Nantes – Feydeau area

The area of Feydeau was once an island of the Loire.

Attached to the city and the Gloriette island by the filling of the arms of the Loire (Nantes was regarded formerly as “Venice of the West”), the Feydeau island remains a built spit of land quite distinct from its neighbourhoods. Its unscathed character XVIIIe and its silhouette of insulated urban small island persist until in the local denomination preserving its insular nature.

Nantes, slave port

Two great sources of richness guaranteed the Nantes opulence of XVIe at the beginning of the XIXe century: Africa and America. Ships built and armed in Nantes ensured a triangular trade between the first wearing of France of the time, the coasts of Guinea and the Antilles. The principle was cruelly simple: to buy Blacks resold against cane sugar which will be refined in Nantes. Of course, the ships also poured on the holds of the quay of ”La Fosse” and the Feydeau island of other colonial goods such coffee, cocoa, pepper, indigo or exotic wood. The Feydeau island concentrates in its centre testimonys of this period when the ship-owners formed true dynasties.

Beautiful architectural example of the eighteenth century

The port of Nantes was then the largest in France and one of the largest in Europe.

Since 1926, nearly twenty years of work were necessary to fill part of Erdre and the arms of the Loire located at the north of the Gloriette island.
Consequently, the Feydeau island lost its natural statute which want to point out, gone Turenne, turfed floors and their granite edges evoking the water of the river and the old wharves. Raised on a sandy ground, the vast buildings of the rich person families of ship-owners were unaware of these changes: they lean, creating an optical effect of most singular! Built mainly in micaceous chalk, avoided will mascarons, equipped with wrought iron balconies, often organized around course interior with the arched staircases, these residences illustrate by their ostentation all the dimension of this commercial past.
The buildings present two frontages around an interior court opening on the street and the quay. This court, occupied by the commun runs and the warehouses, start from very beautiful staircases decorated with wrought iron slopes. Rich person balconies follow the importance of the stages. The ground floor, reserved for the regular commercial practice, is dominated by the windows in arcades of the parts of reception. Above, the private apartments were decorated with a refined art.