| Place Stanislas, Musee de lEcole de Nancy, Museum of Fine Arts of Nancy, Palace of the Dukes of Lorraine, Henri Poincare University|
University of Lorraine, Henri Poincare University, Nancy 2 University, ICN Graduate Business School, Nancy-Universite
Nancy ( German Nanzig) is a city in the north-eastern French department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, and formerly the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine, and then the French province of the same name. Place Stanislas, a large square built between March 1752 and November 1755 by Stanislaw I to link the medieval old town of Nancy and the new town built under Charles III in the 17th century, is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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 motto of the city is Non inultus premor, Latin for "Im not touched with impunity"a reference to the thistle, which is a symbol of Lorraine.
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 River. A small fortified town named Nanciacum (Nancy) was built by Gerard, Duke of Lorraine around 1050.
Nancy was burned in 1218 at the end of the War of Succession of Champagne, and conquered by Emperor Frederick II, 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 the last 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 of 1790 (see Nancy Affair). A few reliable units laid siege to the town and shot or imprisoned the mutineers.
In 1871, Nancy remained French when Prussia annexed Alsace-Lorraine. The flow of refugees reaching Nancy doubled its population in three decades. Artistic, academic, financial and industrial excellence flourished, establishing what is still the Capital of Lorraines trademark to this day.
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).
In 1988, Pope John Paul II visited Nancy. In 2005, French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski inaugurated the renovated Place Stanislas.
Nancy is situated on the left bank of the river Meurthe, about 10 km upstream from its confluence with the Moselle. The Marne–Rhine Canal runs through the city, parallel to the Meurthe. Nancy is surrounded by hills that are about 150 m higher than the city center, which is situated at 200 m amsl. The area of Nancy proper is relatively small: 15 km2. Its built-up area is continuous with those of its adjacent suburbs. The neighboring communes of Nancy are: Jarville-la-Malgrange, Laxou, Malzeville, Maxeville, Saint-Max, Tomblaine, Vandœuvre-les-Nancy and Villers-les-Nancy.
The oldest part of Nancy is the quarter Vieille Ville – Leopold, which contains the 14th century Porte de la Craffe, the Palace of the Dukes of Lorraine, the Porte Desilles and the 19th century St-Epvre basilica. Adjacent to its south is the quarter Charles III – Centre Ville, which is the 16th–18th century "new town". This quarter contains the famous Place Stanislas, the Nancy Cathedral, the Opera national de Lorraine and the main railway station.
The Place Stanislas named after the king of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and duke of Lorraine Stanislaw Leszczynski, Place de la Carriere, and Place dAlliance were added on the World Heritage Sites list by the UNESCO in 1983.
The "Ecole de Nancy", a group of artists and architects founded by the glassmaster and furniture maker Emile Galle, 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 center of art and architecture that rivaled Paris and helped give the city the nickname "Capitale de lEst." 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 Musee de lEcole de Nancy, which is housed in the 1909 villa of Eugene Corbin, a Nancy businessman and supporter of the Art Nouveau there.
The old city centers heritage dates from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. The cathedral of Nancy, the Triumphal Arch and the "Place de la Carriere" are a fine examples of 18th-century architecture. The surroundings of the train station are a busy commercial area.
A major botanical garden, the Jardin botanique du Montet, is located at Villers-les-Nancy. Other gardens of interest include the citys earliest botanical garden, the Jardin Dominique Alexandre Godron, and various other public gardens and places of interest including the Pepiniere and Parc Sainte-Marie (public gardens).
There is also the aquarium, the Musee de lEcole de Nancy, the Musee des Beaux-Arts and the Musee Lorrain among others.
The city is known for its World Heritage buildings at the Place Stanislas, which was opened April 2005 by Jacques Chirac after refurbishment.
At the turn of the 20th century, Nancy was a major center of the Art Nouveau with the Ecole de Nancy. The city possesses a unique and interesting Musee de lEcole de Nancy (School of Nancy Museum) with artworks by Emile Galle, Louis Majorelle, Daum, Caravaggio, and others.
Nancy also has other museums:Museum of Fine Arts of Nancy (Musee des Beaux-Arts de Nancy) with painters from the 15th to 20th centuries, and a huge collection of Daum crystal displayed in part of the old fortifications of the city.
Lorraine History Museum (fr) dedicated to the history of the Duchy of Lorraine and arts (Jacques Callot collection, Georges de La Tour).
Aquarium and Natural History Museum of Nancy (fr).
Musee de lEcole de Nancy offers a testimony of the diversity of creative techniques practiced by the artists of this school, with a fine display of furniture, objets dart, glassware, stained-glass, leather, ceramics, textiles, etc. from the period.
The Iron History Museum
The city is also the seat of the Diocese of Nancy and the home of the Opera national de Lorraine. There is a network of libraries, the central of which is Bibliotheque municipale de Nancy.