A Visit to Nantes, June 19, 2023

We really enjoyed our brief visit to Nantes, a city to which I would like to return. It is the sixth largest city in France with a population of over 300,000 and, including the metropolitan area its population is nearly 1,000,000.

We began our visit with a brief shuttle ride to the city center following which we were met by Daniel, our “greeter” to this lovely city. Daniel is a member of the Greeters organization which, in certain locales, provide a “greeter” who, as a voluntary service, provides a 2 hour introductory tour. In fact, Daniel was with us for 4 to 5 hours. We really liked him and he was extremely informative.

We started at the city garden, which is within a few hundred meters of the train station.

In the park is this statue of Jules Verne. He lived in Nantes and there is a museum in his honor in the city. We didn’t have time to visit the museum but we liked the statue.

The cathedral was closed due to fire and the fact that it is being restored but from the outside it looked magnificent. I’ve read about the cathedral and it is reputedly very beautiful inside.

As we walked we passed many interesting sites and traveled down some interesting streets. Here is a glimpse of what we encountered.

The picture in the middle on the top row above is of a book store. Perched on the balcony of the second floor is a young black man reading a book. In his right hand he is holding a broken chain. The symbolism is that knowledge can set you free. Here, have a closer look. It is important to know that slave trading was a major source of income to the city and continued until about 1827.

Dan introduced us to the Passage Pommeraye, an enclosed and elegant shopping venue.

Here is a photo of JoAnn ascending the stairs.

We passed through the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany as we moved about. Many of its buildings date to the 15th century. Here is the main gate . . .

. . . And and the rear walls.

Dan led us to a hidden garden that was quite spectacular and tucked away. Here is a view from there. I like this photo for the garden as well as the contrasting architecture. In the upper left background is the Belfry of Sainte-Croix Church.

A striking piece of architecture is this building which is an administrative building for the larger metropolitan area.

I really liked the statue. Is the girl climbing up to get back in place or escaping down to run who knows where?

This statue is a memorial to 50 victims of the French resistance who were executed on October 2, 1941 at the direction of Adolph Hitler in retaliation for acts of heroism undertaken by the resistance. In reality only 48 were shot including a young boy of 17, Guy Moquet.

You saw the belfry of Saint Croix from afar. Here is a closer look at the belfry and the photos to follow are inside the church.

Some of the photos I took, as we strolled the streets.

I always like shots like this as I think it speaks about the community.

The following fresco is entitled “Le Mur Tombe du Ciel“ which translates to the wall falling from the sky. It was created in 2011 and records the true history of Nantes from the middle ages to the present day. That’s Dan pointing at a particular person of history.

From there we were off to Le Machines De L’Île, which translates into the isle of machines. It is a collection of fantastic machines based on the imaginations of Jules Verne and Leonardo da Vinci, and possibly others, in which the machines they envisioned come to life. What an experience.

Then we were on our way back to the Journey in anticipation of another great day to come.


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