To see in Nancy (non classified)

The visit of Nancy’s city center continues beyond the Place de la Carrière, closed off by the Palais du Gouvernement. Behind it sits the magnificent Ducal Palace of the 16th century, as well as the Church and Convent of the Cordeliers. The Craffe Gate, further on, is also worth a visit.

To see

Jardin Godron
Rue Sainte Catherine, 54000 Nancy
Officially recognized as a “Jardin Remarquable” (Remarkable Garden)
Located behind the Place de l’Alliance. This botanical garden was created by Stanislas in 1758. The current plant collections are meant for the floral decoration of the city. Ideal for a quiet break.


Parc de la Pépinière (1772)
Accommodation available for visitors with disabilities.

Created by Stanislas as a tree nursery, this park is now a popular place for walks among locals for its kiosk, rose garden, zoological park and its English garden. Many statues adorn the park, including one by Rodin representing the painter Claude Gellée. Play area for children. Food and drink available at the brewery.


Palais Ducal
Grande Rue, 54000 Nancy
Open from Tuesday to Sunday: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Ducal Palace is located next to the Church of the Cordeliers. Built in the early 16th century in an early Renaissance style, there are still traces of architectural elements in a Gothic style. Residence of the dukes until the 18th century, it was abandoned in favor of the castle in Luneville.

Of note in particular is the exceptional ornamentation above the main gateway to the palace, featuring an equestrian statue of Duke Antoine. Its refinement reminds us of the omnipresence of the Italian influence in Renaissance architecture in Nancy.

Since 1848 the palace of the dukes of Lorraine has housed a part of the Lorraine Museum (see "Museums”), containing the archaeological collections. Some of its rooms are dedicated to the history of Lorraine in the 17th century, and others are devoted to famous figures from the region : the engraver Jacques Callot and the painter Georges de La Tour. The second floor is dedicated to Stanislas.


Église des Cordeliers (1482)
Grande Rue, 54000 Nancy
Full price / reduced price: €6 / €4. Free for children under 12 years old. The price includes the visits of the Ducal Palace and Convent of the Cordeliers. See" Museums".
Open from Tuesday to Sunday: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Next to the Ducal Palace. The Church of the Cordeliers owes its existence to René II, who housed Franciscan monks here from 1487 onward. Originally richly decorated, the church and convent have undergone many changes over the centuries, especially during the Revolution, when the church was partially destroyed and transformed into a coal warehouse. Despite the vicissitudes of history, the Renaissance Funeral Chapel, inspired by the Medici of Florence (Italy), still houses remarkable tombs. That of René II, in a Renaissance style, is located to the right of the choir. The bodies of the other tombs that were housed in the chapel, including that of François I, were thrown into a common grave in the cemetery of the city. The sculptures that today adorn the chapels of the Church of the Cordeliers were mainly brought from other churches. They mostly date from the 16th century.

Of note in particular is the painting of the Virgin of the Rosary (16th centuty) on the left wall of the nave.

The Franciscan church and convent house a part of the collections of the Lorraine Museum, including collections dedicated to popular arts and traditions (reconstitution of typical Lorraine interiors from the 18th and 19th centuries).


The porte de la Craffe (14th century)
Grande Rue, 54000 Nancy

Further still on the main street, visitors arrive at the monumental Craffe Gate that defined the medieval walls and allowed access to the city. It was used as a weapon of defense and protected against the sieges instigated by Charles the Bold. Flanked by two round towers (added in the 15th century) that served as a prison, this building is the oldest historic vestige of the city. The Craffe Gate was reinforced by the Renaissance-style Notre Dame Gate in the 16th century. The pedestrian gates on the side were added in the 19th century. On the side of the Old Town, the gate is adorned with a Madonna and Child and portraits of the Dukes of Lorraine, the Cross of Lorraine and a thistle, the emblem of the city.

Saint Nicolas

The legend of Saint-Nicolas

"There once were three small children who went to work in the fields ... Lost in the night, they asked a butcher to put them up for the night. Upon entering, the butcher rushed towards them to kill them, cut them in small pieces and put them in a salting tub. Seven years later, the good Saint Nicolas happened to pass that way. He went to the butcher and insisted to eat the meat that was in the salting tub. Frightened, the butcher fled and Saint Nicolas resurrected the three children."

Saint Nicolas is an integral part of the cultural heritage of Lorraine. The Patron Saint of Lorraine has been regularly honored and celebrated since the Middle Ages. Present everywhere, he gave his name to countless newborns, streets and of course, churches. For children, he is the equivalent of Santa Claus ... or the Bogeyman!
He is the source of many tales, legends and miracles. Traditionally on the eve of his feast day (December 6), a small glass of plum schnapps is placed in front of the fireplace as an offering. He passes during the night and in turn leaves surprises and gingerbread for good children, and whips for the naughty ones.


The relic of Saint Nicolas

In 1087, back from the Crusades, Aubert de Varangéville stole a relic of Saint Nicolas (a phalanx) in southern Italy (Bari). He built a church to house it, creating Saint Nicolas de Port along the Meurthe River. Because of the relic, the city became an important step and a place of pilgrimage on the route to Saint Jacques de Compostela. Every year since 1245 on the Saturday closest to December 6, the Basilica hosts a torchlight procession around the relic of the saint.

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