Main Births etc
Place Stanislas – Fountain of Amphitrite

Coat of arms

Nancy, France is located in France
Coordinates: 48°41′37″N 6°11′05″E / 48.6936, 6.1846Coordinates: 48°41′37″N 6°11′05″E / 48.6936, 6.1846
Country France
Region Grand Est
Department Meurthe-et-Moselle
Arrondissement Nancy
Intercommunality Greater Nancy
 • Mayor (2008–2014) André Rossinot (PR)
Area1 15.01 km2 (5.80 sq mi)
Population (2005)2 105,400
 • Density 7,000/km2 (18,000/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 54395 / 54000
Elevation 188–353 m (617–1,158 ft)
(avg. 212 m or 696 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Nancy (French pronunciation: [nɑ̃.si]) 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 "I’m 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 Lorraine's 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 (1944)).

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


The neighbouring communes of Nancy are: Jarville-la-Malgrange, Laxou, Malzéville, Maxéville, Saint-Max, Tomblaine, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy and Villers-lès-Nancy.

Main sights[]

The Place Stanislas[1] 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 UNESCO 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 center 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 Nancy, which is housed in the 1909 villa of Eugène Corbin, a Nancy businessman and supporter of the Art Nouveau there.

The old city center's 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.[2] The surroundings of the train station are a busy commercial area.

A major botanical garden, the Jardin botanique du Montet, is located at Villers-lès-Nancy. Other gardens of interest include the city's earliest botanical garden, the Jardin Dominique Alexandre Godron, 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 Nancy, the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Musée Lorrain among others.

A panoramic view of Place Stanislas
A panoramic view of Place Stanislas


The city is known for its World Heritage buildings: The Place Stanislas (XVIII°) 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 École de Nancy. The city possess a unique and interesting Musée de l'École de Nancy (School of Nancy Museum) with artworks by Émile Gallé, Louis Majorelle, Daum, Caravaggio,[3] and others.

Nancy also possesses many museums:

  • Museum of Fine Arts of Nancy (Musée 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).
  • Musée de l'École 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 d’art, glassware, stained-glass, leather, ceramics, textiles, etc. from the period.[4]
  • The Iron History Museum[5]

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


The main railway station is Gare de Nancy-Ville, with direct connections to Paris (high speed rail line), Metz, Lyon, Strasbourg and several regional destinations. The motorway A31 connects Nancy with Metz, Luxembourg and Langres.

Public transport within Nancy is provided by Service des Transports de l'Agglomération Nancéienne (STAN),[6] operated by Veolia Transport, operating the Tram by STAN and around 20 conventional bus routes.

The most heavily used route, the Tram T1, is a so-called 'tramway on tires', 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. During its first two years, the new system suffered many incidents and malfunctions of the guidance system, but now works without significant problems.

Universities and colleges[]

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

  • Henri Poincaré University (Université Henri Poincaré, UHP, also known as Nancy 1)[7]
  • Nancy 2 University (Université Nancy 2)[8]
  • National Polytechnic Institute of Lorraine (Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine or INPL)
  • École des Beaux-Arts de Nancy
  • École nationale supérieure des industries chimiques (ENSIC)
  • École nationale supérieure de géologie (fr) (ENSG)
  • École nationale supérieure en génie des systèmes industriels (fr) (ENSGSI)
  • School of architecture of Nancy (fr) (ENSA)
  • École nationale supérieure d'agronomie et des industries alimentaires (ENSAIA)
  • École nationale supérieure d'électricité et de mécanique (fr) (ENSEM)
  • École nationale supérieure des Mines de Nancy
  • École pour l'informatique et les nouvelles technologies (EPITECH)
  • École Supérieure des Sciences et Technologies de l'Ingénieur de Nancy (ESSTIN)
  • Telecom Nancy (ex-ESIAL)
  • ICN Graduate Business School (Institut Commercial de Nancy)
  • Sciences Po Paris (French-German Undergraduate Campus)[9]


Nancy is home to two of the three professional sport clubs in Lorraine: AS Nancy-Lorraine in soccer and SLUC Nancy in basketball. 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.

AS Nancy-Lorraine won the French cup 1978 with captain Michel Platini who scored the only goal of the match (Nancy 1 – 0 Nice). More recently AS Nancy-Lorraine won the "Coupe de la Ligue" (French League Cup) in 2006 and reached the fourth place of the French soccer league in 2007/2008.

SLUC Nancy won the last Korac European Cup in 2002, reached the finals of French championship of basketball (Pro A) four consecutive time and finally won his first trophy in 2008. Also winner of "Semaine des As" in 2005 and champion of 2nd league (pro B) in 1994.

Winner of the 2010-2011 French Championship.


Nancy's guided busway, known as the 'tramway on tyres'

Place Stanislas – Arc Héré

Place Stanislas – Fountain of Neptune

Native sons and daughters[]

Nancy was the birthplace of:

  • François-Émile André (1871–1933), architect
  • Marie Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville (1827–1910), historian and philologist
  • Najoua Belyzel (b. 1981), singer
  • René-Prosper Blondlot (1849–1930), physicist, best remembered for his mistaken identification of N rays
  • Jacques Callot (c. 1592–1635), baroque graphics artist, draftsman and printmaker
  • Henri Cartan (1904–2008), mathematician
  • Paul Colin (1892–1985), poster artist
  • Christina, Grand Duchess of Tuscany (1565–1637)
  • Matthieu Delpierre (b. 1981), footballer
  • Antoine Drouot (1774–1847), one of Napoleon's generals
  • Joseph Ducreux (1735–1802), portrait painter, pastelist, miniaturist, and engraver
  • Pascal Dusapin (b. 1955), composer
  • Lucien Febvre (1878–1956), historian
  • Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor (1708–1765), duke of Lorraine and later Holy Roman Emperor
  • Émile Gallé (1846–1904), Art Nouveau artist
  • Edmond de Goncourt (1822–1896), author, critic, publisher, founder of the Académie Goncourt
  • Jean-Baptiste Isabey (1767–1855), painter
  • François Jacob (b. 1920), biologist
  • Yves Lambert (b. 1936), aerospace engineer
  • Hubert Lyautey (1854–1934), Marshal of France
  • Louis Maimbourg (1610–1686), Jesuit and historian
  • Aimé Morot (1850–1913), painter
  • Michel Platini (b. 1955 in Joeuf), soccer player
  • Henri Poincaré (1854–1912), mathematician, theoretical scientist and philosopher of science
  • Éric Rohmer (1920–2010), film director
  • Henri Royer (1869-1938), painter
  • Jean François de Saint-Lambert (1716–1803), poet
  • Pierre Schaeffer (1910–1995), noted as the inventor of musique concrète
  • Charles Sellier (painter) (fr), (1830-1882) painter
  • Jose Toure (b. 1961) footballer
  • Arnaud Vincent (b. 1974), motorcycle racer
  • Lucien Weissenburger (1860–1929), architect

International relations[]

Twin towns – Sister cities[]

Nancy is twinned with:

  • Italy Padua, Italy, since 1964
  • Japan Kanazawa, Japan, since 1973
  • Israel Qiryat Shemona, Israel, since 1984


See also[]

Nancy Cathedral great organ : the case (1763)

  • Battle of Nancy (1944) – The American World War II operation to liberate Nancy.
  • European University Centre
  • Hunting of Jean-Baptiste, a famed wolf-hunt that began in Nancy
  • N ray, a figment of local physicist René-Prosper Blondlot's imagination, named for Nancy.
  • Parc naturel régional de Lorraine
  • The great organ of Nancy Cathedral

Further reading[]

Published in the 19th century
Published in the 20th century

External links[]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Art Nouveau-related links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Nancy, France. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.