Nancy is the capital of the Lorraine's region, and is situated on the banks of the Meurthe river. Its sumptuous Place Stanislas, old town, fountains and iron gates are but a few of the many attractions of this lively and friendly city. The birth place of Art Nouveau, Nancy remains firmly an European cultural center with a very large student population. A lot of informations can be found of the web site of the tourism office
The conference will take place the week after the celebration of Saint Nicolas (Santa Claus). Since the Middle Ages, Saint Nicolas Day has been celebrated throughout Lorraine on 6 December. In Saint-Nicolas-de-Port, the pilgrimage in homage to the Patron Saint of Lorraine draws thousands of faithful. In Nancy, over a hundred thousand people throng the streets to watch the show in honour of the Patron of Lorraine, Protector of Children. It will be a unique opportunity for participants to be there and assist to this celebration.
Nancy is one of France's most sophisticated towns boasting one of the country's finest examples of Rocco architecture in the Stanislas Square, named after the Polish King Stanislas Leszcynski.
When Leszcynski lost the throne of Poland, he came to Nancy as the last of the independent dukes of Lorraine (he was father-in-law of Louis XV). During the twenty-odd years of his office in the mid-eighteenth century, he ordered some of the most successful urban renewal of the period in all France.
Nancy is made up of two fortified towns, the Ville-Vielle (Old Town) and the Ville-Neuve (New town), which were formed during the 16th Century.
The pride of the city is the beautiful place Stanislas. On the south side of the square stands the imposing Hotel de Ville, its roof-line topped by an ornamented balustrade and lanterns. Similar motifs adorn the other buildings bordering the square. The entrances of the square are decorated with gilded wrought-iron gates.
During the early 20th Century, Nancy rivalled Paris as a center of Art nouveau, with a steep tradition in handicraft and art work. Émile Gallé, manufacturer of French art glass and ceramics was one of the pioneers of Art Nouveau.
The web site of the Nancy Tourist Office, with information in French, English, German and Japanese, contains many useful indications and pictures of the city.
At the center of the Old City, the Place Stanislas is surrounded by the Musée des Beaux-Arts, the Nancy Opera House, the Grand Hôtel and l'Hôtel de Ville de Nancy. In the corners of the square one can admire the golden gates and the fountains of Amphitrite and Neptune. During August, the the many cafes surrounding the square puts tables out, and you can enjoy spectacles of light and music.