Nancy is a French city located in the Meurthe et Moselle department and in the Lorraine region. With 107,435 inhabitants, called the Nancéiens, the city is the administrative centre of the department. Nancy gathers many beautiful monuments and squares that deserved it to be listed as the UNESCO world heritage.
If the city boasts so many beautiful monuments nowadays, it is because it used to be the politic capital of the Lorraine Duchy before it was annexed to France. In the city, monuments and squares will tell you the story of Nancy and Lorraine. Indeed, the region, along with Alsace, has a special past, which makes it so different from the rest of the country.
Nancy was created during the 11th century, with the construction of a fortified castle. In 1596 the new city of Nancy is created, coexisting with the old one. One century later, Stanislas Leszczynski, King of Poland, was deposed from power and was given in exchange the Duchy of Lorraine. The Stanislas square was built under its control, in honour of Louis XV.
In 1871 most part of Lorraine and Alsace was annexed to the German territory, however Nancy was not. It took advantage of this situation, as every intellectual, artist, writer, etc, who refused the German nationality moved to Nancy. Between 1870 and 1914 its population increased from 50,000 inhabitants, to 120,000. Its development stopped in 1914 when the whole region was annexed to Germany. Nancy suffered a lot from both WWI and WWII.
Nancy is a lovely city where it is very pleasant to walk and discover the past of the city through monuments and squares. The city is composed of two cities, the old one and the new one, separated by three squares built by Stanislas: the Stanislas square, the Alliance square and the Carrière square.
Since the national average for house prices is around €3,200 /sq m, Nancy, with €2,258 /sq m can be said to be rather affordable. However, Nancy is more expensive than the department average (€1,750 /sq m). This is understandable, as the department is rural and prices in the countryside are always lower than in cities.
As far as rentals are concerned, Nancy offers great opportunities as 70% of residents are tenants, not to mention the numerous tourists visiting the city each year. Rental prices in Nancy (€10.77 /sq m /month) are also lower than the national average (€12.20 /sq m /month), however, as turnover and demand are high, you should have a quick return on investment.
Finally, you are more likely to find an apartment than a house, as the formers represent 85% of dwellings in the city. Prices for apartment vary according to the size. A studio will cost you between €1,670 and €2,260 /sq m, while a 2 room flat will be between €1,700 and €2,170 /sq m. If you prefer a 3 room apartment you will need between €1,540 and €2,130 /sq m, while a 4 room one will be between €1,530 and €2,090 /sq m. Finally, if you fancy buying a 5 room apartment you will need between €1,540 and €2,060 /sq m. As Nancy is a university city, you will not find difficulties renting your apartment to students.
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Historical centre: Nancy is listed as an Art and History city, and it gathers 3 squares, which are listed as a UNESCO world heritage. The centre is composed of two parts, the old city and the new one. The former one was built between the 11th and the 16th centuries, and you can still see vestiges of the former fortifications, the Craffe door being part of them. You will also see the Ducal Palace, built during the 16th century, the Cordeliers church, and some mansions from the Renaissance. As regards the new city, it was built in 1588 during Charles III reign. It was built according to the fashionable town planning of the 16th century, this is to say, with large perpendicular streets (grid plan), exactly the opposite of the old city with its irregular narrow streets. The new city was also protected by its own fortifications, and communicated with the old city thanks to an esplanade. On its esplanade Stanislas built the 3 squares, the Stanislas square, the Carrière square and the Alliancesquare.
Parks and gardens: Nancy is a city of parks, gardens and green spaces. There are around 15 parks in the city; most of them created more than a century ago. Stanislas, former King of Poland and Duke of Lorraine created some of them, such as the Pépinière Park in 1765, which is today a piece of heaven at the heart of the city; the Jardin Dominique Alexandre Godron in 1758 and was the first botanic garden in Nancy. Other beautiful parks include the Water garden, the Blondlot Park, the Citadelle park, etc.
Art and cultural heritage: if you are an art and museum lover, then Nancy is definitely for you. The ‘New Art’ in France was first created in Nancy, by the Nancy school in 1901. It gathers all kind of art, from architecture to photography, including pottery, wood work, etc. Today you can see monuments from this architecture style in the Saint Léon quarter, and also in the Saurupt quarter. You can also visit the Nancy school museum which gathers some master pieces of this kind of art. There are other museums in the city which include: Beaux Art museum, Lorrain museum, Montaigu castle, etc.
Architectural style: Nancy is a great city if you are interested in architecture. As already mentioned, its town planning is very interesting, as it is a combination with medieval pattern and grid plan, both linked thanks to 3 squares. Monuments are also interesting to study, or only to visit. There are many religious ones, as in the whole country, and they include the Cordeliers church, the synagogue, a Protestant temple, Notre Dame cathedral, etc. Civil architecture is also beautiful as it gathers many beautiful Renaissance Mansions.
Cosmopolitan life: Nancy is a large university city. As a consequence it is a good place if you enjoy going out. Moreover, the city gathers many cultural infrastructures, such as an opera, a theatre, a zenith, a parc des expositions, a ballet, an orchestra, etc. Many events are on offer in the city in order to entertain you all the year long.
Apartments: as they represent 85% of dwellings you are likely to find one of them, more than a house. Their main advantage is that they are usually located in the centre of the city, close by all amenities. As Nancy is a university city, you will not have difficulties finding a tenant amongst students. However, apartments are also a good investment for a second home. If you like cosmopolitan life, then you will enjoy having an apartment at the heart of this busy and lively Lorrain city.
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