This dynamic city on the Loire River's banks is energetic and forward-thinking, and it frequently rejuvenates itself. Around 70 BC, the Celts founded it, and it became a part of the duchy of Brittany in AD 937. Henri IV inked the Edict of Nantes at Nantes in 1598, a historic royal decree that guaranteed civil rights to France's Huguenots (Protestants). Nantes was France's most important port during the 18th century, and once suffrage was abolished, it developed into an industrial powerhouse.
In Nantes, the omnibus, the very first public transit system in the world, made its debut in 1826. Up until the late 20th century, the city's economy was based on shipbuilding, but when the shipyards were moved west to St-Nazaire, Nantes underwent a metamorphosis into a bustling center for academia and culture.
The majestic Château des Ducs de Bretagne, which is encompassed by a moat filled with water, is a fantastic site to commence any voyage to France's sixth-largest city. Francois II, one of Brittany's last kings, constructed it in the 15th century, and it afterward served as the French dynasty's Breton palace. The castle today houses Nantes' history museum, where visitors may learn about the city's role as France's greatest port, following an ambitious 15-year renovation work.
The recently renovated natural history museum is one of the city's countless museums. Art aficionados should visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts, which features artwork from the 13th to the 19th centuries as well as a collection of current pieces. Because Nantes boasts a thriving live music scene and even has its own opera theatre, culture junkies are often overwhelmed with choices. The schedule is jam-packed with activities, including a carnival in April.
Visiting a city without trying its local cuisine is like an unspoken action of breaking a law. Nantes has some of the best restaurants that are delighted to welcome visitors to relish their many French classics, including Mâche nantaise, Volailles d’Ancenis, Gateau Nantaise, Muscadet Sevre et Maine, and Sel de Guarende.