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  Psychogeographical Portrait
05
City of urban squares,
Nancy, France

[Open Place Stanislas, Nancy in full screen]

   
             
  Nancy is the capital of the
French province of Lorraine,
former Duchy of Lorraine.
Until the death of Duke
Stanislas in 1766 it was an
independent duchy. It turned
out to be that former
duchy of Lorraine is what
it was most famous for.



  Place Stanislas is one of the very few squares designed by one person, in this case Emmanuel Héré de Corny.



All of the buildings were built at once
between 1752 and 1755.






In 1831 a bronze statue of Duke Stanislaw Leszczynski (Stanislas in French) was placed in the middle of the square. Since then it is known as the "Place Stanislas".




We were somewhat surprised that on this lovely day, late August evening, place and surrounding areas are half empty






  Before we booked a hotel in Nancy we didn't know much about this city, it was selected just for its location.

Nancy is the capital of the French province of Lorraine, former Duchy of Lorraine. Until the death of Duke Stanislas in 1766 it was an independent duchy. It turned out to be that former duchy of Lorraine is what it was most famous for.

Place Stanislas is one of the very few squares [actually the only other one, that I am aware of, is Campidoglio in Rome], designed by one person [in this case Emmanuel Héré de Corny - his statue is on the photo left standing on the Place Vaudémon discreet enough not to be overpowering but still prominently recognizing his significance.

All of the buildings were built at once between 1752 and 1755. A bronze statue of Louis XV stood in the middle of the square until it was removed during the French Revolution. In 1831 a bronze statue of Duke Stanislaw Leszczynski (Stanislas in French) was placed in the middle of the square. Since then it is known as the "Place Stanislas".

Hôtel de Ville, centered on this magnificent square, and the Hôtel du Government – the seat of city government and the seat of ducal government face one another as complements through a series of rational, symmetrical, yet varied urban spaces unequaled in Europe at the time.

Few other buildings around the square, where today opera and the museum of applied arts are located, are completing this urban space.

Together with the connected Place de la Carrière and Place d'Alliance, Place Stanislas has been on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites since 1983.

A massive restoration, inspired by the original 18th century plans, was finished and inaugurated in may 2005 to mark its 250th anniversary.

History well preserved, appreciated and used in today's world, what else we can expect for heritage urban spaces.

We were thou somewhat surprised that on this lovely day, late August evening, place and surrounding areas are half empty, it was not unpleasant since it leaves visitors space and time to fully appreciate magnificence of the efforts to return 18th century atmosphere and intended splendour of the architectural design.

This space of course, deserves much more attention. Small photos left are hopefully bringing little more "spirit of this space" together with next three adjacent spaces around the main square.

256 years old square now looks link brand new. Very rear sight, masterfully restored but not only structurally.

Most of the time when I am planing to visit a city for the first time I do little research in advance. Internet is obviously these days best bet but I like to consult other recourses. I have significant collection of books - historical, architecture, urban issues. I also very much liked tourist guides, especially DK eyewitness travel guides.

I was prepared to some degree for the previous square Place Stanislas but nothing prepared me for the next one, Place Vaudémon. If you are not really careful it can be easily missed, it is somewhat hidden behind the archway to the left.

Now I know why they are very rightfully all together under UNESCO protection since 1983.

On the map bellow we marked four squares in Nancy, part of this psychogeographical walk.

 

 
             
    This map of downtown Nancy is showing all the squares we are visiting here: 01 - Place Stanislas, 02 - Place Vaudémon, 03 - Place de la Carriere and its extension Place d'Alliance connecting to 04 - Place Saint-Epreve with with one more connected square traffic circle Place Malval.

It is clearly showing their role as a pedestrian connection between new planned areas of the city [to the right] and “ville vieille” [old town] within old city walls with its narrow winding streets [to the left].

 
       
 

Psychogeographical Portrait
05
City of urban squares,
Nancy, France

[Open Place Vaudémont, Nancy in full screen]

   
             
  Area is still very active
and used with obvious
passion and admiration
by both locals and visitors.




 

This space is designed as transitional square to connect Place Stanislas true the Architect Emanuelle Here Archway to the older historic part of the Nancy.


When you see their achievements on this etching from 1852 the reason for them being immortalized is more understandable is.


  Area is still very active and used with obvious passion and admiration by both locals and visitors. Jacques Callout, baroque printmaker, born in Nancy, famous for etchings that chronicled the life at the period of planning this square, is eternalized in the fountain main sculpture visible in the panorama.

To the left and right are busts of the Israël Silvestre end Ferdinand de Saint Urbain, also printmakers. When you see their achievements more understandable is a reason for them being immortalized [last photo bellow is etching from 1852].

This space is designed as transitional square to connect Place Stanislas true the Architect Emanuelle Here Archway to the older historic part of the Nancy.

This older part is reminding me to the French historic films movie sets. [small photos right and bellow], am I right?

 

 
             
 

Psychogeographical Portrait
05
City of urban squares,
Nancy, France

[Open Place de la Carriere in full screen]

   
             
  Vast square is envisioned by
Duke Stanislas as an esplanade
linking the old and the new
Nancy. Two mansions face
each other at the entry to
the square: Hôtel de Craon
and the Bourse de Commerce.



 





  Another square connected to the Place Stanislas, visible under the Arc the Triumph is Place de la Carriere. This arch is a copy of Septimus Severus’ arch in Rome, it glorifies King Louis XV through its ornamentation celebrating him as victor and peacemaker.

Vast square, #03 on our map, is envisioned by Duke Stanislas as an esplanade linking the old and the new Nancy. Two mansions face each other at the entry to the square: Hôtel de Craon (today’s court of appeal) and the Bourse de Commerce (today’s administrative tribunal).

Palais du Gouvernement lies across the other end, framed by two semicircular colonnades decorated with antique gods. Originally the square was planned for tournaments and that's where it names is coming from [carrière = career].

Extension at the far end of this square is Place d'Alliance, one more square in Nancy under UNESCO protection.

This area connects true the Place Saint-Epreve and Place Malval with the old part of city.

 

 
     
     
 

Psychogeographical Portrait
05
City of urban squares,
Nancy, France

[Open Place Saint-Epreve in full screen]

   
             
  This is one more brilliantly
executed space renovation
in old town of Nancy. City was
founded in the 11th century
and this area displays some
good examples of medieval
and renaissance style
architecture.



 

Saint-Epreve basilica, which towers above the square was only built at the end of the 19th century.



The statue in the middle of the Place Malval depicts Duke René II.








  On the photo left is Museum de Lorraine, previously Duke's palace, visible from Place de la Carriere but also visible from Place St. Epreve square, where we are now, in front of the Nancy cathedral.

Place Saint-Epreve [#04 on our map] is located in the middle of “ville vieille” [old town], Nancy’s historic centre. It was the main trading centre in the middle-ages where a main city market used to be.

Saint-Epreve basilica, which towers above the square was only built at the end of the 19th century, but it remains a beautiful masterpiece of Gothic architecture.

It is praised by Viollet-le-Duc [famous French architect who renovated France’s most celebrated cathedrals].

This is one more brilliantly executed space renovation in old town of Nancy. City was founded in the 11th century and this area displays some good examples of medieval and renaissance style architecture.

The statue in the middle of the Place Malval [connected circular square] depicts Duke René II who defeated the Duke of Burgundy, at the battle of Nancy in 1477. It is very unusual less that life size equestrian statue.

Place Saint Epreve is just steps away from Place Stanislas, Place de Career and Place Vandemount, all in our collection.

It is very significant contribution to the really strong impact that this visit to Nancy made on me.

We are ending this walk true the Nancy square area with few photos made in the surrounding streets, walk true the nearby Parc de la Pepiniere, with only one florall photo and as a conclusion a night image made on the starting point Place Stanislas.

Nancy is definitely my second favourite "urban squares" city [after Venezia] but before the third on the list Holgun, Cuba, also deserving to be mentioned.

 
             
  01
Pedestrian Area, Beograd, Srbija
  02
Placa Lesseps, Barcelona, Spain
  08
Street Art Walk, Buenos Aires, Argentina
 
           
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Last time updated on June 24, 2017 13:37