August 27, 2011

Nantes: Prémières Impressions

My first impressions of Nantes:




Not only is there a giant, beautiful castle in the middle of the city, but also the grounds and ramparts are open to the public. Where the moat once was has been turned into a park where the Nantais bask the sun.


There are tall green trees that contrast beautifully against the tall, white buildings.

Although FBF prepared me for Nantes thinking it was Brittany, I am surprised to find it out that it is Breton. The Duke of Brittany built his castle in Nantes (hence the giant castle in the middle of the city), and the Nantais are extremely proud of their Breton-ness. There are crêpe/galette restaurants all over the place, Brittany flags hung about, and lots of cidre.


  1. I haven't been back to Nantes since I lived there in 2006, and while I were there, they were working on the castle so I never got to go inside. The pictures look gorgeous! They were also cleaning the cathedral when I was there, so 2/3 of the front were white, and the other third was still grimy.
    The Bretons will tell you that Nantes isn't Brittany, and the Nantais will tell you that it is. It became the capital of the Loire after the war because of the new population distribution and apparently people are still pissed off about that!
    Glad you got to visit one of the other cities i've called home :)

  2. WOW! Very impressive! I have often wondered when they decided to get rid of their moats, how they did that?

  3. Hi there, just happened upon your blog (from the site, randomly searching for expats today), and am really enjoying it. Thanks for the laughs! I'm a bit south of you in Picardie.

  4. Amber: The cathedral was completely clean and completely gorgeous! It was such a beautiful city. I would love to live there.

    Kris: I have no idea how the do it... Nantes is on a river though so maybe they just drained the water into the river?

    Alisa: Thank you! It's great to hear from "our cousins," as Dany Boon calls you Picardie people :)

  5. Oh wow! Yet another destination for our next trip!

  6. Oh yes the Bretons are very proud people - I see the flag everywhere! Currently they
    re trying to bring back the language which is VERY hard to understand.

  7. chickster: I noticed that all the road signs have both French and Breton on them while I was in Brittany! And we even heard a group of street performers singing in Breton. It was extremely different from French, that's for sure.


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