List of all SquaresActivitiesDocumentationClassificationEvaluationPsychogeographyNetworkWho We AreContact Us  
Psychogeographical Portrait ... 09 ... Nancy, city of urban squares  
  Nancy, city of urban squares Nancy, city of urban squares Nancy, city of urban squares Nancy, city of urban squares Nancy, city of urban squares  
             
  Nancy was selected just
for its location
  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.

     
             
  Nancy, city of urban squares Nancy, city of urban squares Nancy, city of urban squares  
             
  Place Stanislas is one
of the very few squares
designed by one person
  We started this walk in September 2011 or our way back to Toronto from visit to Beograd.

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 above right 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".

     
             
  Nancy, city of urban squares Nancy, city of urban squares Nancy, city of urban squares  
           
    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.

     
             
  Nancy, city of urban squares. Map  
             
      Together with the connected Place de la Carrière [❖3] , Place Vaudemont [❖2] , and Place Epreve - P. Malval [❖4] , Place Stanislas [❖1] 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. On the map above we marked four squares in Nancy, part of this psychogeographical walk.

     
             
   
             
  ⇡ Open panorama
in full screen
  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.

  History well preserved,
appreciated and used
in today's world
 
             
  Nancy, city of urban squares Nancy, city of urban squares Nancy, city of urban squares  
             
      This space of course, deserves much more attention. Our photos 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.

     
             
  Nancy, city of urban squares Nancy, city of urban squares Nancy, city of urban squares
 
             
  Internet is obviously these days best bet but...   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.      
             
  Nancy, city of urban squares Nancy, city of urban squares Nancy, city of urban squares  
             
      I was prepared to some degree for the previous square Place Stanislas but nothing prepared me for the next one, Place Vaudemont [❖2]. If you are not really careful it can be easily missed, it is somewhat hidden behind the archway.

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

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].

     
             
  Nancy, city of urban squares Nancy, city of urban squares France Etching  
             
      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?

     
             
  Nancy, city of urban squares  
             
 
 
             
  ⇡ Open panorama
in full screen
  Another square connected to the Place Stanislas, visible under the Arc the Triumph is Place Carrere [❖3] [above]. 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 - Place Malval [❖4] with the old part of city.

On the photo above right 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.

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 one floral photo and as a conclusion a few images around one more square, named after famous person, Place Andre Maginot.

Nancy is definitely my second favourite "urban squares" city [after Venezia with 191 squares, counted by urbansquares] but before the third one on the list, also deserving to be mentioned, Holgun, Cuba.

If you are interested we have portrait of the city of Nancy in our collection, and as usual if you anything to say about this page or whole website, please. do not hesitate to contact us.

     
             
   
             
  06 ❖ Placa de Lesseps, Barcelona, 2009 - 12 ❖ Place aux Abbesses, Paris, 2012 ~ 17 ❖ Around Place aux Herbes, Uzes, 2015
18 ❖
Pedestrian Area, Beograd, Srbija, 2015 ~ 24 ❖ Sarajevo - Bascarsija, September 2018
25 ❖
Jurjeva Luka, Lastovo, Hrvatska, September 2018 ~ 26 ❖ Funchal City Centre, Madeira - April, 2019
 
           
  .....................  
           
  urban squares urbansquares copyright initiative is licensed under a creative commons attribution-share alike 2.5 canada license. January 21, 2020  
             
List of all SquaresActivitiesDocumentationClassificationEvaluationPsychogeographyNetworkWho We AreContact Us