Archive for December 12th, 2020

December 12, 2020

Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris!!!

Well no further words are needed , me think. Actually , looking at some of the older posts in my blog, I came to realised had only done updates on the fire and no direct post on this beauty ! Darn, so much to see and do and I overlook the best one!!! Early on in my blog I did a post on the historical aspects of it so took this 2010 post, rewrote it updated and put some pictures in to show you the sublime Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris!! Hope you enjoy as I did re doing it.

There is another monument that brings the crowds, but if there is one that identify the soul of Paris, France the most is the Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris. All the major events in history has gone by it or thru it,and one cannot possibly come to Paris without stopping for a visit here. Its a must. It is over 850 years history of Paris!

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I happened to be there several times and able to climb the north tower for a wonderful look of Paris. As always, there is never enough times to see it better than all the rest as the famous song says.

The treasure by the southside of the choir on a narrow entry built by Viollet le Duc in 1850 houses amongst other things the passion relics, the palatine cross with fragments of the true cross of Christ, the linen shirt of Saint Louis, and the underwear of Pope Pie X  , amongst other things.  The tours or towers are visited also. There are just behind on the side entrance at rue du cloîte Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral was built on the initiative of its bishop of Paris Maurice de Sully. The principal nave built between 1180-1220 is 60 meters long (198 ft) wide of 12,50 meters(41,25 ft) , and high of 33 meters(108,9 ft). The choir built between 1163-1177  is 36 meters long(118,8 ft) . The Cathedral continue to add and renovate until it was completed by 1345.

Some of the items not to be missed are pointed out as exterior and interior but let me give some ideas looking at it from the outside, facing the cathedral at the parvis or central plaza ( where all kilometer distances are measure in France )  you look left to the tour Nord=North,the other opposite tower is the Sud=South; both of these towers with rosary windows of 13,10 meters ( 43.2 ft) beyond these towers you see the pointed arrow=flèche and right across it is the transept. As you come in to the cathedral you are at the portail de la vierge or virgin door looking at it from left to right, you continue with the portail du jugement dernier or final judgement door,the portail de Sainte Anne or Saint Anne door. Right above the doors you have the Galerie des Rois or gallery of kings, above it the Rose Occidentale or western rosary window and still higher you see the Grande Galerie or grand gallery. To your extreme right still looking facing the cathedral you see the Contreforts or holding scaffolds tower like figures and a side door, red door or porte rouge; following past this you are walking on the south side of the Cathedral you will find the Portail Saint Etienne or Saint Stephen door ,and right above it the Rose du croisillon sud (9,70 meters or 32 ft a gift from Saint Louis) . Continuing to the rear you will see the buttress arches acting as a counter to the weight of the main building. and right behind the Cathedral you will find the Chevet or apse.

Paris cat Notre Dame Christ life 17C 2009

Now some descriptions on what you see on the Notre Dame Cathedral inside and out.  The parvis allows you to go into the archeological site where you will see a museum of the old foundations of the cathedral and the Seine river ,including a piece of the wall by the port or quai of the old Lutecia, remains of spas of gallo romans times, the wall of the city from the 4C, the basement of the old Hotel-Dieu, and the fondations of the hospital for lost children or hospice des enfants trouves.  The rose occidentale or western rosary measure 10 sq meters or about 170.6 sq ft done between 1190-1220. In the gallery of kings there were 28 figures from the time before Christ, the communards thought they were kings and destroyed them in 1873. They were rebuilt.  The grand gallery has a nice view over the parvis and the Seine river. On the virgin door the deco is from 1208 except the virgin mother statue over the serpent that is from the 19C. The red door or porte rouge is from 1250-1270 reserve for the monks entrance.

As you come inside, you will see the huge nave built between 1180-1220 and the choirs built between 1163-1220. You will find many chapels such as Chapelle Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs,Chapelle Saint Denis,Chapelle Sainte Madeleine, Chapelle Saint Ferdinand, Chapelle Saint Georges, Chapelle  Saint Guillaume, Chapelle Saint Louis, Chapelle Saint Marcel, Chapelle de la Sainte Enfance, Chapelle des Fonds Baptismaux, Chapelle Notre Dame de Gadalupe, Chapelle Saint Charles, Chapelle Sainte Clotilde, Chapelle Saint Landry, Chapelle Saint Vincent de Paul, Chapelle Sainte Anne, Chapelle Sainte Genevieve, Chapelle Saint Eloi, Chapelle Saint Joseph, and Chapelle Saint Pierre. The whole of the Cathedral proper is 4 800 sq meters (51 648 sq ft) , where accordingly about 9000 persons can attend Mass; total surface of 5 500 sq meters.

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Some interesting information, the gallery of faces or chiméres are strange birds, serpents, are lookout to see the last judgement, there are not to be confused with the gargoyles which only function is to discharge the rain water coming from the roof towards the exterior.  The arrow pointed high behind the transept is built in oak covered with lead and along weights 750 tons, all with company from statues in copper in groups of three, the 12 apostles look toward the floor except one, that looks at the arrow, that is Saint Vincent patron of the architects! as design by Viollet-le-Duc.  At the foot of the transept south east section you will see a statue of the Virgin with a huge bouquet of flowers; this is the NOTRE DAME DE PARIS ,dating from the 14C and put at the Cathedral in 1818!!!

And yet another view go to the gallery of beasts or galerie de Chimères and the plateform of the tower south where a huge organ is held ;this made of copper and enamel weighting 13 tons;first use for the baptism of Emmanuel grandson of king Louis XIV in 1682. You need about 400 marches to reach it but all worth it. The organ has 110 beats and 8000 cables combinations and was restored in 1992, some of the cables are 11 meters high (36.3 ft) all kinds of music is played here beautifully. The roof is covered with 1326 lead tiles weighting about 210 tons. The bells one call Emmanuel has been recognised as one of the best sounds in Europe, weights 13 tons and the bat to hit it alone wights 500 kilos or about 1,102 pounds.

Some of the events that took place here was the coronation of Napoléon I   on December 2nd, 1804 in the presence of the Pope Pie VII, where Napoléon himself crown his emperatrice Josephine. It saw the excommunication of king Philippe Auguste in January of 1200 by Pope Innocent III as well as closure of the Cathedral. The parvis all merchants exempt of taxes are installed,as well as those sentence to die, nearby there the master of the templars order, Jacques de Molay  was executed in 1314.  The funerals of the Prince de Condé ,where bishop Bossuet did the ceremony (he was the personal priest and religious adviser of king Louis XIV and buried at the Cathedral of Meaux, dept 77 as he was its bishop); General De Gaulle, and Presidents Pompidou, and Mitterrand was held its funerals here too.  Saint Louis put his relics here first in 1329,Henry IV held a procession here in 1594 for the liberation of Paris, Louis XIII in 1638 does his wishes and voues to the Virgin, the Mass for the marriage of king Louix XIV is celebrated here in 1660, the ceremony for the liberation of Paris in August 1944 as well as the victory of WWII on May 9 1945 is held here.  The coming back to the crown of the Bourbons after the wedding of the Duke of Berry in 1816 ,and the baptism of the duke of Bordeaux in 1820 (Count of Chambord). Many many more in the life and history of the city of PARIS.

Some of the famous buildings surrounding the Notre Dame Cathedral often overlook by visitors but of great historical value are going in the direction of south tower side of the Cathedral, the huge Episcopal palace, followed by the Hotel-Dieu on a side street in front of parvis Notre Dame see the Church of Saint Christophe,  from parvis and guiding you by the north tower you will see the Church of St Pierre-aux-Boeufs (old church of the butchers). Right next to the north tower you see a small building which is the baptistery of St Jean-le-Rond, and on the corner of it is the side street to the tours or towers admission on rue du Cloîte Notre Dame. You should walk right out of the parvis straight out from the door of last judgement into the street Rue Neuve Notre Dame, one of the oldest in Paris.

Paris Cat Notre Dame rue du cloitre back 2009

The official Notre Dame de Paris webpage: https://www.notredamedeparis.fr/en/

The National Monuments of France on Notre Dame Cathedral: http://www.tours-notre-dame-de-paris.fr/en/

The Paris tourist office on Notre Dame Cathedral : https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71475/Cathedrale-Notre-Dame-de-Paris-et-son-tresor

The society of Friends of Notre Dame de Paris, a group helping to support the Cathedral at all times over the years and even more now: http://xn--socitdesamisdenotre-damedeparis-e0cb.fr/la-societe/#page-content

Its not a complete story but I am sure will give you the force to visit and finds new ways to enjoy it as I have for many years. Hope you have enjoyed the story of this magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris for all of us in the hope we see it again as identical by 2024!  To come here is to see and hear the history of Paris,France.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

ps. See my several posts on the reconstruction of Notre Dame de Paris after the fire of April 15 2019. The official ministry of culture webpage info on that is here in French: https://notre-dame-de-paris.culture.gouv.fr/fr

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December 12, 2020

What about around Madeleine?

Well here I am back into my updating/revising old posts in my blog. I said, this has been a wonderful adventure to relive these wonderful memorable spots in my world. And thank you for following me around, appreciated.

I take you now to an area of my eternal Paris very dear to me as for about 2 years was my going and coming to work in the city. Let me tell you a bit about the Madeleine ,noo not the church, but the neighborhood!

I was thinking about these old nice places after already been 18 years in France and 9 years in the Morbihan breton in Bretagne. It was time to reminicent of my times working in Paris. For whoever wants to know, I am French since 2000 while still living in Florida !! Thanks to a wonderful women name Martine, my dear late wife of always.

I would need to walk in and around the Church of the Madeleine!!! Well let me tell you a bit more as have several blog posts on the Church already. Again, this is an update/revision and new photos in the post as some of the businesses have change name/owners etc.

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The neighborhood or quartier of La Madeleine is the 31st of Paris located in the 8th district or arrondissement. It takes its name from the Church of the Madeleine (see post). As you might know Paris is divided into 20 arrondisement of 4 quartiers each or 80 total since the grouping by Baron Haussmann in 1860 on orders of Emperor Napoleon III.

Located between the Avenue des Champs-Elysées and the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, the Madeleine neighborhood includes embassies, major institutions and boutiques of art and luxury. The festive atmosphere of the neighborhood, given by many theaters, cinemas,but also breweries and restaurant, as well as the proximity of Gare Saint-Lazare, make it a very popular site.  Symbol of the neighborhood and district,  the Church of  Madeleine, replaces in the 18C the old parish church which has become too small. Transformed into a temple to the glory of the French armies by Napoleon III, the church takes, after many hesitations, the form of an ancient temple.

After a century of successive changes, the Church of the Madeleine was consecrated in 1842. Hosting today the great ceremonies, Te Deum or National funeral, the Madeleine is, on the other hand the richness of its architecture, one of the most photographed monuments of Paris.  Some of the renown buildings in this district are the Palais de l’Élysée, seat of the Presidency of the French Republic . The Hotel de Beauvau, seat of the Ministry of the Interior since 1861. Hotel de Charost, residence of the Ambassador of the United Kingdom in France. And the United States Embassy in France by Avenue Gabriel.

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Some of the better known and nicest streets in the quartier are : Boulevard Malesherbes, Rue Tronchet (my route to work), Rue des Mathurins, Rue de la Ville –Lévêque, Cité Berryer, Rue d’Aguesseau, Rue de Suréne, Place Beauveau , Place de la Madeleine(past by it to work), Place des Saussaies, Passage de la Madeleine, and Square Louis XVI. Of course, the main attraction here is the Church of the Madeleine, and there is an Anglican Church Saint Georges of Paris too.

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Plenty to get here and walk all over, after Paris is best on foot! However, to get here my best is the car even if to work needed to take the suburbian trains. The best are Parking Madeleine-Tronchet facing 21 Place de la Madeleine, and the one at Gare Saint Lazare , cars go in by 29 rue de Londres and pedestrians by 10 Place Budapest, as well as the  Parking Meyerbeer Opéra  by 3 rue de la Chaussée d’Antinare good underground parking that I have used over the years and central to all. 

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The public transportation abound here with the Metro Madeleine lines 8, 12, 14. Bus lines 24, 42, 52, 84, and 94, all passed by the Square. The 94 is great from St Lazare to Montparnasse; the 24 , 42 ,and 84 is great for tourists on major sites.

Some of the goodies I have enjoyed over the years on this neighborhood that are still there are:

There is a nice marché aux fleurs or small flower market to the right of the Church of the Madeleine. The Place de la Madeleine, which took its present form in 1842, was an old flower market, some of which still remain today. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 8h to 19h30. Another general market is the marché Aguesseau  at Place de la Madeleine Open air market on the mail adjoining the left carriageway along the Church of La Madeleine, at the outlet of Boulevard Malesherbes. 

Les Trois Quartiers , 23 Boulevard de la Madeleine. This was great as passed by every day to work back then, and did shop at Madelios! . The place has been redone, first in the 1990’s in offices and in commercial gallery with in particular the men’s ready-to-wear store Madelios (Au Printemps group) about fifteen shops specialised in cosmetics, clothing and perfumes. It included brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren and Madelios. Too bad by 2019, it has been change again this time it was converted into a mix building Le Madeleine housing many firms such as IKEA and Decathlon , and offices.

Galerie de la Madeleine.  9 Place de la Madeleine or 30 Rue Boissy d’Anglas; near my photo place! Is an arcade dating back to the 19C. With very elegant architecture, two beautiful cariatydes decorate the main entrance, it houses numerous luxury retailers and food shops.

Monoprix, 9 boulevard de la Madeleine, a general store with all the goodies you need including groceries. Now redesigned to a Monop style store of groceries.

Massimo Dutti, 34 Rue Tronchet, for the men/women’s clothing…still there

For food related like wines the Spanish chain tops  Lavinia, 3 Boulevard de la Madeleine , still there !

The venerable Fauchon Paris, 30 Place de la Madeleine, the caterer Fauchon closed its three stores at place de la Madeleine. The group has recently diversified into the luxury hotel business with Fauchon The Hotel Paris at the same location, the brand’s first hotel. There is the Grand Café Fauchon too,but cannot confirm if still selling the choco!gifts there, the info I get is only 2 stores there were closed so maybe one outlet is still open.

L’écluse Madeleine 9, rue Duphot.   Still going strong.

La Maison de la Truffe, 19 Place de la Madeleine, still there !

Café Madeleine 35 place de la Madeleine(my must stop on way to and back from work across from the church)

Caffe Corto 11 Rue Tronchet, still there!!

Tante Louise,this has now moved a bit further and the management decided to change name. It is now call Loiseau Rive Droite a bit higher up  All from the group Bernard Loiseau. By buying Chez Tante Louise in 1998, Bernard Loiseau decided to keep the name “Tante Louise”: this restaurant was a Parisian institution, created in 1929 by Louise-Blanche Lefeuvre. However, times and situations changes and now a new name and more upscale food: webpage: http://: https://www.bernard-loiseau.com/en/houses/loiseau-rive-droite/bernard-loiseau-rive-droite.html

As for lodgings well not tested by me as not needed but friends and business partners had tried these with good recommendations. The Hôtel de Sèze, 16 Rue de Sèze and the Madeleine Plaza Hotel, 33 Place de la Madeleine ; and the Hôtel de l’Arcade, 9 Rue de l’Arcade, (this is a story ;I once was asked four times in the same week how to get here while walking to work from Gare St Lazare, I finally asked them what is there, and it was folks looking for this hotel lol.)

The Paris tourist office on the Madeleine neighborhood or Quartier: https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/walks-in-paris/paris-and-its-neighbourhoods/parisian-north-west/Madeleine

The thrill of walking is great and I always advice folks coming to Paris to do as much as possible and forget the transports. Granted , we need to get to Paris somehow, I do more often by car ,but once find a central parking garage the rest is on foot and long walks all over, sublime!! Hope you enjoy the walk on gorgeous Paris. 

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

December 12, 2020

Arts et Métiers museum of Paris!!!

And this is a project now, updating, revising, and getting the right pictures in my older posts. It has been a wonderful trip, and I thank you for following it along with me. And we go back to Paris, it would be wonderful to be back;;; in the meantime, here is a wonderful monument to see.

I will like to expand on a museum not as known in Paris but just as nice as any. This is an oddity as really never been in the Museum per se …!  As the times went by just happened to visit for meetings!!! It rent space for special events and I happened to be on them ! There is fun anecdote at the end of the post.

However, let get to the  museum of Arts et Métiers first.

The Museum of Arts and Crafts or Musée des Arts et Métiers is a museum of Science and Technology, as the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts, in the 3éme arrondissement of Paris. It was founded in 1794 on a proposal by Abbé Grégoire at the National Convention. The Conservatory of Arts and Crafts was originally an institution designed to train technicians and engineers using demonstrations made from scientific and technical objects. While the Cnam is now a major institution of higher education and research, its museum retains all the machines, models, designs that were used throughout the 19C and 20C. It continues to enrich its collections, in particular with the national mission for the safeguarding of the contemporary scientific and technical heritage, which has been entrusted to it since 2003 by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research.

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The Arts et Métiers museum is by the metro Arts et Métiers of line 3 and 11 .  However, I will get off at Metro Rambuteau line 11 near the Centre Pompidou and walk along Rue Beaubourg to the Arts et Métiers museum on a nice walk in Paris, and I like it. If need to do some last minutes notes I would stop by the  Café Unicorners at No 67 for a working environment and a coffee. More here:  https://www.unicorners.fr/
Or for something more casual try the Café des Arts et Métiers  at 51 Rue de Turbigo.  Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Caf%C3%A9-des-Arts-et-M%C3%A9tiers-152533531443969/

A bit of history I like

The Museum of Arts and Crafts is located in the buildings of the former Royal Priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs. Nationalized in November 1789, this considerable architectural ensemble was assigned to the conservatory in 1798. The museum occupies the bodies of buildings where the monks of the ancient religious community were housed as well as the ancient Priory Church.

The collections of the Museum of Arts and Crafts currently account for nearly 46 000 inventory items. This includes about 80 000 objects (including 20 000 photographs) and 15 000 technical drawings forming the “Industrial portfolio”. Only about 2 500 objects are presented in the galleries of the museum, in Paris, the remainder being kept in specially arranged premises and meeting the standards of preventive conservation, in Saint-Denis.

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The first collections were assembled at the initiative of the French mechanic Jacques de Vaucanson. In 1752, the latter installed at the Hotel de Mortagne, rue de Charone in Paris, a mechanics ‘ office where he gave demonstrations, particularly with the objects he designed and built, as the automations. Some of them, such as the mill to organize silk or the loom weaving the crafted fabrics, are among the oldest collections of the Museum of Arts and Crafts. Near the National Museum of Natural History, formed from the Old King’s Garden, the Conservatory of Arts and Crafts will bring together collections of aristocratic physics cabinets or the former Royal Academy of Sciences.  The galleries of the museum open their doors in May 1802. According to the idea of Abbé Grégoire, demonstrators explain to the visitors the operation of the machines.

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The permanent exhibition of the Museum of Arts and Crafts is organized into seven thematic collections themselves divided into four chronological periods (before 1750, 1750-1850, 1850-1950, after 1950): Scientific Instruments, Materials, Construction, Communication, Energy, Mechanics and Transports. Additional presentations focus on particular points: the Lavoisier laboratory, the Automation Theater, Madame de Genlis’s teaching models. The ancient Church presents, among other things, the experience of the rotation of the Earth with the help of the Foucault’s Pendulum.

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Since 2010, the model of the Statue of liberty of Bartholdi is exhibited in the Square du General Morin, forecourt of the museum.

I have been shown the museum rather brief quick on a business presentation so no pictures as many rooms photos are not allowed. However, have great funny experiences in the meeting here at the Conference room or Salle de Conferences, more on this place that can be rented in French here:https://www.arts-et-metiers.net/musee/location-despaces

Now, let me tell you my anecdote here.

The funny story is that having accepted to come to a meeting of top managers of French corporations, I decided to invite my assistance for the sake of training and initiation in the world of management.. As she is a Parisian of that time of 55 yrs old, I simply gave her the address of the conference entrance at 60 rue Réaumur and the museum as guidance. Funny thing in my previous travel forum where I read people telling their experience because a Parisian told them as proof that they are on the right. Well this and many other experiences can tell you not so folks.  Govt statistics by INSEE shows that one out of four Parisians are not from here. My assistance was late by about 20 minutes to the meeting, and when asked why, she told me thought been by there but frankly got lost! How can a native Parisian gets lost in Paris? Very simple they go as I found out later by the quartier or neighborhood and as much as the arrondissement or district (see those posts in my blog) and only there is their home. The rest of the city is like a foreign port ,after all in their quartiers they have everything they need to live, and not even have a car! (50% of all Parisians do not have a car) . So, therefore, make sure the person of Paris has done some travel ok lol! In the city I mean …..

Some webpages to help your plan your trip here are

The Arts and Crafts museum of Parishttps://www.arts-et-metiers.net/

The Paris tourist office on the museum: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71543/Musee-des-Arts-et-Metiers

And for the museum lovers, the Paris museum pass includes the Arts and Crafts museum: https://www.parismuseumpass.fr/t-en/musees-monuments/mus%C3%89e-des-arts-et-m%C3%89tiers?c=a-paris

It is really a nice place, and more time is needed indeed. Hope you like the post enough to come to see it. After all, this is Paris in a museum!

And as always, remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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December 12, 2020

The Machines of the Island at Nantes!

So looking back this was a surprise. We did not figure this attraction would take off but it has hugely, becoming the most visited in Nantes! This is the Machines of the Island of Nantes and I will update it for you here. Hope you enjoy it.

So visiting our favorite big city of the west we come to Nantes often. The city is just about 1h30 from me on the expressway road N165 and it is the airport that I used now for all my trips as well even using the train station there! It has many wonderful things to see and it should be noted.  I have written several posts on Nantes but like to tell you about a unique thing to do there. By the way, the city is in departement 44 Loire-Atlantique in the region of Pays de la Loire.

And now on this marvelous modern to do thing in an old city of the west of France. It is a great family gathering  and a nice contrast to the old section of the city.

Les Machines de l’île or The Machines of the island are a space of exhibition and animation located in Nantes on the ïle de Nantes (island of Nantes), in the parc des Chantiers (boat yards), at the site of an abandoned shipyards. They were inaugurated in 2007. The Machines of the island are located at the crossroads of the Worlds inventions of Jules Verne, the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci and the industrial history of Nantes.

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The metro Nantes Métropole  convinced by the idea of François Delarozière, creator of certain machines of spectacle of the Royal company of luxury and artistic director of the association “La Machine”, and of Pierre Orefice of the associations Manaüs , and decided to develop on the island a tourist project:   The Machines of the island initially include the Great Elephant, a prototype branch of the Heron Tree, the Carousel of the Marine worlds, and a children’s carousel, the Andrea’s merry-go-round. The number of machines is intended to increase as the creations progress.  The Machines of the island are built in the former shipyards of the Dubigeon located in the yards park. In one of the naves, the workshop is the place of creation of the Machine, Association of Manufacturers and creators of living spectacle. On more than 3 000 m2, engineers, technicians, boilers, welders, sculptors and carpenters work on structures and materials.   From two terraces at 7.5 meters in height, the public can observe the creators of machines in full activity in their world of wood and steel.

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The Great Elephant is located in the naves and was inaugurated in 2007. It is made of wood (carved) and steel and weighs 48.4 tons. Measuring 12 meters in height for 8 meters in width, it can accommodate 52 passengers per trip. On board, the visitor discovers a panorama of Trentemoult in the place de Commerce. It has a vision of the mechanism and every vibration of the elephant is felt. To the elephant is associated an aerial footbridge installed near the naves that allows the descent of the passengers “go” and the ascent of the passengers “return”. Since the opening of the Carousel of the Marine Worlds in 2012, the descent of the Elephant, to the go, is done on a special platform on this carousel, as well as the ascent for the return to the gallery of machines.

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The Carousel of the Marine Worlds is a 25-meers-high giant carousel, populated by 36 movable elements representing marine creatures on three levels: seabed, abyss, sea and boats the mobile elements made since the opening of the site are exposed In the machine gallery and in the workshop.

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From sketch to machine in operation, to manufacturing in the workshop, it is the whole process of creation that is presented to visitors in the Gallery of Machines. The visitors are invited by the machinists to take orders from the animals of the great depths which, since 2012, populate the Carousel of the Marine worlds. The Gallery of machines houses a whole bestiary of machines. During the visit, the gallery is animated by the machinists who explain the history and operation of these strange worlds. Mini-spectacle creatures from five to ten minutes. Sketches, models and films relate all the construction.

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The Heron tree, will be a steel tree of 50 meters in diameter and 35 meters high (45 up to the head of the herons in flight), topped by two herons. Visitors will be able to travel from branch to branch of astonishing hanging gardens and embark under the wings of the herons. The municipality concludes that the Heron tree would not be realized during the current mandate which ends in 2020, for budgetary reasons on the one hand, and by the absence of land to accommodate the work in good economic conditions, Urban and landscape on the other hand (the urban park projected to the west of the island of Nantes, capable of hosting the structure. The latest is that it will be opened by 2022. More info here: https://www.lesmachines-nantes.fr/en/the-project/the-arbre-aux-herons/

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A recap:  The les Machines de l’île is at the old parc des chantiers navales, the navy depot, now converted into an amusement park of great proportion. You have restaurant  and boutique service on site. There is a covered parking Les Machines as well. Or you can take line 1 of tramway to stop Mediathéque or Chantiers Navals and walk over the bridge Anne de Bretagne.

The best to see is the la galerie des machines with man made animals and birds as well as an avion or airplane with demonstrations that is very educational and active for the whole family. You can ,then, hop on a the Le Grand Elephant, 12 meters high, 8 M wide, and 21 meters long with 48,4 tons of steel and wood running at 1-3 kph! and ride all over the park and into the galerie des machines!Another item is the carrousel des mondes marins, a carrousel with fish machines all showing how the sea deeps and abyss all the way to the surface is interconnected. The carrousel is 25 meters high and 22 meters in diameter. Don’t forget to go thru the Serre Tropicale and see how  plants and machines animals interact. You go out and across the big hallway and into the shops /atéliers above where the artists do their work on the maintenance of these machines and plants.

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Right in this park you will find the Atéliers and chantiers navales de Nantes, building now an exposition center of great value with great work showcase as well as an excellent location.  The site is accessible by public transport of the agglomeration Nantes: tramway line 1 station Chantiers Navals and Chronobus line C5 stop Prairie au Duc. Plenty of parkings just past the entrance to the Machines on street or underground.

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The tourist office of Nantes on the Machines: https://www.nantes-tourisme.com/en/visit/galerie-machines-de-l-ile

The official site of the La Galerie des Machineshttps://www.lesmachines-nantes.fr/en/discover/the-galerie-des-machines/

The webpage of the La Machines Company in English: http://www.lamachine.fr/en/compagnie-la-machine/

There you go a nice family gathering in modern Nantes all along the Loire river! Very nice indeed! Fun place we really like it and even as boys become men, we still have gone by it. Hope you have the opportunity soon.

And remember ,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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