It took time for Nantes to accept its past economical success, and to fit it in the consciousness of the present time. Fully accepting this legacy, the city threw itself into the recovery of a continental scaled splendour, and shaped its image as it is : laid-back, oddball, and brave.
In order to do so, it has at its disposal solid basis, providing an incessant cultural blossoming, with the History Museum of Nantes, the Castle of the Ducs de Bretagne, but also the Troupe of the Royal de Luxe and its mastery of street performance. Yet, for the last two decades, the Arts and leisure stage opted towards accessibility and diversity. To promote the access and the sharing for the youngest, to stretch in every field of creativity and to be opened to every way of expression : these are the policies of the city. All along the year, Nantes supplies a plethora of shows and events, like the festival “Petits et Grands”, or the Graff Plan”, aiming to develop Street Art. However, a new momentum is sensible in this town, both middle and working-class, like a will to find back the ardour and adventure of days gone by, expressing through its boldness and its extravagance, revealed in the Folle Journée, the Machines de l'île, and the Voyage à Nantes.
The first one, literally the Crazy Day, is based on an already attempted challenge, but hardly ever done this well : to create a popular event from classical music. This Folle Journée, while conserving artistic rigour, and accessible sensitivity, successes in decreasing the austerity of conventions, and proposes a unique approach, at music lovers' service, and at music's service itself. The Machines de l'île are geographically located on the dockyards, historically between yesterday and tomorrow but out of today's step, and in imagination between Jules Verne and Leonardo da Vinci. Unbelievable machines occupy the Galleries of this artistic project, and some of them can even give you a ride around the place, like a 12 meters long elephant, a 8 meters large-bodied heron, while a fully animated aquarium comes alive in the Carousel of the Seas Worlds. Last, the Voyage à Nantes is the most gripping exemplification of the collaboration between its urban setting and its cultural freshness, as much as the success the city finds there, as it tempted more than a million of curious in 2013. Every summer, a route in the city heart carries the visitors along the large arteries, the historical alleys, and the hidden pathways, to make them discover art works, temporary or definitive parts of the urban setting, alternating between surprise, amazement, and astonishment : all the emotions that Nantes is proud to offer from now on.