9 Activities You’ll Love While in Nantes

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IES Abroad
April 14, 2015

One of our oldest Centers, IES Abroad Nantes, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. As part of the celebrations, the Center is hosting a reunion weekend on April 25-27 for alumni of our Study in Nantes Program.

Lots of activities are packed in over the three days, but for alumni wanting to explore this beautiful French city, here is a list of some of our favorite things to do and see in Nantes.

  1. The Great Elephant and Les Machines de L’Ile – Designed in 2007 and housed in the warehouses of the former shipyards in Nantes, the Machines of the Isle were created by artists François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice, who visualized a “travel-through-time world” that combines the "imaginary worlds" of Jules Verne, the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci, and the industrial history of Nantes. (Closed Monday.)
  2. Chateau des duc de Bretagne and The Nantes History Museum – After three years of renovation, the history museum now occupies 32 rooms of the castle and provides an excellent history (and view) of the city. (Closed Monday.)
  3. Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery – Opened in 2012, the memorial was designed by Krzysztof Wodiczko, an internationally-renowned Polish artist. (Open daily.)
  4. Trentemoult Neighborhood – South and west from the Nantes city center is Trentemoult, once a fishing village along the Loire River. The homes here have been beautifully restored by local artists, and it’s easily accessible from downtown via the Navibus boat. Lovely for a pleasant stroll, Trentemoult is a good place to stop for something to eat or drink, such as traditional crêpes and a glass of cidre.
  1. The Former Petit-Beurre LU Factory – Now the Lieu Unique is the national center for contemporary arts and music venue in Nantes, France. Opened on January 1, 2000, it is housed in a former biscuit factory at the center of the city.
  1. Ile de Versailles – This Japanese-inspired garden island can be found within walking distance from the main city center. Walk through the park and/or rent an electric boat and head up the river to view the lovely scenery and homes that flank the riverside.
  1. Maillé-Brézé – This naval destroyer is now home to the first naval museum afloat in France. Established in 1988.
  1. Chateau de Goulaine – Thirty minutes from Nantes, Chateau de Goulaine is home to the Goulaine family. It was built by Jean de Goulaine, captain of the city of Nantes in the 12th century.
  1. La table des Roy – Top Chef Pascal Roy and his wife, Natalie, host IES Abroad students in their home and operate this lovely restaurant. (Closed until Tuesday, April 28, 2015.)

Learn more about our Study in Nantes Program here.
Check out our
Alumni page to find about other reunions and reconnect with old friends.

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