Nevers is a French town located in the Nievre department, in the Burgundyregion. It gathers less than 40,000 inhabitants called the Nivernais, like the inhabitants of the department. This is why more and more often they are called the Neversois, in order to make a difference between the town and the department. The town is also the administrative centre of the department.
Situated on the Saint Jacques de Compostelle walkway, Nevers was awarded the label of Art and History town thanks to its rich cultural and historical heritage. Nevers is also very pleasant owing to the Loire River running through the town.
The town identity and heritage is marked by the history of Burgundy and by the change of owners, from one family to another, each one building new castles or monuments. Between others, the Count Jean de Clamecy built the current ducal palace; the Italian Gonzague family attracted earthenware potters from Italy, which afterwards made Nevers’ fame, etc. Nowadays, Nevers tries to develop its cultural and touristic activities, in order not to loose attractivity in front of Dijon or others Bourguignon towns.
The French average for house prices in 2009 is around €3,200/sq m. With €1,760/sq m Nevers is a rather affordable town. This is not surprising when we consider the department average (€1,370 /sq m) and the regional average (€1,745 /sq m). Indeed, comparing to them Nevers is even more expensive. Prices in the department and the region are rather low, as they are quite rural zone, and prices in countryside are always lower than in towns. Which also explains why prices are higher in Nevers.
Since 60% of residents in Nevers are tenants the town offers great rental opportunities. Renting prices are also rather low (€7.30/sq m/month) comparing to national average (€12.20/sq m/month), however low prices are recouped by high turnover.
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Cultural town: Nevers is a large cultural centre which has influence on the regional stage. Indeed, thanks to its infrastructures and its festivals, it attracts many visitors all year long. Festivals and activities include: Nevers à Vif which welcomed many French rock stars, such as Miossec, Louise Attaque, Dionysos, etc., Nevers D’Jazz which is one of the five largest Jazz festivals in France, and the Zacros street festivals, etc. To receive all these events, Nevers displays many places, such as the Maison de la Culture which can welcome more than 1,000 people, a music stage (the second largest in the department), called the Café Charbon, etc.
Tourism – sights: Nevers, also called the Dukes’ town, is listed as an Art and History town. Religious influence was very important in the town; as a result of being at the crossroad of a religious and cloistered current, the best archetype of this being the Sainte Bernadette reliquary. One of the incontrovertible monuments is the Ducal Castle (see below); however, some of the religious monuments are also worth visiting. Hence, do not miss the Sait-Cyr-et-Sainte-Julitte cathedral, a Gothic style building. Its originality lies on its double chevet, one being Roman style and the other Gothic. The Sainte Bernadette Church was built in 1966 and is a archetype of the modern religious architecture. If you are a museum lover, you will be delighted by the Frédéric-Blandin museum; it gathers unique masterpieces of enamelled glasses and earthenware. Finally you will love walking along the Loire River and be rocked by this wild river.
Architectural style: Nevers gathers many different architectural styles, according to the use of buildings (civil, military, religious), and according to periods. One of the most imposing monuments is probably the ducal Palace, representative of Dukes’ power in town. It was listed as a historical monument in 1840, but it is also a lively place, welcoming 15 exhibitions a year and many seminars and receptions. It is said to be the first Loire castles to be built. Strolling in the narrow streets of the town you will be charmed by medieval half-timbered houses. More discrete, hidden behind huge gates, stand impressive mansions. The Court Law is a good example of the French classicism .
Earthenware: Nevers used to be very famous in France and in Europe for its earthenware art, brought to the town by Italians, during the 16th century. During the 18th century, threatened by the development of more earthenware centres all over France and by the expansion of porcelain, Nevers changed its pattern from religious ones to more popular ones. Nowadays, earthenware masters are keeping the ancestral tradition adapting however patterns to contemporary life.
Half-timbered houses: the medieval quarter is characterized by half-timbered houses. Some of them also come with a corbelling structure in order to win space on the first floor. Indeed, as during Middle Ages they used to pay taxes according to the area of the ground floor, they would try to win some metres by using corbel in order to support the first floor larger than the ground one. In Burgundy, half-timbered houses are very similar to German style.
Apartments: in Nevers, 63% of dwellings are apartments, which make you likely to find one of them on offer. The average size for apartments in Nevers is around 75sq m, which means they come with at least 2 bedrooms, a comfortable kitchen, a living room and one bathroom. Most of the time they will also come with a private parking or even a private garage. The main advantage of this dwelling is that they are close by all amenities.
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