..... is not gold! But on Place Stanislas there is more gold to be seen than I could take!
In 2004 and 2005 the square was restored to look like in the 18th century - and that included all this gold! This restauration cost approximately 9 million euros. The inauguration of the new Place Stanislas in May 2005 was just in time with the square's 250th anniversary.
Fondest memory: Both sitting in one of the cafés on Place Stanislas during the day to relax, rest my feet and watch people as well as having a glass of champagne in the evening of our wedding anniversary and enjoying the illuminated square!
I found a great website on the net which states shops, offices, restaurants etc. that are accessible by the handicapped, aged persons or parents with a buggy - put in order both alphabetically and theme oriented:
http://nancyaccessible.amih.net (in French only, but addresses are addresses, so you will manage!)
I think this is a fantastic initiative! Very helpful!
There is also some more information for visually impaired and hard-of-hearing persons to be found here.
When planning a trip to Nancy, the following websites might be of interest:
- Office du Tourisme de Nancy
- Ville de Nancy (French only)
- Nancy historique (French only)
- Tout Nancy (French only)
- Nancyvillevieille.fr (French only)
Nancy is also called the cradle of Art Nouveau, a style that equally influenced architecture, interior design, jewellery and objets d'art.
The Ecole de Nancy, founded in 1901, was the strongest force in the development of the Art Nouveau. They now operate a museum, which I must admit we did not see - so this is a must do thing for our next visit for sure!
Fondest memory: We strolled through the Art Nouveau part of Nancy and loved those little details like the doors, the balconies, the stukkos - what a great aspect of this beautiful city!
Please do have a look at my travelogues with more pictures!
The historic city center is the 18th century area that includes Place Stanislas, Place d'Alliance and Place de la Carrière. This area has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in December 1983.
Here is the official description of the UNESCO:
"Nancy, the temporary residence of a king without a kingdom – Stanislas Leszczynski, later to become Duke of Lorraine – is paradoxically the oldest and most typical example of a modern capital where an enlightened monarch proved to be sensitive to the needs of the public. Built between 1752 and 1756 by a brilliant team led by the architect Héré, this was a carefully conceived project that succeeded in creating a capital that not only enhanced the sovereign's prestige but was also functional."
(quoted from http://whc.unesco.org
Fondest memory: Sitting on Place Stanislas, sipping an Orangina and feeling the first rain after 5 weeks!!!
The Old City of Nancy has a history dating back to the Middle Ages, when the town developed around the Duke's castle. Not much is left of that time period except for the Craffe Gate, but this quarter is full of history, antique shops, wonderful palais, small streets and our favourite restaurant!
Fondest memory: The fleamarket extending all along Grande Rue and our anniversary dinner at "Le Romarin"!
The "New" Town isn't really so new - it was first founded in 1588 by Duke Charles III. It differs considerably from the "Old" Town by a rather square layout. It is here where you can find the Cathedral, other important churches and quite a few Art Nouveau buildings!
Fondest memory: Our Art Nouveau circuit walk brought us here and we enjoyed the Jugendstil details a lot!
According to the official Nancy website there are 23 parcs and gardens plus 19 squares in Nancy. The Parc de la Pipiniere is the biggest one, but there are little green oases around the center of this beautiful city, which makes a stay there very pleasant!
Fondest memory: Taking a little nap in the Parc de la Pipiniere before heading back to do more sightseeing!
The city is known from the X-th century. From the XIII-XVIII century Nancy was a residence of dukes of Lorraine.
In 1477 near Nancy hired Swiss infantry and elzasian and lotharingian armies of duke Lotharingian crushed knights of the Burundian duke Charles the Bold who was lost in fight. His death and defeat of armies led to disintegration of the Burundian duchy.
The market square and general trading centre in the Middle Ages, the fountain in the middle has a statue of Duke René II of Lorraine, who defeated Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, at the Battle of Nancy in 1477.
The city is obliged to the Polish king Stanislav Leschinsky with its present position and the most beautiful architecture. He was elected in Warsaw as the Polish king under pressure of the Swedish king Charles XII.
Later Stanislav and Charles went to Poltava to search the union with Malorussia (present Ukrain) against Moscow. As Stanislav with Charles in this business succeeded quite a little (they were crushed by Russian armies near Poltava!), both of them also appeared without their kingdoms.
Charles "was lucky" to die, and the former king Stanislav long knocked about in searches of a haven across Europe, He managed to marry his daughter off to juvenile Lui XVth... Lui was often sick because of the hereditary illnesses connected with incest and the Polish princess has had by the way...
After the death of Peter I, using confusion in Russia, in 1733 France again insisted on elections of Stanislav as the king of Poland. However not for a long time... France waged war with Austria which was supported by Russia.
Stanislav again, already finally remained without the Polish crown, and as the indemnification for the Polish section, received Lorraine in lifelong possession, having kept, however, a title of the king.
A daughter of Stanislav was married with Lui XV. By this time duke Lotharingian married the Austrian empress and left for ever to Vienna. The vacant throne was handed over to the king-exile. But the true king is the king even in exile.
Stanislav thought up such architectural program for Nancy, such palaces and parks, that Paris just right needed only to bite elbows. But it was difficult not listen to the father-in-law - Lui XV.
Stanislav died in Nancy in 1766. Some habitants considered that he got drunk of wine from plum (traditional in these territories), stumbled and fallen in a fireplace from which he could not get out. There was only a servant who of the lowest caste, who had not the right to touch the king. While he ran for a help, the king burned down. After his death Lorraine was attached to the French crown.
Only after Stanislav death slow, but true plunder of works of art and furniture from ducal palaces, destruction the Lorain style began. Versailles should not have competitors! Private attempt to give Nancy the status of typically country town began. For some time attempt went right, but today nevertheless it is possible to consider it is not included.
Stanislav was twice elected as the king of Poland (in Warsaw in the beginning of the XVIII century there was the most democratic monarchy in the world though it has not finished to goods).
Both of time he was expelled from the country: too many interests converged then in space between Russia, Austria-Hungary and other European neighbors.
Place Stanislas!! the art of buildings... wow!!! though it is pretty far from the capital city- Paris, it still worthwhile to visit there. go north and you will be at Thronville (if the spelling is correct :P) where it close to Luxembourg, you will find the buildings in another style and you will think you are not in France but in neigbour country :)
Fondest memory: host family in Roville devant Bayon - what a nice quiet village with nice people. Farm products from there... castles and typical bulidings... Shopping with host family is one of the best program every Friday, even though we just buy necessities, i do enjoy that alot!!. YEAH SHOPPING!!