Walking along rue de Voltaire we saw several stores around, some nice buildings (pic 1) but the most impressive was L’Opera Graslin (pics 2-3 ). It was built at the end of 18th century (1788) by architect M.Crucy in italian style but damaged by fire in 1796 and had to be rebuilted. It took the name of Jean-Louis Graslin that was the owner of the land. We couldnt check the interior but the (expensive) cafes at the corner will let you enjoy the exterior. For me a complete visit to theatre/opera is when you can attend a perfomance but that was impossible during our stay.
It houses several opera and theatrical plays each year and has a capacity of about 800 people.
Then we walked along rue Crebillon until Place Royale to check Saint Nicolas church that you can see at the background of pic 4. But first we spend a few moments resting near the middle of the square where there is a nice fountain (pic 5), an obvious meeting point for the locals. The statue on the top is queen Anne.
l'Opéra Graslin raises in the city center. Named from its architect Graslin, who built it in the XIXth century. It is one of nantes' major work of art. Beautiful outside and inside. Only been inside when I was a kid with my school. Remember it was quite amazing. So, if you are really lucky and plan it a long time before you might have the opportunity to assist to one of the few operas that are played here each year (6 or 7 operas this year). Sure it will be a pleaseant trip back to the XIXth century.
Otherwise, you can enjoy it from outside and take a cup of coffee "sur la Place Graslin" in either La Cigale (see restaurant tip) or Le Molière, one of Nantes' most famous café and one of the most expensive one.