Nantes is the birthplace of Jules Verne and this audacious city has become a favourite amongst business event organisers. Nantes and La Cité Nantes Center offer a wide selection of imaginative and sustainable solutions for congresses and corporate meetings.
European Green Capital 2013, Nantes is an eco-friendly city that successfully combines respect for the environment and quality of life. It is the the ideal place to meet people, exchange and share ideas.
The Sunday Times published an article in 2014 titled 'Nantes, the loopiest city in France'.
NANTES, A HISTORIC CITY
Nantes, a city port situated on the Loire estuary, boasts a long tradition in maritime trade ever since Greek and Roman times. For a long period of time, Nantes was part of Brittany. During the 15th century, Nantes became the residence of the Dukes of Brittany and the Queen of France, Anne de Bretagne. The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany and St Peter’s Cathedral are two historic landmarks that still bear witness to the power of the Dukes in those days.
From the 16th century, Nantes played an important role in the international maritime trade. Nantes grew into a major commercial port in the 18th century. Its development was for a large part based on the trans-Atlantic slave trade. For a long time, this painful chapter in the history of Nantes was kept silent. Today, the city is facing up to its slavery past with a dedicated exhibition at the Nantes History Museum and the symbolic Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery. Opened in 2012, the Memorial features a commemorative and meditative path with a strong focus on the issue of Human Rights.
After the French Revolution, the industrial 'bourgeoisie' played a significant part in the development of Nantes society. This is portrayed in a number of landmarks such as 'Passage Pommeraye' built in 1843, a shopping arcade where the nobility used to meet and hang out.
From the mid-19th century, the port was instrumental in the development of the local industry with the emergence of new activities: sugar refinery (Beghin Say), canned food (Saupiquet), biscuit production (LU, BN)…
In 1987, the closure of the Nantes shipyards put an end to the long naval history inherently linked to the port of Nantes. Nicknamed 'Sleeping Beauty', Nantes started its transformation in the 1990s and opted for an ambitious cultural strategy.
With a rich and eventful past that unfolds throughout the city, Nantes' architectural, industrial and historic heritage is at the heart of Le Voyage à Nantes’ mission. Nantes is continually boosting its tourism and cultural offerings and counts as one of the most creative and dynamic cities in France.
ART AND CULTURE: LE VOYAGE A NANTES
A source of inspiration for Jules Verne’s imaginary worlds, Nantes is an audacious and daring place, where all forms of artistic creation come together.
Every summer, Le Voyage à Nantes proposes a fascinating and poetic trail to explore the city! A unique encounter with art, culture, sport and gastronomy.
Just follow the green line on the ground and let yourself drift through the city adorned with modern artworks installed in public spaces: the Giant Elephant, the 'Machines de l’Ile' and the 'Caroussel des Mondes Marins', exhibitions in art places and historic buildings. This regular summer event, highly recognised in France and abroad, makes Nantes an unmissable tourist and cultural destination.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Nominated European Green Capital 2013, in recognition for the city’s exceptional quality of life and its ongoing commitment to sustainable development, Nantes has successfully managed to create an urban model that combines economic growth, development of collective services and high quality of life. This is illustrated in four areas of excellence: public transport, biodiversity, water management and the climate plan.
As a 'blue and green' city, Nantes has reconciled nature with urban development, while protecting its natural resources and biodiversity.
Nantes is an attractive city for business leaders and individuals. Its economic vitality and the attractiveness of the region for both businesses and the workforce have made it the first economic hub in the west of France.
The Nantes area has succeeded in maintaining diversity in tertiary activities (IT, biotechnology, finance) as well as in the industrial sector (aeronautics, agrifoods, composite materials, engineering). This vitality is demonstrated by the strong presence of competitiveness clusters – renewable marine energy, health/biotechnology, agrifoods, creative industrie - and global centres of excellence.
An innovative city, Nantes is also home to top research facilities in connection with the local centres of excellence. It ranks amongst the leading cities for higher education with 2,200 researchers, 200 laboratories and 54,000 students.
SHOPPING, DINING AND ENTERTAINMENT
But there is more to Nantes than monuments and heritage. Visitors can also enjoy a shopping spree in the city’s department stores (Galeries Lafayette) or the fine boutiques on rue Crébillon (Hermès, Sonia Rykiel…). Indulge yourself with a delicious pancake or a seafood platter served with a glass of Muscadet at the restaurant La Cigale - one of Nantes’ most famous attractions which dates back to the 19th century and is now a classified historical building – or in one of the 1000 local restaurants (2 of them have Michelins stars).
The region around Nantes is equally attractive with the Muscadet vineyards, La Baule and its 9 km of sandy beaches, the longest in Europe, Saint-Nazaire and the magical world of transatlantic passenger liners, the medieval town of Guérande and its salt marshes, the Brière natural reserve and Le Croisic with its quaint fishing port.
Beautiful escapes a little further afield include the Gulf of Morbihan, Mont Saint-Michel, the Loire Valley châteaux and Puy du Fou.
French is the main language in Nantes.
Nantes experiences all four seasons. Nantes has a marine west coast climate that is moderate with mild winters (5°C on average) and warm summers. Rainfalls occur mainly in winter and spring but are not very heavy. Total annual precipitation averages 820 mm depending on the year and the area.