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.
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery – Opened in 2012, the memorial was designed by Krzysztof Wodiczko, an internationally-renowned Polish artist. (Open daily.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Maillé-Brézé – This naval destroyer is now home to the first naval museum afloat in France. Established in 1988.
- 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.
- 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.)