Facts and Data
Unesco World heritage since: 1983
Size of heritage:
Nancy, the temporary residence of a king without a kingdom – Stanislas Leszczynski, later to become Duke of Lorraine – is paradoxically the oldest and most typical example of a modern capital where an enlightened monarch proved to be sensitive to the needs of the public. Built between 1752 and 1756 by a brilliant team led by the architect Héré, this was a carefully conceived project that succeeded in creating a capital that not only enhanced the sovereign's prestige but was also functional.
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Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d'Alliance in Nancy
Located in the Department of Meurthe-et-Moselle in the Lorraine Region of France, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière, and Place d'Alliance in Nancy is a remarkable ensemble of urban design and architecture. These three interconnected squares, designed by Emmanuel Héré in the 18th century, are a testament to the grandeur and elegance of the French Enlightenment.
The history of this heritage site dates back to the reign of Stanisław Leszczyński, the former King of Poland and Duke of Lorraine. After losing his Polish throne, Stanisław was granted the Duchy of Lorraine by his son-in-law, King Louis XV of France. As a lover of arts and culture, Stanisław aimed to transform Nancy into a cultural capital.
Stanisław commissioned the renowned architect Emmanuel Héré to redesign the city's central square, which was completed in 1755. The square was named after Stanisław himself, becoming Place Stanislas. The adjacent squares, Place de la Carrière and Place d'Alliance, were added later, completing the harmonious ensemble.
Architecture and Design
Place Stanislas, the centerpiece of the ensemble, is a magnificent square adorned with stunning neoclassical architecture. The square is flanked by two palaces, the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) and the Opéra-Théâtre, both showcasing the grandeur of the era. The focal point of the square is the impressive statue of King Stanisław, created by the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Pigalle.
Place de la Carrière, located to the south of Place Stanislas, is a long rectangular square lined with elegant buildings. It was originally used as a horse racing track and later transformed into a parade ground. The square is framed by beautiful wrought-iron gates and features a statue of Stanisław's daughter, Princess Maria Theresa.
Place d'Alliance, situated to the north of Place Stanislas, is a smaller square designed as a symbol of the alliance between France and Austria. It is adorned with a central fountain and surrounded by charming townhouses.
Today, the Place Stanislas ensemble remains a vibrant and lively part of Nancy's city center. The squares have been meticulously preserved and restored, allowing visitors to experience the splendor of the 18th-century urban design. The architectural details, such as the ornate facades and decorative elements, continue to captivate visitors.
These squares serve as a hub for cultural events, festivals, and markets, attracting both locals and tourists alike. The surrounding buildings house cafes, restaurants, and shops, creating a bustling atmosphere. The squares also provide a picturesque backdrop for leisurely strolls and gatherings.
The UNESCO World Heritage status has further enhanced the preservation and promotion of this exceptional site. Efforts have been made to ensure the conservation of the architectural integrity and historical significance of the ensemble. The squares continue to be a source of pride for the people of Nancy and a testament to the city's rich cultural heritage.
Visiting Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière, and Place d'Alliance is like stepping back in time to an era of elegance and enlightenment. The harmonious blend of architecture, design, and historical significance make this UNESCO World Heritage site a must-visit destination for anyone interested in French history and culture.
Hotels and places to stay
Grand Hotel De La Reine
Hôtel Mercure Nancy Centre Place Stanislas
Hôtel des Prélats
Best Western Crystal
Coeur de City Nancy Stanislas by HappyCulture
Hôtel de Guise
Hotel New York
Videos from the area
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Medium airport - 2 mi (4 km) Metz-Nancy-Lorraine Airport
Medium airport - 20 mi (33 km) Épinal-Mirecourt Airport
Medium airport - 26 mi (42 km) Vittel Champ De Course Airport
Small airport - 34 mi (56 km) Verdun-Le Rozelier Airport
Medium airport - 44 mi (71 km) Saarbrücken Airport
Medium airport - 55 mi (90 km) Luxembourg-Findel International Airport
Large airport - 64 mi (104 km) Vesoul-Frotey Airport
Medium airport - 73 mi (118 km) Karlsruhe Baden-Baden Airport
Large airport - 87 mi (140 km) Liège Airport
Large airport - 138 mi (223 km) Maastricht Aachen Airport
Large airport - 154 mi (249 km) Cologne Bonn Airport
Large airport - 156 mi (252 km)
Bigger and popular cities in the wider vicinity are these:
These are some smaller cities that might be interesting. They are all rather close.