Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Nantes: a chimney

Another fine example in my chimney collection: this one features on the recently-restored Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne in Nantes. While much of the fortified chateau dates from the late middle ages, the chimney tops a more recent section.

Nantes is now part of Loire-Atlantique, but that's an administrative designation: it was historically the capital of Brittany. Thus visitors to this city will find that although it's no longer officially Breton, the language and culture are still evident.

In 1532, Francois I pronounced here the edict by which Brittany ceased to be independent from France. He built himself a new residence within the chateau walls, topped with elaborate brick and slate chimneys. That it feels more French than Breton in style is an apt reflection of the history made just below.


Adam said...

Hmmm, Nantes and Brittany is a very touchy subject. Many of today's Bretons don't think Nantes is a part of their region and many Nantais don't want to be associated with Brittany. I think it's probably best where it is - on the cusp of Brittany and the Vendée, out by itself!

Minnie said...

Have never been to Nantes, unfortunately - so delighted to have an introduction to some of its architectural features + a little social-historical background raising questions I shall now have to research when time permits.
Love the chimney: looks a bit of a throwback to earlier times (late Romanesque/early Gothic), due to the blind arcading detail in the brickwork - beautiful!

CarolineLD said...

Adam, yes, it's one of those questions which seems perpetually unresolved - and still makes it into the local newspapers on a fairly regular basis. It is fascinating to go to the city though and see more Breton language etc than in some parts of official Brittany.

Minnie, it's a lovely city - there's so much to see in the castle alone.

Minnie said...

PS Nantes also home of the wondrous Royal de Luxe troupe. Haven't seen them, either (whinge, moan, grouse, groan etc); bet you have - good for you!

CarolineLD said...

Actually, I haven't yet! Their shows look amazing, but always seem to happen while I'm in London.