ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Place Stanislas at Nancy, eastern France: 18th century architectural gem

Updated on January 6, 2014
Flag of France
Flag of France | Source
Place Stanislas, Nancy
Place Stanislas, Nancy | Source
Place Stanislas, Nancy
Place Stanislas, Nancy | Source
Map location of the Nancy 'arrondissement', in Lorraine, France
Map location of the Nancy 'arrondissement', in Lorraine, France | Source

Created by Stanislas Leszcynski, King of Poland and Duke of Lorraine

In the city of Nancy in Lorraine, in what is now eastern France, Duke Stanislas Leszczynski (1677-1766), also King of Poland, created a magnificent square in the years 1751-1755. A statue of the Duke stands in the middle of the square.

As Duke Stanislas 's architect for this square, he chose Emmanuel Héré de Corny (1705-1763). Originally the square was supposed to be the place Royale in honour of Stanislas 's son-in-law, King Louis XV of France. At the French Revolution, with Nancy by this time part of France, it was renamed place du Peuple (People's Square). Then, after Napoleon I came to power, it was again renamed, this time after Napoleon. But in 1831 it was decided that naming it place Stanislas , after its original creator, was preferable.

Among all the architectural treasures of France that I have seen over a number of decades, Nancy, with its place Stanislas , would probably be numbered among the most impressive. One of its striking features is that, upon creation, the city was not yet part of France. Having said this, in the former Duchy of Lorraine, France was certainly influential, which raises the question of the many faceted nature of sovereignty and borders.

Buildings around the square

Buildings around Place Stanislas include the following ones:

The City Hall (Hôtel de Ville ) and the departmental Prefecture. These are on the south side.

The Opéra-Theâtre and the Grand Hôtel on the east side. Formerly, the Opéra-Theâtre functioned as the bishop's palace (...but whether the morphing of these functions is representative of any common, underlying idea, I would not like to say... .)

The Fine Art Museum (Musée des Beaux Arts ) and the Pavillon Jacquet are on the west.

On the north side, the buildings were deliberately keep low, for defensive reasons: still an issue in 18th century Lorraine. The Arc Héré triumphal arch also stands on this side.

Other noted buildings in Nancy

Among the many historical buildings in Nancy, the twin-towered Cathedral is of particular note. Like Place Stanislas , it was built in the 18th century. Also of note is the 14th century gate known as the Porte de la Craffe . Built in the Gothic style, it is all that remains of extensive fortifications which formerly enclosed the old city, but the gate itself is remarkably intact.

Also worth visiting

Lunéville (distance: 36 kilometres), with its castle and associations with Voltaire , it also has an old synagogue built in 1786.

Metz (distance: 55 kilometres), historic city with an ancient cathedral and a second, monumental, cathedral-like church built under German rule, following annexation of part of Lorraine after 1871.

Verdun (distance: 134 kilometres), with its sombre Ossuary monument commemorating the huge numbers of French fallen at Verdun in World War One.


How to get there: Continental Airlines flies from New York Newark to Paris (Aéroport Paris-Charles de Gaulle ), where car rental is available. (Paris-Nancy, distance: 347 kilometres). The French railroad company SNCF maintains services from Paris to Nancy. In addition to Paris air connections, Air France, Delta and KLM , which have a code-sharing agreement, operate flights, via stopovers, from New York to EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg, from where car rental is available (distance from EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg to Nancy: 209 kilometres). Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)