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Artsy Nantes

The Elephant

The Ele­phant

We are now in Nantes, my home­town, there place where I was born, where went to school and from where I even­tu­ally left in 2002. My whole fam­ily still lives there. Even though the city hasn’t changed much, I like to see it again with dif­fer­ent eyes…

Indeed, it has very dif­fer­ent sides: today, I will show you its artsy one.

If you fol­low the Loire river from down­town, you will find a bridge that crosses to the “isle of Nantes”, a for­mer ship­yard turned into a leisure and cul­tural site. The place itself is quite scenic, with nice view on the Quai De La Fosse, the long street along the river.

The Isle is also the loca­tion of the Machine Of The Isle’s cul­tural and artis­tic project. The ware­house of the for­mer ship­yards in Nantes is the house of sev­eral artists who cre­ated huge “machines”, at the cross­road of the imag­i­nary worlds of Jules Verne (who was from Nantes) and the mechan­i­cal genius of Da Vinci. The biggest project, the mechan­i­cal Ele­phant, is 12 meters high and 8 meters wide, made from 45 tons of wood and steel. It can take up to 49 pas­sen­gers for a 45-minute walk!

A bit fur­ther, along the Loire and close to the Hangar À Bananes (a for­mer ware­house where bananas from the French islands were stocked) are the Rings, a mod­ern art project by Daniel Buren.

La Médiathèque (The Library)

La Médiathèque (The Library)

Along The River - Quai De La Fosse

Along The River — Quai De La Fosse

The Loire River

The Loire River

Les Chantiers De Nantes - The Old Shipyard

Les Chantiers De Nantes — The Old Shipyard

Vieux Vélo - Old Bicycle

Vieux Vélo — Old Bicycle

Les Machines De l'Ile - The Isle Machines

Les Machines De l’Ile — The Isle Machines

Hangar Vide - Empty Warehouse

Hangar Vide — Empty Warehouse

L'Elephant Endormi - Sleepy Elephant

L’Elephant Endormi — Sleepy Elephant

Enfin Réveillé! - Awake, At Last!

Enfin Réveillé! — Awake, At Last!

Bateau Près De La Loire - Boats By The Loire River

Bateau Près De La Loire — Boats By The Loire River

Le Grand Elephant - The Big Elephant

Le Grand Ele­phant — The Big Elephant

Les Anneaux De Buren - The Buren Rings

Les Anneaux De Buren — The Buren Rings


  1. Your home­town is like a museum.

  2. I have not made it to Nantes, but many friends have vis­ited and I have some friends are work­ing near there so I’m hop­ing to see it for myself sometime.

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