World Heritage # 14: The places of Nancy

As part of a series specially devoted to French sites recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO, writing Welcome Camping invites you to discover one by one the exceptional French destinations, preserved as a heritage of humanity. We continue this series with a site recognized in 1983, places of Nancy: Place Stanislas, de la Carrière and Alliance in Nancy.

Au heart of Europe, in the Grand-Est, the history of France has often been intertwined with that of other European countries. Places Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d'Alliance in Nancy bear witness to part of this rich past. They form a remarkable urban architectural ensemble representative of the Enlightenment period. The squares of Nancy offer "the oldest and most typical testimony to the town planning of the Age of Enlightenment, in a modern city where an enlightened monarch carried out an exceptional program of spaces and public buildings, demonstrating that he was sensitive to the needs of the people”.

A little bit of history

In 1737, diplomatic maneuvers are linked to gain power in Europe. The former King of Poland Stanislas Leszczyński then received as a life annuity from his son-in-law Louis XV, the Duchy of Lorraine. He will return to France at his death according to the agreements established with the governments of France and Austria. To prepare the people of Lorraine to become French, Stanislas then promulgates the edicts allowing the creation of a Council of State and a Council of Finance and Commerce. It is thus inspired by the system then in force in France. If the Duke of Lorraine is relieved of the administration, he will nevertheless work as patron of the Age of Enlightenment. He will entrust Emmanuel Héré with a vast construction project. Thus the three places of Nancy will be restored, with the aim of uniting the old town and the new town in a single urban space.

Nancy, city of heritage

Stanislas Square

Of classical architecture, Stanislas Square is surrounded by the Town Hall, the four pavilions housing the Opera-theater, the Grand Hôtel de la Reine, the Jacquet pavilion and the Museum of Fine Arts. The Basses Faces open up the perspective of the triumphal arch. Six monumental wrought iron gates enhanced with gold leaf were put in place at the instigation of Jean Lamour. They then close the spaces and give the whole a rococo touch. Many symbols of royalty are also hidden on these grids. In the center of the square, the statue of Stanislas was erected in 1831. It replaced that of Louis XV, which Stanislas had installed in homage to his son-in-law. In the end, it will not have resisted the Revolution.

Place de la Carrière

In the extension of Place Stanislas, the immense Place de la Carrière was since the Middle Ages a place of tournaments, jousting and equestrian activities. In the XNUMXth century, the Government Palace, seat of the Intendant of France, was built there. Stanislas' architect, Emmanuel Héré builds private mansions. It also restores the facades of existing buildings. The central open space then accommodates four rows of trees and small fountains.

Quarry Square

Place d'Alliance

Much smaller and more discreet than its neighbors, Place d'Alliance was built in a new town on the site of the Duke of Lorraine's former vegetable garden. The fountain with three old men throne in its center, not far from the hundred-year-old lime trees. This fountain and the name of this square commemorate the Franco-Austrian Treaty of Alliance of 1756.


Nowadays, the places of Nancy arouse wonder. More than 3 million visitors came to Nancy in 2018, to savor the sweetness of life and the cultural and sporting dynamism of this city steeped in history.