Nantes Former Capital of Brittany

By: Douglas Scott

The city of Nantes is built in a place where many branches of the Loire river created several islands. Nantes is located on the banks of the Loire river, at the confluence of the Sevre Nantaise and Erdre, near the river's mouth, 55 km from the Atlantic Ocean.
Formerly the capital of Brittany, the city of was Nantes was separated from the region by the Vichy government in June 1941.

The old town area of Nantes is where you can find the beautiful 15th century Chateau des Ducs with impressive pot-pourri of buildings built in different fascinating styles. Also near by is the white-stoned Cathedrale de St-Pierre-et-St-Paul boasting its high ceiling and architectural beauty.

Nantes is over flown with shops and boutiques. The principal shopping streets are rue Crebillon, rue du Calvaire, rue Boileau, rue d'Orleans, rue de la Marne, rue de Verdun, and passage Pommeraye. The Station, in the heart of the city, is five minutes' walk from the Chateau and Congress Centre.

The city is packed with night spots that are located close together Many pubs and cafes with live music can be found around the city centre.

The city is renowned for beautiful marshes and lakes, and there fore the restaurants can offer fresh frogs and eels legs with parsley, garlic and wine. Another local speciality is roasted duck breast cooked in Muscadet. A traditional Nantes recipes boast simple yet delicious flavours. Another local speciality is the crepe. Crepes are filled with a wide range of fillings, both sweet and savoury and make a great meal or snack at any time of the day.

The city is dominated by a huge, two-tone castle from the 15th century, in beautifully renovated granite and schist the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne. The stern exterior, built for Francois 11 of Brittany, encloses a more feminine, Renaissance building, designed for Anne of Brittany, and currently being transformed into the Museum of Nantes History which is launched in early 2007.

Canal de la Martinire canal dates back to the end of the 19th century and stretches over five kilometres. It was built to help with the passage of boats. Today, the canal is used for hydraulic regulation equipment and is a popular area for sight seeing, fishing and sailing while the surrounding nature trails make good walking territory. For bird watching, over 80 types of birds can be found here throughout the year.

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