Nancy in the Lorraine region
Lorraine is located in the north-east quarter of France, between Champagne and Alsace. It is a magnificent region of woodland, rolling plains and mountains, crossed by the river Moselle which flows from its source in the department of Vosges, through the departments of Meurthe and Meuse.
The four departments of Lorraine, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle and Vosges, offer a very contrasting topography. The diverse natural landscapes of Meuse and Vosges are a focus for green, family tourism. Their plains, rolling hills and valleys, low mountain ranges, ponds and lakes make them great regions for family holidays and sporting activities. Metz, the regional capital of Moselle with its Pompidou Centre, and Nancy, the regional capital of Meurthe et Moselle with its museums and UNESCO sites, not to mention the magnificent Lunéville château are popular with urban cultural tourists. Flagship attractions such as Center Parc’s “Domain des trois forêts”, the Amnéville leisure centre, the Walligator theme park and the Sainte Croix animal park are bringing in ever-increasing numbers of tourists.
Lorraine was an independent duchy for many centuries, but was finally incorporated as part of France in 1766, although the historic borders do not exactly match those of the present-day Lorraine region. As a major north/south and east/west European crossroads, Lorraine has been the backdrop for numerous conflicts, but like all places that have acted as historic crossing points, it is also a region of exchange, openness and assimilation.
As the administrative capital, or prefecture, of Meurthe and Moselle, and the historic capital of the Dukes of Lorraine, the city of Nancy today has 105,000 inhabitants while the surrounding urban community, divided into a further 20 administrative communes is home to 250,000 and a services and working area which has 350,000 inhabitants.
Nancy is literally at the heart of the Lorraine region, 300 km from Paris (90 mins on the high-speed train) and 90 km (45 mins) from Strasbourg. Located equidistantly between Metz to the north and Epinal to the south, it is less than an hour from the lakes and forests of the Vosges massif, an hour from the lakes and recreation areas of Meuse, 45 mins from Center Parc, an hour from the city of Luxembourg to the north and Germany to the east.
The city is accessed by the A31 motorway running between the north and south (Luxembourg - Beaune), and the RN4 running east-west (Strasbourg - Paris).
The Marne au Rhin canal crosses the city – and the fully equipped “blue flag” Saint Georges port, 200 metres from Place Stanislas, welcomes more than 1,500 recreational boats a year.