Nantes' rich and turbulent past unfolds throughout the city, being successively a port open to the world, a driving force for the shipping industry, a source of inspiration for many surrealists, and for Jules Verne's imaginary worlds.
Nantes is an appealing and diverse destination for tourists, with an architectural, historical and industrial heritage marked by the medieval streets (Bouffay area), the great maritime adventures (Graslin area and Ile Feydeau) and listed industrial buildings, now converted into cultural venues thanks to the imagination of leading modern architects (Ile de Nantes area).
“Machines de l’Ile” featuring giant creatures made of wood and steel : the Great Elephant, the Marine Worlds Carrousel and the Universe of Plants.
The "Anneaux" (Rings) by Daniel Buren and Patrick Bouchain and the "Estuary" art installations.
The LU Tower & Le Lieu Unique, the old LU biscuit factory converted into a national modern art center.
The economic prosperity of Nantes and the Pays de la Loire region comes from the traditional industrial and maritime sectors, with an explosion of new high-tech industries over the last decade.
Today, the territory is a centre of excellence for a large number of key industries such as biotechnologies and healthcare, agrifoods, aeronautics, sustainable development, wood and derivatives, culture and creativity, complex composite and metal materials, mechanical industries, sea life sciences, information and communication technology.
With 2,200 researchers in 200 laboratories, 70 research teams and 54,000 students from all over the world, Nantes is home to a wide and highly-recognized network of higher education schools and institutes.
A key driver for this economic vitality is the fact that leading international companies have chosen to be based in Nantes. This is the case for Airbus, Armor, Eurofins, LU, STX Europe and Vivalis.