Pack your bags and come over for a pleasantly surprising stay in Nantes. The metropole is one of the major cultural, artistic and creative pole in France but you haven’t seen anything yet Château des ducs de Bretagne, lieu unique, Nantes-Angers Opera house, the Hangar à bananes exhibition place,The eclecticism of its landscapes and architecture, its dynamism and the diversity of its cultural events, along with the quality of the environment which won it the label of European Green Capital, have regularly placed Nantes at the top of the best cities to live in. Nantes stands out on the national and European stage through its exemplary cultural policy. The city that was home to Jules Verne, and that inspired the Surrealists and Jacques Demy, continues to feed the dreams of contemporary artists, like the international street theatre company Royal de Luxe, Dominique A, Madeon, and Christine and the Queens, all of whom find their natural inspiration here. Especially in Nantes, where one can drift down a street from a public work of art to a remarkable example of the city’s architectural heritage, or from artist-revamped shop signs to contemporary buildings. All you have to do is follow the green line on the ground to discover the essential spots along this cultural itinerary. Every summer, this circuit is revived and expanded with temporary or definitive public art installations. The heart of the town is the region around the castle – the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne – and there is much to discover in the castle, and in the streets that surround it. As with many cities of this size, the pleasure is as much in simply wandering the streets, discovering lost corners, and people watching as it is in visiting the highlights. Taking a mere 450 years to complete, Nantes cathedral is found just north of the castle. The cathedral is gothic style, and the facade has two large square towers either side of the ornately decorated entrance. The high interior is bright and light, with interesting modern stained glass windows. Be sure to see the marble tomb of Francois II and his wife, perhaps the highlight of a visit to the cathedral. An extensive island in the Loire River, the ile de Nantes has been modernized and now has several modern buildings and interesting features that incorporate the tradition of the island (such as large cranes, transformed from ‘heavy industry’ to ‘artistic statement’!) with the very modern (the building of the Law courts). A popular highlight is the enormous mechanical moving machines such as the ‘Giant elephant’.