Nantes - The Castle of Brittany Duke's
La Loire de la Butte Ste-Anne à l'ïle de Nantes.
France, Loire-Atlantique (44), Rezé, terrasse du village de Trentemoult
Pays de la Loire
Bicycle trip between city and nature
Formerly known as the Little Venice of the West, Nantes lost the name after filling the many waterways of the Loire that crossed it. Its river, however, remains inseparable from its history. It’s no coincidence that the Estuaire project, which enriches the Loire’s banks with artistic works, has contributed to the success of the city in recent years. As a green city, the city of Nantes honours the bicycle. Why not combine the discovery of its cultural heritage with the pleasure of bike rides?
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Scale the heights of butte Sainte-Anne to admire the city crossed by the Loire. Quai de la Fosse, at the foot of the Anne de Bretagne bridge, offers a moving Memorial of the Abolition of Slavery. Head back to Place Graslin and its theatre in the pedestrianised shopping area and don’t miss Passage Pommeraye and the elegant Place Royale before admiring the 18th century mansions of île Feydeau. Neighbouring the old town district of Bouffay, looms Château des Ducs de Bretagne. The Cathedral is just a stone’s throw away and you’ll see the LU tower rising above, a watchtower for the renowned Lieu Unique.
Discover the contemporary works of the Estuaire route all along the Loire’s north bank. Passing the impressive Pont de Chaviré, pedal twenty minutes to the pier at Basse-Indre to view Jimmie Durham’s “industrial animal”, La Serpentine Rouge. 5kms further, La Maison dans la Loire takes to the water in Couëron. Back on île de Nantes, the enormous Mètre à Ruban, rue Noue Bras de Fer, is just a short walk from the Harmonie Atlantique building which features the work De temps en temps, visible after dark.
From the ferry terminal, hop on the Navibus to the south bank with your bike to discover the pretty village of Trentemoult. Roam the lanes before heading to Roman Signer’s La Pendule on the riverside. Take the route signposted for Port Lavigne de Bouguenais to discover The Settlers, three trees inhabited by Sarah Sze’s sculptures. On your way back, the Pont des Trois Continents brings you back to île de Nantes where you will find the Station Prouvé and the iconic Anneaux de Buren. Enjoy an evening on the docks to see them turned on.
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