a cours a passage a garden of Nantes. When want to see Nantais and Nantaises around with famlies you come here, this is it as chic and branchée as it gets, real French à la Française.
It was bombed out in 1942-1943 but it has survived thanks to local folks who took a non for profit org to help restore it and keep to our days. The place is strongly protected on building upkeep and maintenance and it must remain historically correct.
Just like the quartier or neighborhood of Graslin where the famous theater is located, you have the man behind it all, attorney at the bar of Paris, later General superintendant of Nantes ,he was Jean-Joseph-Louis GRASLIN. The municipality voted to demolish by 1755 building around rue Contrecarpe on the lowers of the rue Crébillon being the western limits. The relations were hard between Graslin and the reverend fathers Capucins as Graslin ask to sell the land without consulting them to have these building facing the new one in town the Théatre! Due to the French revolution the city became the owner of this land, and declare the creation of a promenade public; and sell others to enlarge it in 1791-1792 . Graslin cannot see the end of his vision as he died before nevertheless all superstandant general were guillotine in 1794!
The statue in the center of the garden is that of local hereo General Pierre CAMBRONNE built in honor of the empire general born in Nantes and died in Nantes in 1842, that was part of the last resistant at Waterloo. The gardens before had several names like cours Henri IV, cours de la République…etc. The statue was finally place here on July 23 1848 in presence of the widow of the General.
A beautiful garden now to enjoy the families and visitors to the city of Nantes, enjoy it.
Some of the history of the city is fascinating, and would like to comment on those familiar and dear to my point of view here. welcome to Nantes, and yes we keep it Breton.
Between 900 and 600BC creation of Condevincum, river port of the mouth of the Loire river
Between 500 and 100BC arrivial of the Celts
Around 70BC ,the Namnetes, Gallic people, occupy the region of Nantes to Angers
56 BC The Gallic city conquered by Julius Ceasar became Portus Namnetus
937 AD Alain Barbe-Torte, the last king of Brittany, hunting Normans, proclaimed himself Duke of Brittany and chose Nantes as his capital
From the 10c to the 15c, succession of Dukes of Brittany conducted a foreign policy granting their alliances to whoever wishes it.
1434 Duke Jean V and Jean de Malestroit pose the first stone of the Cathedral
1466 Duke François II rebuilt and enlarges the castle of the Dukes of Brittany
1477 birth of Anne of Brittany, daughter of François II
1488 accidental death of Duke François II, last duke of an independant Brittany
1491 marriage of Anne of Brittany with king of France Charles VIII
1498 accidental death of Charles VIII
1499 marriage of Anne of Brittany with the cousin of Charles VIII, Louis XII, King of France
1514 death of Anne of Brittany, her daughter Claude inherited the Duchy
1532 François de France, son of Claude of Brittany, and François I is crowned as François III,signing of the Treaty of Brittany annexing it to France
1536 François III dies (Duke of Brittany and Dauphin of France), his brother the future Henri II took over. He is married to Catherine de Medici
1583 led by Duke of Mercoeur, Nantes joined the League against reforms and King Henri IV. It seeks the independance of Brittany
1598 the edit of Nantes was signed by king Henri IV at the castle of the Dukes of Brittany. The duke of Mencoeur last leaguer to submit to the king
1661 Nantes welcome king Louis XIV, he ordered the arrestation of Nicolas Fouquet by D'Artagnan at place Saint Pierre.
1775 Nantes deals with American insurgents and Chantenay welcomes thousands of Acadians who depart to Louisiana in 1785.
1776 passage of Benjamin Franklin in Nantes
1789 Nantes takes the side of the French revolution
1793 The Vendée uprising, Cathelineau, one of the leaders was killed at what is today the Place Viarme
1793-1794 Carrier, the proconsul of the Republic sent by the convention organises several massacres doing the guillotine at square Bouffay and drowning in the Loire
1796 Charette, executed vendéen leader at place farmers today place Viarme
1826 birth of Jules Verne
1829 Opening to the public of the Jardin des Plantes
1835 Opening of the nantes brest canal
1843 opening of the passage Pommeraye (now nice shopping plaza)
1851 construction of the train station
1879 opening of the first line of the tramway
1914-1918 8000 Nantaises died in the trenches
1939-1945 Entry of the Nazis in Nantes. The murder of a Nazi officer resulted in 48 persons executed. 1944, the Nazis leave Nantes
And the new history is been done as I write, see it live in Nantes.
Not only are the royal heads protected and pillowed by angels, but their feet are guarded by a lion for him (Power) and a grayhound for her (fidelity). Around the bier are statuetts of saints both male and female (Peter with his key is easy to recognize). The dark figures below are mourners. This type of funerary monument is typical of the period. We have seen even more splendid ones in Dijon and Michelangelo was doing them too, but this one is as good as any, we think.
Tombs of the powerful could be elaborately carved. That of Francois II is surrounded by four female figures representing the 4 Cardinal Virtues each holding symbolic instruments of their powers. 1) Prudence has 2 faces, the old man at the back of her head representing the past and the looking glass she holds,the future. 2) Justice is crowned and holds a sword. 3) Temperance holds a bridle of control and a clock for steadiness. 4) Strength is killing a snake (dragon)(not shown).
For those Francophone, here are a few local expressions. I personnaly discovered they were local when I left the city...
crayon de bois= crayon à papier
ramasse-bourrier= balaiette pour ramasser les miettes
être rendu page 10= avoir lu jusqu'à la page 10
(généralement être rendu + quelque part est une expression que l'on emploie tout le temps à Nantes)
Stores are usually closed between 11 am and 2 pm. Terraces still are open at this time. If you enjoy playing the local game of jeux des boules...it's sometimes practiced in one of the parcs in Nantes.
On the picture: my mother. She by the way has two sisters that live in France.
We had luck to visit Nantes just in the right moment. Artist Gerard Voisin was exhibiting his monuments in Chateu des Duch de Bretagne.
Ecological and historical park in PUY DU FOU (click to enlarge picture!!)