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Nantes’ Most Unusual Buildings and Architectural Details

From the migrants who are hoping to get a roof over their head before it gets cold to relatives worrying about soaring rental prices, everybody around me is obsessed with real estate.

Se loger (“to find a place to live”) is a real issue for many French people. In big cities, apartment buildings are old and landlords are notoriously picky—demand is greater than supply so you’d better make a lot of money and have a steady job as well as a good guarantor to be offered the chance to sign the lease. Forget about buying your own place unless you’re willing to live outside the city or work on a rundown property, which is probably why there are so many French comedies on renovation works.

As much as I hate these new, bland suburban residential developments in Canada, I must admit they get the job done—offering affordable housing to families.

Meanwhile, in Nantes, I tried to pay attention to unusual buildings and architectural details around me. From sinking apartment buildings Quai de la Fosse to modern towers in Beaulieu, from traditional cast-iron figurines (e.g. shepherd and shepherdess) used to keep exterior window shutters open to mascaron ornaments on façades to frighten away evil spirits, from new bridges to disused railway bridges, here are a few pictures taken in Nantes and around.

Tree growing between two buildings Rue de l’Héronnière, Nantes
Around Place de Bretagne
The opera, Place Graslin
Around Place Viarme
Around Place Viarme
Quai de la Fosse
Quai de la Fosse
Rue des États,, Nantes
Rue des États,, Nantes
Pont Eric-Tabarly, Nantes
Along the Loire River, Beaulieu
Pont Eric-Tabarly, Nantes
Pont Eric-Tabarly, Nantes
Pont Eric-Tabarly, Nantes
Train bridge, Beaulieu
Quai de la Fosse, Nantes
Cap 44, boulevard Marcel-Sembat, the first building in the world built in reinforced concrete
Trentemoult, Rezé
Haute-Île, Rezé, building built in 1908
Haute-Île, Rezé
Pont de Pornic, Rezé

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