bergamotes, candies flavored with bergamot essential oil.
Universities and colleges
Nancy has a large number of institutions of higher learning.
- University of Lorraine which merges:
- Henri Poincaré University (Université Henri Poincaré, UHP, also known as Nancy 1)
- Nancy 2 University (Université Nancy 2)
- National Polytechnic Institute of Lorraine (Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine or INPL)
- École des Beaux-Arts de Nancy
- École nationale supérieure d’art de Nancy
- School of architecture of Nancy (ENSA)
- École pour l’informatique et les nouvelles technologies (EPITECH)
- ICN Graduate Business School (Institut Commercial de Nancy)
- Sciences Po Paris (French-German Undergraduate Campus)
- Centre de Nancy-AgroParisTech
- École Supérieure Robert de Sorbon
- French National School of Forestry, est. 1824, in Nancy
Nancy is home to two of the three professional sport clubs in Lorraine: AS Nancy-Lorraine in football and SLUC Nancy in basketball.
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.
The most heavily used route, the Tram T1. 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 and with a surface guidance system added (GLT, or TVR in French).