Pays Nantais

Nantes sits in the northwest corner of the region of Pays de la Loire, southern-most portion of Brittany (Bretagne historique [Breizh]), although today technically part of Loire-Atlantique Département. The city and region, Pays Nantais [Bro Naoned], take their name from the celtique people of the Namnètes tribe, one of the five within Brittany, the ancient Celtic province in the west of France. The Pictons, a word from Latin origin, remained on the south shore of the Loire.

The Romans had made the site (Naunnt-Portus Namnetum) a commercial and administrative center after their conquest of Gaul in 56BC. Although an early Christian stronghold, the city was successively invaded by the Saxons (around 285), the Franks (around 500) and various factions in Brittany. In 834, the Norman Vikings pillaged the town, killed the bishop in his cathedral, and left the town virtually vacant. The Normands stayed for a century until Alain Barbe Torte came back from England and got rid of them. He became the Duke of Brittany making Nantes his capital. In 1532, along with Brittany, Nantes passed to the French crown. Thirty years later (1560), King François II of France, granted the town a communal government. From 1562 to 1598, during the Wars of Religion, the town was a member of the Catholic League. In 1598, the people of Nantes finally welcomed the French King, Henry IV. That same year, he signed the Edict of Nantes, granting religious and civil liberties to the Protestants.

The 15th-century Gothic cathedral of Saint-Pierre was constructed over a 500 year period, into the 20th-century. There are three impressive, finely sculptured doorways set in its façade between two high towers. François II’s 10th-century medieval château, which the king had rebuilt in 1466, looks like a fortification from the outside. But inside, behind the crenellated towers, is a typical Renaissance inner courtyard and palace. Old History of Nantes

The Musée des Beaux-Arts is a noted art museum that is worth the visit to view one of the most varied and important collection of paintings in all of France. The Université de Nantes was originally founded in 1460, but was abolished during the French Revolution. It was reestablished in 1961. The shipbuilding yards remain important (Port Saint-Nazaire). The chemical (fertilizers, paint) and mechanical (rail and aircraft equipment) industries have expanded during the 1970s.

Grapes for making wine have been grown since Roman times near Nantes, but generally of low quality and quantity. These old types gradually were replaced by the Muscadet variety beginning in the XVIIth century. References to the new grape can be found in the archives of Loire Atlantique and Ile & Vilaine, and is also mentioned in some leases dating back to 1635. This variety, of Muscadet originally came from Burgundy, where it is still called Melon. The winter of 1709 killed off what remained of the older varieties and none remain today in cultivation.

Today's Muscadet, a (generally) dry white wine, comes from 4 wine terroirs around the city of Nantes. The Appellation Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Controlée is the most important and, while quality varies from vineyard to vineyard, is considered by most to be the best of them. In the Muscadet region, some of the wine makers used to leave the fermented grape juice to rest during winter before putting the wine in bottle. Normally the wine is transferred to another container (racking), leaving this sediment behind. Muscadet wines are one of the few types that age sur lie (with the sediment from fermentation). The primary reasons for sur lie production are stylistic; to enhance the structure and mouthfeel of a wine, to furnish it extra body (an impact of polysaccharides on astringency) and to increase the aromatic complexity, flavour/aroma depth and length. Isaiah 25:6 (Wine on the Lees) remains an early reference point for this method: (more than you might ever want to knowis found at this link). Only wines made from the best vineyards may use the Sur Lie designation. The soil has a granite base. The Muscadet grape (also known as Melon de Bourgogne-Abbey of Vezelay in Burgundy) comes from the region of France in the Loire Valley, near the Atlantic Ocean. For example, Domaine de la Batardière, has an aroma of zesty ocean spray and lemon pith, with lots of mineral notes from the rich soil. And yet, another has described it as smelling of summer fruit -- succulent peach, melon and and citrus aromas vivacious and vibrant with grapefruit and lime -- some leftover sugers but super crisp and clean with distinct Loire minerality. Domaine Classique !!!

And then there are the wines of Chéreau Carré. Some say that the Cuvée des ceps Centenaires (Château de Chasseloir, Comte Leloup) may be the best of the region, grown from a small planting (just outside the main production cellar) from the oldest vines in the terroir (the soil originates from the foothills of the central volcanic mountains). Each year when the harvest is gathered the grapes are vinified separately from the rest of the estate. Bottling of this wine commences seven months after the harvest in May. The minerality of the soil allows the wine to age in the bottle and to continue to its full maturity after several years (as much as a decade in some instances). The wine took the name of Comte Leloup de Chasseloir referring to the Leloup family who owned the Château before the French revolution. In contrast, the Chéreau family in the Muscadet area have been traced back to 1412.

Ar Roc'h-Wenn
Église à La Roche-Blanche

Église à La Roche-Bernard
Ar Roc'h-Bernez

La Cathédrale du Nantes
Saints Pierre et Paul

Église (Basilique) Saint Nicolas -- Nantes

Dieu est l'alpha et l'oméga
de toute chose

Château des Ducs de Bretagne
à Nantes

Les paroisses de cette zone
Nantes centre

L’église Sainte-Croix de Nantes

Le 6 mai 2006 à Nantes:
dédicace de l’église saints Basile et Alexis
Photographie: la nouvelle église (source)

Southeast of the City by about 30 miles (from centre to centre) is Cholet (Maine-et-Loire), a peaceful town with a low crime rate. The City hosted the stage 4 time trial in the 2008 Tour de France. During the early years of the French revolutionary wars, the town found itself at the heart of the counter-revolutionary struggle in the Vendée, culminating in October 1793 with the Battle of Cholet which was won by the republicans and followed by a period of brutal government repression. The church of Our Lady (Notre-Dame) dominates the town skyline.

Vieilles Cartes Postes

Edict of Nantes

La Bible, Version Louis Segond (rev. 1910)

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