New and short stay in Nantes, opportunity to walk, once again, in the city, to make some photos as a tourist. And a little jump to Guérande and Le Croisic.
Nantes is an important tourist city, the seventh in France with two million visitors a year, some attracted by multiple cultural events.
In mid-June, no special event and the annual edition of Le Voyage à Nantes (June 30 – August 26) is in preparation. The green line of the trip is not yet functional, however, it allows to travel the city and (re) discover, Le Jardin des plantes, Le Château des ducs de Bretagne, without which Nantes would not be Nantes, at the tip of the l’Île de Nantes through the places Greslin, Royale, Passage Pommeraye …
At the Jardin des plantes
The Passage Pommeraye
(with a choir)
Two important periods for the prosperity of the city that the ediles of Nantes have been able to assume and exceed to go to the future: slavery, shipyards.
The Revocation de l’Edit de Nantes, in 1685, is better known than the Code noir, promulgated the same year. This has allowed Nantes to become the most important port of triangular trade, source of its prosperity.
During the 18th century, Nantes chartered ships that transported 450,000 blacks, or 42% of the French slave trade. Nantes will be the last stronghold of the slave trade, in 1831, despite the successive prohibitions.
From the 17th to the 19th century, the slave trade has an important place in the trade of Nantes and contributes to enrich the city and some shipowners. At the origin of prestigious buildings of the city like the theater, the stock market, mansions …
All this is neither forgotten nor hidden. A permanent exhibition of the Musée d’Hidtoire de Nantes, located at the Château, explains the slave past, part of the history of the city and of its identity. And the place of Nantes in the Negro European trade and the history of slavery.
Between Anne-de-Bretagne bridge and Victor-Schœlcher footbridge, 2000 glass slabs: 1710 with the name of the ships and the dates of departure of the Nantes slave shipments, 290 indicate the slave trading posts, the ports of call and sales in Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas and the Indian Ocean.
At the pace of his steps, the visitor becomes aware of the magnitude of this tragedy.
The Memorial, itself, recalls the long history of slavery and the struggle for its abolition, illustrated by texts of those of diverse origins who have fought or are struggling against slavery and its aftermath in the world
A business of men! Great Gods! And nature does not shudder? If they are animals, are we not like them? Olympe de Gouges (1788).
Brothers and friends. I am Toussaint Louverture … I have undertaken the vengeance of my race. I want freedom and equality to reign in Santo Domingo. I work to make it exist.
Unite, brothers, and fight with me for the same cause. Uproot with me the tree of slavery. Toussaint Louverture (1793).
The Convention nationale declares that the slavery of the Negroes in all the Colonies is abolished… Décret du 16 pluviose an II (1794).
If, as the colonists say, we can only cultivate the West Indies with slaves, we must renounce the West Indies … A criminal thing must not be necessary. Victor Schoelcher (1842).
Slavery will be abolished entirely in all French colonies and possessions, two months after the promulgation of this decree in each of them… Gouvernement provisoire de la République française. Décret d’abolition de l’esclavage, article 1er, 27 avril 1848.
I dream that one day, on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood. Martin Luther King (28 août 1963).
I am not really free if I deprive someone else of their freedom, as certainly as I am not free if they deprive me of my freedom. The oppressed and the oppressor are both dispossessed of their humanity. Nelson Mandela (1994).
After the shipyards
The municipality elected in 1989, led by Jean-Marc Ayrault, inherits vast industrial wastelands to develop. It keeps the enormous crane, the yellow Titan, a symbol of the old shipyards and embarks on an urbanization venture on the Île de Nantes with, in particular, a courthouse, a school of architecture, a graphic arts center and a space devoted to music. contemporary …
And the Machines de l’Île in the old shipyards while at the tip of the island, restaurants, nightclubs, discotheques are housed in the Hangar à babanes, skirted by the Anneaux de Buren.
Great attractions: the Big Elephant, 12 meters, can carry about fifty passengers and water some onlookers, the Carousel des Mondes marins, ride of 25 meters high. Meanwhile L’arbre aux hérons (42 meters high, 50 meters in diameter), announced for 2022, where visitors can go from branch to branch in hanging gardens or be embedded in pods under the wings of herons …
In the Gallerie des Machines, we can see models like that of a giant caterpillar that a child can advance, the herons with their basket in which spectators are invited to climb …
The Tour Eiffel, more than 100 years ago, was the symbol of industrial power. This conversion of shipyards into a machine builder for the entertainment industry, with however a small number of workstations, is it a Elephant blanc, its swan song of the industrial age? Or, robotics helping, a clever evolution?
For the moment, Nantes has made and sent to China a dragon, arranged some of his creations at La Roche-sur-Yon, proposes to exhibit, in September, some of its creations on the former airfield of Montaudran (Toulouse)
While Nantes has been awarded the European Green Capital Award for 2013, after having been presented in 2004 as the most pleasant city in Europe by Time magazine, for its green spaces and the many rivers flowing through the city.
L’Île de Nantes : edge of the Loire
Some pictures of Guérande