Nancy, France Hotels, Resorts & Hotel Accommodations

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NANCY
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Nancy is a city and commune in the Lorraine région of northeastern France. The city is the préfecture (capital) of the Meurthe-et-Moselle département. The metropolitan area (aire urbaine) of Nancy had a population of 410,509 inhabitants at the 1999 census, 103,602 of whom lived in the city of Nancy proper (105,100 inhabitants in the city proper as of 2004 estimates). read full wikipedia reference about Nancy, France

NANCY lies on the banks of the River Meurthe. It was spared the Prussian occupation that afflicted the rest of the region from 1870 to 1918, and its centre, largely unaffected by the undistinguished modern sprawl that blights the valley sides, remains a model of eighteenth-century Classicism. For this, it has the last of the independent dukes of Lorraine to thank, the dethroned King of Poland and father-in-law of Louis XV, Stanislas Leszczynski. During the twenty-odd years of his office in the mid-eighteenth century, he ordered some of the most successful urban renewal of the period in all France.

Pride of place in Nancy must go to the beautiful place Stanislas , the middle of which belongs to the solitary statue of its inspirer, the portly Stanislas himself, who was responsible for laying out the square in the 1750s. On the south side of the square stands the imposing Hôtel de Ville , its roof-line topped by a balustrade ornamented with florid urns and amorini, while along its walls lozenge-shaped lanterns dangle from the beaks of gilded cocks; similar motifs adorn the other buildings bordering the square. Its entrances are closed by magnificent wrought-iron gates, with the best work of all in the railings of the northeastern and northwestern corners, which frame gloriously extravagant fountains dominated by lead statues of Neptune and Amphitrite.

In the corner where rue Stanislas joins the square, the Musée des Beaux-Arts (daily except Tues 10.30am-6pm) has an excellent presentation of French nineteenth- and twentieth-century art on the ground floor, with a good selection of paintings by Émile Friant and Nancy's own Victor Prouvé, as well as a Manet, a Matisse and a Picasso. The rest of the collection upstairs, encompassing Italian, German, northern European and the rest of French painting, is less interesting. Time is better spent in the basement, where works from Nancy's glass company, Daum, which formed a part of the "School of Nancy" , are beautifully lit in black rooms. The layout of the basement follows the shape of fortifications dating from the fifteenth century through to Vauban's seventeenth-century alterations, which were found during the recent renovation. For a glimpse of Daum's contemporary creations you can visit their shop, also on place Stanislas. A short walk east of the square is the excellent Muséum-Aquarium de Nancy , at 34 rue Ste-Cathérine (daily 10am-noon & 2-6pm). Upstairs is a colossal jumble of stuffed animals and birds, woefully displayed and labelled, while downstairs is a startling aquarium of exotic fish whose colours surpass even the daring of Matisse.

On its north side, place Stanislas opens into the long, tree-lined place de la Carrière , a fine eighteenth-century transformation of what was originally a jousting ground. Its further end is closed by the classical colonnades of the Palais du Gouvernement , former residence of the governor of Lorraine. Behind it, housed in the fifteenth-century Palais Ducal and entered through a handsome doorway surmounted by an equestrian statue of one of the dukes, is the Musée Lorrain , 64 Grande-Rue (daily except Tues: May-Sept 10am-6pm; Oct-April 10am-noon & 2-5pm; closed public hols). Dedicated to the history and traditions of Lorraine, it contains, among other treasures, a room full of superb etchings by the Nancy-born seventeenth-century artist, Jacques Callot, whose concern with social issues, evident in series such as The Miseries of War and Les Gueux , presaged much nineteenth- and twentieth-century art. Next door, in the Église des Cordeliers et Chapelle Ducale, is the Musée des Cordeliers (same hours as Musée Lorrain), where rural life in the region in days gone by is illustrated. On the other side of the Palais du Gouvernement, you can play crazy golf, admire the deer or just collapse with exhaustion on the green grass of the Parc de la Pépinière , a sort of cross between a formal French garden and an English park - there is also a free zoo. At the end of Grande-Rue is the medieval city gate, Porte de la Craffe .

A half-hour walk southwest of the train station, the Musée de l'École de Nancy , 36 rue Sergent-Blandan (Mon 2-6pm, Wed-Sun 10.30am-6pm), is housed in a 1909 villa built for the Corbin family, founders of the Magasins Réunis chain of department stores. Even if you are not into Art Nouveau, this collection is exciting. Although not all of it belonged to the Corbins, the museum is arranged as if it were a private house. The furniture is outstanding - all swirling curvilinear forms, whether the object is mantelpiece or sofa, buffet or piano - and the standards of workmanship are superlative, with a fair sprinkling of Gallé's work on display, too. Another quirky sight is the Musée du Télephone , 11 rue Maurice Barres, just off place Stanislas (check with the tourist office for opening hours), which dedicates two floors to the display of telephones and models of telephone exchanges.

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