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Nancy coat of arms
Nancy (France)
region Grand Est
Department Meurthe-et-Moselle
Arrondissement Nancy
Canton Nancy-1 , Nancy-2 , Nancy-3
Community association Grand Nancy
Coordinates 48 ° 42 '  N , 6 ° 11'  E Coordinates: 48 ° 42 '  N , 6 ° 11'  E
height 188-353 m
surface 15.01 km 2
Residents 104,286 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 6,948 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 54000
INSEE code

Place Stanislas - Arc Héré

Template: Infobox municipality in France / maintenance / different coat of arms in Wikidata

Granary converted into lofts on the Canal de la Marne au Rhin

Nancy [ nɑ̃si ] (German outdated Nanzig , Luxembourgish Nanzeg ) is a French city with 104,286 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2017) in the Grand Est region (until 2015 Lorraine ). It is the capital ( prefecture ) of the Meurthe-et-Moselle and the seat of Métropole du Grand Nancy , a 20 municipalities comprehensive municipal association .

Historically Nancy was the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine , which consists of Upper Lorraine emerged in the Ancien Regime , the capital of the province of Lorraine (Lorraine) . Nancy has been the seat of a Roman Catholic diocese since 1777 .

The city's motto is " non inultus premor " (Latin for: Nobody presses me with impunity), which alludes to the battle of Nancy in 1477 and the death of Charles the Bold . The thistle in the city coat of arms also has this reference.



Nancy is located in north-eastern France, about 120 kilometers west of Strasbourg as the crow flies and 50 kilometers south of Metz . The city lies between wooded ranges of hills in half a valley basin , opening to the northwest. Several rivers run near the city, including the Moselle , the Canal de la Marne au Rhin and the Meurthe , which forms the eastern city limits.

City structure

According to a decision of the city council in June 2008 , Nancy is divided into 11 districts:

  • Ville Vieille Léopold
  • Center Ville Charles III
  • Stanislas - Meurthe
  • Saint Pierre René II Marcel bread
  • Mon Désert Jeanne d'Arc Saurupt Clémenceau
  • Haussonville Blandan Donop
  • Poincaré Foch Anatole France Croix de Bourgogne
  • Beauregard Boufflers Buthegnémont
  • Boudonville Scarpone Liberation
  • Plateau de Haye: Haut du Lièvre, parc des Carrières, Gentilly
  • Trois Maisons Saint Fiacre Crosne Vayringe

Each district has its own citizens' office , a post office and some also have their own gendarmerie .


Nancy is located in a humid and temperate climate area with greater temperature fluctuations between individual days and the seasons. Winters are mostly cold and dry, summers warm but not always sunny. Fog often appears in autumn. There is generally less rainfall than in western France.

Climate diagram of Nancy


Traces of human settlement can be found from the 8th century BC. BC on the hills of the city, where the mining of the iron ore Minette is documented. There are no finds from the time of Roman rule in Gaul . A large Alemannic cemetery bears witness to a new settlement in the area during the migration period .

Portal at the Palais des Ducs de Lorraine , now the Museum of Lorraine
La porte de la Craffe

It was not until 1050 that Count Gerhard , Duke of Lorraine , built a castle called Nanciacum , from which the city should develop. As a result of the War of Succession for Champagne, Duke Theobald I faced his liege lord and emperor, Friedrich II . This led to the siege and pillage of Nancy by Frederick's troops in 1218. Rebuilt and surrounded by a stone wall, the place received city ​​rights in 1265 and became the capital of the duchy in the following decades.

On January 5, 1477, Charles the Bold of Burgundy failed in the Battle of Nancy while attempting to take the city in order to combine his possessions ( Burgundy , Luxembourg and Flanders ). He died of his injuries not far from the city near Saint-Nicolas-de-Port . Nancy experienced its greatest heyday under the dukes Anton (1489–1544) and Charles III. (1543-1608). At that time the new town was founded according to plan in the south of the old town , a network of streets intersecting at right angles.

Bust of Stanislaus I. Leszczyński (Monument on Place Stanislas )

Nancy belonged to the Duchy of Lorraine and thus to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation until the 18th century . The city ​​suffered severe devastation during the Thirty Years' War , recorded by Jacques Callot  - a Nancy copperplate engraver - in the Horrors of War cycle (now on display in the Lorraine Museum ). Nancy was repeatedly occupied by French troops and in 1697, after the Peace of Rijswijk, it was greatly reduced in size (around Lunéville ) and returned to Duke Leopold, who had the city rebuilt. Finally, the Duchy of Lorraine came to the Kingdom of France ( Tuscany to Habsburg) as part of an exchange between the Roman-German Emperor ( House of Habsburg ) and the French king in the 18th century . Louis XV awarded Lorraine in 1737 to the deposed Polish king , Stanislaus I. Leszczyński , who ruled the duchy of Nancy and Lunéville as Duke of Lorraine. After his death in 1766, Nancy and the duchy fell permanently to the French crown. Since 1777 the city has been the bishopric of the diocese of Nancy-Toul .

The Benedictine convent Nancy existed from 1669 to 1792 .

During the French Revolution , the city was the site of the Nancy affair in 1790 . The soldiers of the garrison who sympathized with the Jacobins demanded a. the payment of the wages and had their officers fixed. The Marquis de Bouillé put down the revolt in street fights with blood. The merciless actions of the Marquis and the death of the officer André Désilles, who stood between the mutineers and Bouillé's troops, moved all of France.

After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71, the north-eastern, German-speaking part of Lorraine became part of the German Empire (and henceforth administered together with Alsace, which had also been ceded by France, as the Reichsland Alsace-Lorraine ), but not the western part around Nancy. The German language name Nanzig or Nanzég was occasionally used (e.g. in Brockhaus from 1888) as a German exonym . For a long time this name (in the form Nanzég ) has only been used in Luxembourg.

During the First World War and the nearby Battle of the Grand Couronné , the city was repeatedly bombed by German air forces and artillery positions in Hampont, 35 km away . This caused great damage and killed 117 people.

After France's military defeat in World War II and an occupation of almost four years, Nancy was liberated by the 3rd US Army in September 1944 after the battle for Nancy in the course of the Battle of Lorraine .


The city of Nancy forms the core of a larger agglomeration called Communauté urbaine du Grand Nancy . With its limited area and high population density (7,157 inh. / Km²) Nancy has grown together with the neighboring communities over time. In contrast to many other cities, these were not incorporated. While the population of Nancy is only around 105,000, between 240,000 and 330,000 people live in the agglomeration, depending on the census. Approx. 415,000 inhabitants are given for the Arrondissement of Nancy (all figures 2006). The second largest municipality in the agglomeration is Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy .

Nancy has the fifth largest student population of any French city.

Population development

year 1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2007 2017
Residents 128,677 123,428 107.902 96,317 99.351 103.605 105,349 104.286


City government

André Rossinot ( UMP ) was mayor of Nancy from 1983 to 2014 . He was re-elected in 1989, 1995, 2001 and 2008. In 2014 Laurent Hénard won the election as mayor.

From the city council elections in 2008, the UMP emerged as the strongest force with 42 seats. The Socialists had 11 seats. There are also 2 seats held by independent candidates.

Town twinning

Nancy has the following partnerships:

Culture and sights

Architecture and urban architecture

Basilique Saint-Epvre
Amphitrite fountain in Place Stanislas

Nancy has a beautiful city center. In the northern area is the old town, which is characterized by buildings from the Middle Ages and early modern times, with the former ducal palace and the neo-Gothic church of Saint-Epvre . The southern New Town has its center around the Place Stanislas , named after the former Polish King Stanislaus I. Leszczyński , who after the defeat in the War of the Polish Succession in 1737 by his son-in-law Louis XV. was resigned to the Duchy of Lorraine and Bar . The courts Stanislas de la Carrière et d'Alliance , one of the most important ensembles enlightened absolutist urban were in the 1983 World Heritage List of UNESCO added. The squares were mainly laid out between 1752 and 1760 by the architect Emmanuel Héré . The Place Stanislas , formerly Place Royale, follows the type of French royal courts uniformly designed facades around a central ruler image . The monument was once King Louis XV. Dedicated by France, after Stanislas' death also ruler of Lorraine. The present monument from the 19th century, however, shows Stanislas himself. The entire south side of the square is occupied by the town hall (Hôtel de Ville) , in whose staircase and hall an image program praises Stanislas' benevolent government. In the east and in the west two palatial pavilions accommodated the facilities of the court, administration and education. Today the Musée des Beaux-Arts is in the northwest and the opera house in the northeast. On the north side, where the fortifications formerly separated the old and new town, single-storey buildings, the basses faces , frame the square. The square shows itself as the center of the entire urban space through the large street axis that leads from the Porte Sainte-Cathérine in the east to the Porte Saint-Stanislas in the west, both of which are distinguished by small triumphal gates. The framing buildings on Place Stanislas are loosely linked by rich decorative mesh by Jean Lamour. Ornamental fountains by Barthélemy Guibal have been added to the north-west and north-east corners.

The passage to the Place de la Carrière is a triumphal arch, which was erected in 1757 in honor of Louis XV. was built. The elongated former tournament ground is lined on both sides by a uniform development of houses, formerly for officials of the court and the state. The sequence of squares is completed in the north by the transverse Place de l'Hémicycle in front of the former seat of the French governor.

In the city center and in the western suburbs and villa areas of Nancy there are also numerous Art Nouveau buildings from the École de Nancy .

Other sights:

  • Palais des Ducs de Lorraine (Palace of the Dukes of Lorraine), now the Musée Lorrain d'Art et d'Histoire
  • Église des Cordeliers , burial church of the Dukes of Lorraine, now also part of the Musée Lorrain
  • Pépinière , park in the English style of the " Ferme Ornée ". A small zoo, a shell stage, amusement facilities for children and restaurants are integrated into the park.
  • Musée de l'École de Nancy , Museum of Lorraine Art Nouveau
  • Baroque cathedral from the 18th century, with a large organ , built by Nicolas Dupont in 1763 and restored by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll in 1861.
  • Église Saint-Sébastien , Lorraine Baroque, built 1720–1731 by the architect Jean-Nicolas Jennesson (1686–1755)
  • Église St-Léon IX , neo-Gothic parish church, built 1860–1877 as part of the city expansion west of the train station
  • Musée des Beaux-Arts , painting from the last 400 years with pictures by Caravaggio, Rubens, Manet, Modigliani
  • NASIUM - La cité des Leuques - an old Roman city with 120 ha
  • synagogue
Panorama of the Place Stanislas after the renovation 2004–2005


Stade Marcel-Picot on the Meurthe

The most successful sports club in the city is the AS Nancy football club , which plays in the second highest French division ( Ligue 2 ). He plays his home games at the Stade Marcel-Picot .

In addition to football, the SLUC Nancy Basket basketball team plays an important role. She was French champion in 2008 and 2011. The handball team Grand Nancy ASPTT HB played in the second division in the 2009/2010 season. Nancy is also a regular stage destination of the Tour de France , twice (1962 and 1968) it was even the starting point of the tour. The penultimate time the tour stopped in Nancy in 2014, the last time it passed through the city in 2019.

For amateur and school sports, the city has 27 gyms, 6 sports facilities, 14 specialized facilities ( boulodrome , skate park , shooting ranges, ...) and 18 freely accessible sports fields. There are also several swimming pools in and around the city.


Every year in October, the Nancy Jazz Pulsations festival takes place in various venues in Nancy.

Economy and Infrastructure


Nancy University Faculty of Law

Nancy has an old university with major medical and law faculties. The so-called N-rays described by René Blondlot in 1901 became known, but they turned out to be scientific fiction .

Well-known and famous among psychologists and therapists is the (old) School of Nancy, which in the 19th century was mainly concerned with hypnosis , and the New School of Nancy , which emerged from it after a dispute over the direction of the past , which was directed by Émile Coué made the doctrine of modern, conscious autosuggestion known around the world. Until 2012 three large universities had a campus in Nancy or the agglomeration:

In 2012 the three universities merged with the University of Metz (Paul Verlaine University - Metz) to form the Université de Lorraine in Nancy and Metz.

Since 2002 there has been a delocalized campus of the renowned elite university Sciences Po Paris in Nancy , which offers a trilingual, pluridisciplinary undergraduate course. The so-called German-French basic course lasts 2 years and provides basic knowledge in economics, political science, law and history. The students then spend a year abroad at a partner university or with an internship and then complete one of the Masters programs offered by Sciences Po Paris at the main campus in Paris. In the city is also the headquarters of the ICN Business School .

Transport links

Long-distance transport

Nancy is connected to the national long-distance network. In the west, the A31 towards Paris and Lyon can be reached. The connection in the north leads to Luxembourg and Metz. In the south, the A33 leads to Strasbourg and the A330 to Besançon and Mulhouse . The distance to Paris is 330 km. It is 150 km to Luxembourg and 120 km to the next major German city, Saarbrücken . Of particular importance is the connection to Metz (60 km), which is often congested due to the large number of commuters.

Gare de Nancy, the main train station

The Nancy train station is a railway hub in eastern France. You can reach Metz, Luxembourg , Basel and Strasbourg without having to change trains . Since the LGV Est européenne went into operation on June 10, 2007, Nancy is only 1 hour and 30 minutes from Paris by TGV . The first railway took 8 hours to do this in 1852. The trains reach a top speed of 320 km / h on the route. In contrast to the TGV trains to the capital, you have to go to Lorraine TGV station near Louvigny (Moselle), about 37 km away , for high-speed connections to other parts of the country (e.g. Bordeaux ) . It is currently unclear whether, and if so to what extent, this station should be used by trains to and from Germany and Switzerland. The SNCF does not plan to do this until 2016, when the second section of LGV Est will be completed. Since the station can only be reached by road, plans include moving the station to Vandières in order to enable a change between high-speed and regional trains.

From Metz-Nancy-Lorraine Airport, Air France flies to Lyon and Nice , and Twin Jet to Marseille and Toulouse . The city airport Aéroport de Nancy-Essey is no longer served by the major airlines. There is also the Nancy-Ochey military airfield to the southwest .

Local transport

Stan bus tram

In addition to a bus network, Nancy has a track trolleybus ( Tramway de Nancy ) with rubber-tyred tram cars (there were identical cars at the TVR Caen , replaced by the Caen tram in 2019 ). The first installation of the new system was made in 2000 to the existing network of trolleybus supplement. The vehicles on tram line 1 have two-pole pantographs and can travel as a track bus as well as on other parts of the route as trolleybuses driven by the driver. Public service began on February 11, 2001, but after two accidents in March, operations were shut down for a year and the vehicles were overhauled. Today the system is stable. On February 10, 2017, the city council decided to follow Caen's example and to replace the track-guided trolleybus with a classic tram in 2022. The main reason is the expected shortage of spare parts for the vehicles of type TVR despite the takeover of vehicles that are no longer required in Caen for the production of spare parts.

However, the same technology should not be used when the network is expanded to include a second tram line. Presumably a system of a classic trolleybus with its own bus lane will be implemented.

In the last few years the city has tried harder to encourage cycling. To this end, over 130 km of cycle paths have now been laid out. In addition, there has been a bicycle rental in municipal hands since 1999 . In 2007, this rental, which was designed for long-term rental (up to one year), was renamed vélOstan. A limited number (2010: 6) of circulation desks are spread across the Grand Nancy area. In total, more than 500 bicycles can be rented here for a period of up to one year. JCDecaux has been running a private bike rental company under the name vélOstan'lib since 2008 . The focus is on the possibility of short-term rental. A total of 250 bicycles are offered at 25 stations. A pre-registration is neccessary. The vehicles are then loaned and returned using an RFID chip card.



“Even in the sunshine, Nancy is not a happy city, at least in their eyes. When it rains, the city loses itself in shades of gray and becomes oblique and blurry, almost interesting again, that's how depressing it is. A city in the east of France. The sky hangs low, the houses are two-story, from time to time architecturally successful, but even a blind man can see that no rich doctors live in them. "

- Virginie Despentes : Bye bye Blondie (2004)

Web links

Commons : Nancy  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Nancy  Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  1. Participative democracy et vie des territoires: les ateliers de vie de quartiers  ", decision of the city council of June 23, 2008.
  2. Overview of French student cities ( Memento of the original from June 9, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved February 4, 2010. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Dossier complet - Commune de Nancy (54395) as of September 29, 2016 on accessed on April 17, 2017
  4. ^ Historical map as a digitized version of the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  5. Website of the city on the subject of sport ( Memento of the original from April 13, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , last accessed on March 31, 2010. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. vélOstan website, with a map of the cycle paths , last accessed on April 24, 2010.