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Nancy ( ; archaic ; ) is a city in the Meurthe-et-Mosellemarker department in north-eastern Francemarker, and formerly the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine, and then the French province of the same name.

The city is the head of the department. The metropolitan area of Nancy had a population of 410,509 inhabitants at the 1999 census, 103,602 of whom lived in the city of Nancy proper (105,100 inhabitants in the city proper as of 2004 estimates).


The earliest signs of human settlement in the area date back to 800 BC. Early settlers were likely attracted by easily mined iron ore and a ford in the Meurthe Rivermarker. A small fortified town named Nanciacum (Nancy) was built by Gerard, Duke of Lorraine around 1050.

Nancy was conquered by Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century, then rebuilt in stone over the next few centuries as it grew in importance as the Capital of the Duchy of Lorraine. Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, was defeated and killed in the Battle of Nancy in 1477.

With the death of Duke Stanislas in 1766, the duchy became a French province and Nancy remained its capital.

As unrest surfaced within the French armed forces during the French Revolution, a full-scale mutiny took place in Nancy in later summer 1790. A few reliable units lay siege to the town and shot or imprisoned the mutineers.

In 1871, Nancy remained French when Prussia annexed Alsace-Lorrainemarker. The flow of refugees reaching Nancy doubled its population in three decades. Artistic, academic, financial and industrial excellence fostered, setting what is still the Capital of Lorraine's trademark nowadays.

Nancy was freed from Nazi Germany by the U.S. Third Army in September 1944, during the Lorraine Campaign of World War II (see Battle of Nancy marker).

In 1988, Pope John Paul II visited Nancy. In 2005, French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerard Schröder and Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski inaugurated the renovated Place Stanislas.


The neighboring communes of Nancy are: Jarville-la-Malgrangemarker, Laxoumarker, Malzévillemarker, Maxévillemarker, Saint-Maxmarker, Tomblainemarker, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancymarker, and Villers-lès-Nancy.


The Place Stanislasmarker named after the king of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and duke of Lorraine Stanisław Leszczyński, Place de la Carrière, and Place d'Alliance were added on the World Heritage Sites list by the UNESCOmarker in 1983.

The "École de Nancy", a group of artists and architects founded by the glassmaster and furniture maker Émile Gallé, worked in the Art Nouveau style at the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century. It was principally their work which made Nancy a centre of art and architecture that rivaled Paris and helped give the city the nickname "Capitale de l'Est." The city still possesses many Art Nouveau buildings (mostly banks or private homes). Furniture, glassware, and other pieces of the decorative arts are conserved at the Musée de l'École de Nancymarker, which is housed in the 1909 villa of Eugène Corbin, a Nancy businessman and supporter of the Art Nouveau there.

The old city centre's heritage dates from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. The cathedral of Nancymarker is a fine example of 18th century architecture. The surroundings of the train station are a busy commercial area.

There is also a major botanical garden in Nancy, the Jardin botanique du Montetmarker. Other gardens of interest include the city's earliest botanical garden, the Jardin Dominique Alexandre Godronmarker, and various other public gardens and places of interest including the Pépinière and Parc Sainte-Marie (public gardens).

There is also the aquarium, the Musée de l'École de Nancymarker, the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Musée Lorrain amongst others.


The city is known for this World Heritage buildings : The Place Stanislasmarker (XVIII°) which was opened April 2005 by Jacques Chirac after refurbishment.

At the turn of the 20th century, Nancy was a major centre of the Art Nouveau with the school of Nancy. The city possess a unique and interesting Musée de l'École de Nancymarker (School of Nancy Museum) with artworks from Émile Gallé, Louis Majorelle, Daum crystal...

Nancy also possesses many museums :

The city is also the seat of the Diocese of Nancy and the home of the Opéra national de Lorrainemarker.


Public transport in Nancy is provided by Service des Transports de l'Agglomération Nancéienne (STAN), an operator in the Veolia Transport.

The most heavily used route, T1, is a so-called 'tramway on tyres', which is actually a guided busway based on Bombardier Transportation's Guided Light Transit (GLT) technology and using articulated trolleybuses. In addition to diesel buses, Nancy has been served by trolleybuses since 1982, but in 2000 the three-route trolleybus system was reconfigured into a single, longer route and with a surface guidance system added (GLT, or TVR in French). The guidance systems covers about two-thirds of the approximately 10-km route, and the trolleybuses are separated from other traffic over that portion of the route, speeding travel times. The guided-trolleybus service is called the Tram by STAN. During its first two years, the new system suffered many incidents and malfunctions of the guidance system, but now works without significant problems. STAN also operates around 20 conventional bus routes.

Universities and colleges

This is a list of institutions of higher learning in Nancy.

Universities contribute to Nancy's prestigious atmosphere making it reach the top of many "Quality of Life" rankings by the French press. As figures demonstrate, Nancy is among France's largest cities :

  • # 1 Largest ratio of students (21%), ahead of Lille
  • # 2 Highest rate of executives (25%), after Paris
  • # 2 Highest ratio of doctors in medicine, after Montpellier
  • # 3 Largest protected architectural old town
  • # 3 Highest rate of graduates
  • # 4 Highest rate for movie theatre attendance
  • # 5 Highest income per capita, after Paris/Ly./Bx/Nantes
  • # 5 Largest absolute number of students
  • # 6 For sports (L'Equipe)
  • # 8 Less congested traffic
  • # 9 Cheapest real estate
  • # 9 Lowest unemployment rate
  • # 10 Safest city
  • # 10 Cleaner air


Nancy is home to two of the three profesional sport clubs in Lorraine: AS Nancy-Lorraine in football, and SLUC Nancy in basketball (the first one is 2nd league FC Metz).

AS Nancy-Lorraine's Hall of Fame includes triple-Ballon d'Or and Uefa President Michel Platini, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, 1998 World Champion Aimé Jacquet, 2000 European Champion Roger Lemerre, 1998 African Ballon d'Or Mustapha Hadji, Irish legend Tony Cascarino, 1986 European Cup winner Sacha Zavarov and 1958 World Cup Semi-finalist Roger Piantoni.

SLUC Nancy won the last Korac European Cup in 2002 and became Champion of France in 2008.


Nancy's guided busway, known as the 'tramway on tyres'
Place Stanislas - Arc Héré
Place Stanislas - Fountain of Neptune

The N ray, which turned out to be a figment of local physicist René-Prosper Blondlot's imagination, was named for Nancy.

Nancy's archaic German name is Nanzig, and a similar form Nanzeg is still used in Luxembourgish.

The motto of the city is Non inultus premor, Latin for "No one touches me with impunity". This is very similar to the Scottish motto Nemo me impune lacessit, and both are references to the thistle, which is a symbol of both Scotlandmarker and Lorraine.

Native sons and daughters

Nancy was the birthplace of:

Hometown of these fictional characters

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Nancy is twinned with:


  1. Images of the Place Stanislas
  2. STAN website (French only)
  3. Université Henri Poincaré - website
  4. Université Nancy 2 - website
  5. French-German Sciences Po campus - website

See also

External links

Art Nouveau-related links

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