Saturday, 9 February 2013

Fancy Nancy!

Day 208 07.02.13 Luneville to Nancy

We were up very early to scrape the ice and snow off Van Diesel and get going to Nancy.  It was another pain in the backside of a drive and our parking spot (a section of carpark earmarked for campers) was cordoned off and inaccessible.  We ended up a fair bit further out of town in a less than ideal place but keen not to have to drive anymore!  After an early lunch we set off into town.  By this point I’m feeling pretty green around the gills and so after much wandering about this very poorly signposted city we wind up in the mediateque.  We need to get the gadgets charged up and sitting down in the warmth seems much more preferable to pottering around in the biting wind outside, at least until I start to feel a little better.   

After a little while in the mediateque I’m starting to feel much better so we head out to do some sight-seeing.  The main highlight of Nancy centre is definitely the UNESCO protected Place Stanislas.  The large square is home to the town hall, arts museum, theatre and many other important buildings.  Each of the corners has a large, extremely impressive gold trimmed gate with a fountain in front.  Unfortunately for us they are undertaking some maintenance on the fountains at the moment so there are once again barriers obstructing our view – it seems to be becoming a trend on this winter trip.  Despite the barriers and works, the square is undeniably quite astonishing.

We take a walk down from the square towards ‘La Porte de la Craffe’ the 14th century gate with two tall fairy tale towers.  It’s very pretty indeed despite the dreaded winter-time renovations taking place all over the town.  Just down from the gate is the magnificent Palais Ducal where the museum of the Lorrain region can be found.  The building has an incredibly beautiful carved doorway, rows of detailed gargoyles leering over the street and a tall spire painted a lovely turquoise colour and trimmed in gold. From here we headed to the nearby church of St Epvre the tall spire of which can be seen from almost anywhere within Nancy.  It’s an impressive church but sadly due to (you guessed it) renovations we can’t get inside!  The square out the front of the church is a little disappointing with its large roundabout with a big plinth in the centre with a very underwhelming statue on top!

After a little while pottering around the high streets its starts getting dark so we set off on the long-ish walk back to the van.  Despite not feeling too great it’s been really nice to get back to some proper sight-seeing after a couple of quieter days.

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