As one of the world’s most impressive plazas, the historic UNESCO site of Place Stanislas stands out for its stunning architecture and spacious feel. It is the most central of Nancy’s three big squares, which include Place de la Carrière and Place d’Alliance. Meander through the triumphant arches, fountains and statues in the plaza that honors King Louis XIV.
In the center of the square, marvel at the statue of the region’s former ruler, Stanislas, dressed in robes and carrying a saber. Take a leisurely stroll along the light ocher stones of the pedestrianized square and enjoy the abundance of space in Nancy’s center. Sit at one of the café or restaurant tables out in the square and watch the people go by.
Capture photos of the stunning structures that surround the plaza: the Nancy City Hall, the Opéra-Théâtre and the Grand Hotel. Note how the buildings are shorter on the north side, for military purposes. This permitted crossfire between certain warring factions. Admire the majestic features, such as the arcade and grand pediment, of the City Hall. The 18th-century structure is the largest in the square.
On the west side of the plaza, visit the Museum of Fine Arts, which is among France’s oldest museums. The 18th-century institution features works by Edouard Manet, Claude Monet and many other inspirational artists.
Walk through the Arc de Triomphe leading to the tree-laden avenue of Place de la Carrière. Locals know the square as Place Stan. It is named after the Polish king, Stanislas Leszczynski, who reigned over the Lorraine region in the 18th century. Architect Heré designed the plaza and oversaw its construction from 1752 to 1756.
Place Stanislas is the center point of Nancy, around which the city grew. Take the Tramline 1 to Cathédrale or Point Central and walk north for a couple of blocks. You can also easily walk to the plaza from the shops and attractions of the city center. Nearby institutions include the Muséum Aquarium de Nancy, the Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation and the Parc de la Pépinière.