The New Town is in the eco-district of Nancy Grand Coeur, right next to the train station and the 18th-century UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city centre’s main commercial activities take place here and along Rue Saint Jean Saint Dizier as it crosses through the centre of the city.
This part of Nancy was built by Duke Charles III at the end of the 17th century in response to the disproportionate development of the medieval town’s suburbs.
The construction of the new town took 30 years. The streets followed a typically Renaissance orthogonal layout and responded to new requirements in terms of health and security. The area of the town quadrupled in size and became a model in the Europe of its time. From the very beginning it boasted a really vibrant commercial centre around the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville (the square now known as Place Charles III).
In 1850, the market established itself between Rue Saint Dizier and the square. At the end of the 19th century and early 20th century large shops began to appear nearby. The flourishing businesses and banks built audacious premises in the new Ecole de Nancy style. Since then, the roads around Saint Jean Saint Dizier have continued to house most of Nancy’s financial and commercial activity.
In the Conoines quarter, the other side of the 18th-century Rue de la Primatiale, high walls hide beautiful private townhouses and often gardens. Slightly further away from the busier roads, the narrow but ever-lively Rue de la Primatiale or Rue Saint Julien is always a great place to wander, with a wide choice of places to sit and watch the world go by outside the restaurants and bars.
There are very few Renaissance buildings still visible in the New Town other the Saint Nicolas gate to the south and Saint Georges gate to the east (at the end of Rue Saint Dizier and Rue Saint Georges extending into Rue Saint Jean respectively). However if you keep your eyes peeled there are still a number of architectural and decorative reminders of the 18th-century Renaissance in the New Town in the form of courtyards, statues, ironwork, stairways, mascarons and pediments.