Nancy is a city located in the north-east of France, in the
department of Meurthe-et-Moselle and the region of Lorraine.
The city is the head of that department and has a population
of over 400,000 when taking into account the metropolitan
area of the city. The first settlement in the area was in
the 11th century, when a small town named Nancy was built by
Gerard, Duke of Lorraine.
The town was conquered by Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century and then rebuilt over the next few centuries, whilst steadily growing in influence as the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine. It was during this period that the Battle of Nancy took place in 1477, as part of the Burgundian Wars, between Charles the Bold, Duke of nearby Burgundy and Rene II, Duke of Lorraine. This battle was the final and decisive battle of the Wars and resulted in Charles being killed. When another Duke of Lorraine, Duke Stanislas, died in 1766 the Duchy became a French province as Nancy remained its capital and gained city status.
In 1871 when Prussia annexed Alsace-Lorraine Nancy remained French and the consequence of this was an influx of refugees that doubled the city’s capacity in the next three decades. It was during this period that the city grew in terms of stature and gained its reputation as a cultural capital of France.
The main tourist attractions in Nancy are; the Palace Stanislas, the Place de la Carriere and the Place d’Alliance, all of which were added onto the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1983. Elsewhere in the city there is the Nancy Cathedral, which dates back to the Middle Ages, and the Jardin botanique du Montet which is a major botanical garden. The city also has a number of sporting attractions, with AS Nancy-Lorraine, who play in the French Ligue One, and FC Metz, who play in Ligue Two.
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