The three squares are located in downtown Nancy. While the Place de la Carrière dates from the Middle Ages, the other two were laid out in the 18th century at the suggestion of the former Polish King Stanislaus I. Leszczynski, the father-in-law of Louis XV. They form an architectural bridge between the old and new parts of the city and, with their magnificent classicist buildings, give the city a glamorous look. The Place Stanislas is considered to be the most beautiful royal square in Europe. In addition to the town hall, the opera and theater as well as the art museum, there is also an imposing one in honor of Louis XV. erected triumphal arch.
Place Stanislas in Nancy: facts
|Official title:||Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d’Alliance in Nancy|
|Cultural monument:||the 124×106 m Place Stanislas with the 95 m long town hall, the former Palais d’Alliot and the Opera of Nancy and Lorraine in the former ducal property administration (Hôtel des Fermes), the Palais Jacquet and the Musée des Beaux Arts, zu Stanislas’ Times the medical college; the 293×53 m Place de la Carrière, once a place for courtly equestrian games and adjoining the medieval fortress wall, and the Place d’Alliance, framed by representative patrician houses|
|Meaning:||Example of a modern, functional and splendid classicist urban complex in the residence of the “King without a Kingdom”, Duke Stanislaw Leszscynski|
Place Stanislas in Nancy: history
|1552||Place de la Carrière, the oldest square in Nancy|
|1737||King Stanislaw (French: Stanislas) Leszscynski becomes Duke of Lorraine|
|1752-55||Construction of the town hall|
|1754-56||Construction of the Arc de Triomphe|
|1755||Inauguration of the Place Royal, today’s Place Stanislas|
|1760||Redesign of the Place de la Carrière with the Palais du Gouvérnement (1753-57) and Palais de Justice (1751)|
|1766||Death of King Stanislas Leszscynski|
|since 1919||in the Palais d’Alliot the Grand Hotel|
Political powerlessness and eagerness to build
The stout Polish king Stanislas Leszscynski, an unusually peaceful father of the country, had to say goodbye to his career as king too early: as early as 1706, one year after his coronation, he had to abdicate and take refuge at the court of the Swedish king. After years of wandering through Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, he found a befitting exile in Weißenburg in Alsace. There the luckless man finally succeeded in the politically cleverest deed: He married his daughter Maria Leszscynska to France’s King Louis XV.
In the ambitious struggle for the Polish Empire, he was defeated by August of Saxony, who was favored by Austria and Russia as a candidate for the throne. But Europe’s great powers were dissatisfied with this choice and insisted on a compromise: August received the Polish Empire, while Stanislas was allowed to keep the title of king for life. According to ehealthfacts, the vacant duchies of Lorraine and Bar were awarded to him as domains, which should fall to France after his death.
With his move to Lorraine, Nancy, the old capital of the Duchy of Lorraine, began a 30-year period of major construction sites and constant inauguration of new magnificent buildings. Stanislas was soon known everywhere in the Lorraine region as “Stanislas the benefactor”, because not only his building enthusiasm brought people in for a living, but also his lavish courtship with dozens of chambermaids and servants as well as several thousand gardeners, farmers and workers.
However, what is first and foremost reminiscent of Stanislas and that brilliant epoch lies in the heart of Nancy. It is the three-part group of squares created at Stanislas’ behest by the ducal star architect Emmanuel Héré at the intersection of the medieval old town and the planned new town. Before that, a wide esplanade had separated the two parts of the city; only the three places created an optimal connection. The overall composition is considered to be one of the most outstanding neo-classical urban complexes.
Königsplatz, today’s Place Stanislas, was the first to be inaugurated. On top of it rose a statue of Louis XV, a tribute to Stanislas to his generous son-in-law. Because he must never forget who was responsible for the constant replenishment of his private box. In this respect, it is only natural to interpret the Nancy squares as an architectural manifestation of the absolutist form of rule: town hall, government buildings, cultural palaces and noble shops all come together at the feet of the revered government. But just half a century after the inauguration, revolutionaries threw the king figure from the pedestal. Since 1831 there is still de facto and expressis verbis Stanislas »Le Bienfaisant«. The opulently decorated facades of the Town Hall, Grand Hotel, Opera, The art museum and gastronomic establishments enclose the large Stanislasplatz. Between the assemblies and in all four corners, the blacksmith Jean Lamour added monumental connecting grids with lots of gold decor, which harmonize with the two sculpture fountains “Neptune” and “Amphitrite” in the northern corners of the square.
Opposite the town hall, behind a magnificent triumphal arch, the elongated Place de la Carrière leads to the oval hémicycle at the former government palace. Its sober edge development, a wide avenue and other gold bars and candelabra give it an elegant flair. In contrast, the Place d’Alliance, east of Place Stanislas, is much more contemplative. Handsome town houses and a square of trees that provide shade surround their gravel area. An attractive eye-catcher is a fountain basin from which an obelisk carried by allegorical figures rises. At the top, a small “messenger of victory” beckons, propped up on a sign, the inscription of which guarantees the fountain, Allianzplatz and no less all of Nancy an “Eternal Peace Treaty” to which the benefactor Stanislas has always felt obliged.