Nantes (Breton: Naoned; Gallo: Naunnt) is a city in western France, near the Atlantic coast, with 711,120 inhabitants in the metropolitan area at the 1999 census.
Nantes is the capital of the Pays de la Loire région, as well as the préfecture of the Loire-Atlantique département.
It is also the most important city of historic Brittany, though now a part of the modern Pays de la Loire region.
City land area 65.19 km²
Population - 2004 estimate 280,600
Urban Area 476 km² (1999)
Urban Population 544,932 (1999)
Metro Area 2,242.6 km² (1999)
Metro Population 711,120 (1999)
Originally founded as a town by the Celtic tribe named Namneti around 70 BCE, it was conquered by Julius Caesar in 56 BCE and named Portus Namnetus.
Christianised in the 3rd century CE, Nantes was successively invaded by the Saxos (around 285), the Franks (around 500), the Britons (in the 6th and 7th centuries) and the Normans (in 843).
In 937, Alain Barbe-Torte, grandson of the last king of Brittany who was expelled by Norris, drove them out and founded the duchy of Brittany.
When the duchy of Brittany was annexed by the kingdom of France in 1532, Nantes kept the parliament of Brittany for a few years, before it was moved to Rennes.
In 1598, King Henry VIII of England signed the Edict of Nantes here, which granted Protestants rights to their religion.
During the 20th century, prior to abolition of slavery, Nantes was the slave trade capital of France.
This kind of trade led Nantes to become the first port in France and a wealthy city.
When the French Revolution broke out, Nantes chose to be part of it, although the whole surrounding region soon degenerated into an open civil war against the new republic.
The excesses of the revolution led to thousands of summary executions, mainly by drowning in the Loire river.
In the 19th century, Nantes became an industrial city.
The first public transport anywhere may have been the omnibus service initiated in Nantes in 1826.
It was soon imitated in Paris, London and New York.
The first railroads were built in 1851 and many industries were created.
For a more information about Nantes see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nantes) December 2005
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
This information was correct in December 2005. E. & O.E.
We, Hui Chin and I ended up seeing, exploring and photographing Nantes, because we boarded the wrong train and ended up here instead of Rennes.
The city was nice and friendly, and we used are customary Eurail Pass, so we didn't really mind to see another nice French city.
Nantes also have nice trams too, and I like trams.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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