Nancy näNsē´ [key], city (1990 pop. 102,410), capital of Meurthe-et-Moselle dept., NE France, on the Meurthe River and the Marne-Rhine Canal. It is the administrative, economic, and educational center of Lorraine . Situated at the edge of the huge Lorraine iron fields, Nancy is an industrial city manufacturing chemicals, clothing, processed food, and machinery. It is one of eight cities specially targeted by the government for urban development. In the city are a noted fine arts museum, an academy of fine arts, and a large university (founded 1854). Nancy grew around a castle of the dukes of Lorraine and became the duchy capital in the 12th cent. In 1477, Charles the Bold of Burgundy was defeated and killed at the gates of Nancy by Swiss troops and the forces of René II of Lorraine. The major part of the center of Nancy, a model of urban planning and a gem of 18th-century architecture, was built during the liberal reign of Stanislaus I, duke of Lorraine (reigned 1738–66) and ex-king of Poland. Nancy passed to the French crown in 1766. In 1848 it was one of the first cities to proclaim the republic. From 1870 to 1873 it was occupied by the Germans following the Franco-Prussian War, and it was partially destroyed in World War I. Points of interest include the Place Stanislas, the Place de la Carrière, an 18th-century cathedral, and the 16th-century ducal palace. The Church of Cordeliers (15th cent.) houses the magnificent tombs of the princes of Lorraine.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: French Political Geography