Nantes


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Nantes

(näNt), city (1990 pop. 252,029), capital of Loire-Atlantique dept., W France, on the Loire River. It is an important industrial and shipping center with its ocean port at Saint-NazaireSaint-Nazaire
, city (1990 pop. 66,087), Loire-Atlantique dept., W France, at the mouth of the Loire River on the Bay of Biscay. Saint-Nazaire is an important seaport (mainly for trade with the Antilles and Central America) and a great shipbuilding and industrial center with
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. Recent renovations of the rail, road, and air transportation systems have contributed greatly to the area's economic development. Food products (especially cookies), naval equipment, metals, dyes, clothing, bicycles, and agricultural equipment are the leading manufactures.

The chief town of the Gallic tribe of the Namnetes, Nantes became an important trade and administrative center under the Romans. It was made an episcopal see in the 4th cent. Nantes was ravaged and held (843–936) by Norsemen and later (10th cent.) fell to the dukes of Brittany, who resided there until Brittany became part of France in 1532. During the French Revolution, Nantes was nearly stormed by royalist troops of the VendéeVendée
, department (1990 pop. 509,356), W France, on the Bay of Biscay, in Poitou. The offshore islands of Noirmoutier and Yeu are included in the department. Largely an agricultural (dairying, cattle raising) and forested region, the Vendée has many beach resorts
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 and was the scene of massacres by the revolutionaries in 1793. Nantes was a center of resistance to the German occupation in World War II, and its civilian population suffered ruthless reprisals.

Points of interest include the 15th-century castle of the dukes of Brittany, a 15th-century cathedral with tombs of dukes of Brittany, the Tower of Brittany, the Musée des Beaux-Arts and other museums, and the LU Tower. The Univ. of Nantes (founded 1460) is one of the city's many educational facilities.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nantes

 

a port city in western France on the Atlantic at the head of the Loire River estuary. Capital of the department of Loire-Atlantique. Population, 259,000 (1968; including suburbs, 394,000).

With St. Nazaire and other subsidiary ports, Nantes handled 14 million tons of freight in 1973. Imports are petroleum, phosphorite, wood, sugar, oil plants, and oil cakes. The principal exports are petroleum products, machinery, grain, flour, and fertilizer. Foreign trade is mainly with the countries of Africa. There are many branches of machine building in Nantes, particularly the construction of ships and aircraft. Other industries include metallurgy, petroleum refining, food processing, chemicals, and paper. The city has a university, founded in 1962.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Nantes

1. a port in W France, at the head of the Loire estuary: scene of the signing of the Edict of Nantes and of the Noyades (drownings) during the French Revolution; extensive shipyards, and large metallurgical and food processing industries. Pop.: 270 251 (1999)
2. History See Edict of Nantes
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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