Articles avec #nancy tag
Time has gone so quickly, and lilac time too. I wanted to write this article much earlier but, well, I have done something else. I have also waited for a better weather as, this year, Lorraine's spring has been particularly wet. We have had summer time, about 5 days, and I think we are now facing autumn ! Just kidding ! This is the usual July weather or nearly.
When we were in the Jardin Botanique of Nancy, I really enjoyed all these trees, with their colours going from white to dark purple, and the smell... In fact, I thought that each tree or bush smells so good and I realized that a few trees didn't smell or just a bit. But the flowers were beautiful.
Lilac trees are all on one side of the Jardin Botanique of Nancy. I think there are about 200 sorts there, a scientist has made the collection. It is worth a visit when all are blooming.
The well-known Jardin Botanique du Montet is now called Jardin Botanique Jean-Marie Pelt, from the name of a botanist and ecologist who recently died in Lorraine.
We like walking there as it is always peaceful even if it is near very busy parts of Nancy suburbs. That Sunday was grey but not too cold and we even met friends who also wanted to relax there after a pleasant lunch in a restaurant.
Our first stop was near a sort of terrace where we discovered different sorts of citrus fruit. It was very easy to recognize some of them, but for others it was more difficult or even impossible.
In fact we all know orange, lemon, grapefruit, but it becomes unusual when you see bergamot, citron, kumquat, bitter orange, and I must also mention the unknown calamondin (at least to me).
Then we discovered this beautiful blue tree. It made me think about the bright colours in Canada in autumn. Everybody was coming near to admire it. It is called Chinese wisteria.
We walked on to the lilac trees part, I will explain about it later.
The new conference center of Nancy, called Centre de Congrès Prouvé, opened last summer. In 2007, several architects were asked to propose a draft for the construction of this new building where the former mail distribution center used to be, just near the station.
The mail distribution center was imagined by Claude Prouvé and built between 1969 and 1972 and some parts of it had to be kept. This made the design of the new conference center more difficult as the old building was fragile.
From the outside, the look is not too bad, fitting with the buildings of this new heart of Nancy. I haven't had the opportunity to go inside till now, but what I have seen on internet shows a big space.
The old conference center was at the end of the same street. The new one is just outside the train station. You don't even cross a street. The main bus lines arrive there and there are big parking places underground. I just hope that we'll hear more about it, as the old place was nearly forgotten by a lot of people. I have read there was a big meeting last week end about tattoos and the information was given around quite early. If the other events are given the same attention, this new conference center is a good idea.
When we left Place Stanislas last week, we walked in rue des Dominicains to look at shop windows and, nearly straight away, I saw the old Goudchaux shop, which is not Goudchaux any more but a bank. I am sure I have walked in front of this building quite a few times and I had not realized it is a bank now (or have I forgotten ?).
Anyway, the business inside is not important. The beautiful part is outside. The wood work by Eugène Vallin, the cabinet maker, made in 1901, is a good example of Art Nouveau with all the plants carved into wood. Most of the time this type of work which is outside is made with iron or stone, wood is not as common. And it is a bit surprising to find a shop window in such a good state knowing it was put on the list to be protected in 1994 only.
Nancy has got plenty of Art Nouveau examples, inside or outside. We are so used to it that we don't pay attention when walking in the streets. I think I should go to the Musée de l'Ecole de Nancy to enjoy more, I haven't visited this museum for ages and I have loved what I saw there about Art Nouveau.
This year the subject of the ephemeral garden on Place Stanislas in Nancy is 1914, paysage fortifié (1914, fortified landscape). I wondered what can be done with plants to describe a war.
So, last week, we discovered different patches, each one with a written explanation. There was one about shell-holes, another built with plants to show the colours of the French and German uniforms. There was one about le pinard (a familiar word for wine) with vines and even a few grapes. Another had wood seats and people were listening to music of the beginning of the 20th century. There were balls made with scrap iron imitating cannonballs and also boxes of ammunition.
We finished our visit with a look at two trenches built with straw, water jets imitating gun fires and the pavement in the middle was described as the no-man's land.
The garden of this year was a good surprise for me. The exhibitions I saw about WW1 before were closer to reality, even the one in Lunéville castle. Plants made the subject not as hard, the garden is relaxing and very interesting with the explanations. There were plenty of people walking around on this sunny day and all seemed happy to be there.