Place Stanislas, Place de la
Place d'Alliance in Nancy (1983)
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Nancy, the temporary residence of a king without a kingdom – Stanislas Leszczynski, later to become Duke of Lorraine – is paradoxically the oldest and most typical example of a modern capital where an enlightened monarch proved to be sensitive to the needs of the public. Built between 1752 and 1756 by a brilliant team led by the architect Héré, this was a carefully conceived project that succeeded in creating a capital that not only enhanced the sovereign's prestige but was also functional.
France 2005. Nancy, Place Stanislas, named after the Polish Prince Stanislaw I Leszczynski, a native of the Ukrainian city Lviv (Lemberg). Stamp issued for the 78th congress of the French Federation of Philatelic Associations. Both the stamp and the vignette to the sides are engraved by Pierre Albuisson. In case of postal use of the stamp, it should appear on the cover with a vignette on either the right or the left side.
Nancy is a city in northeastern France, capital of Meurthe-et-Moselle Department, on the Meurthe River, in Lorraine. Points of interest in Nancy include many fine examples of 18th-century architecture; the Place Stanislas is lined with buildings dating from this period. The ducal palace, constructed in the 16th century, today houses a historical museum. In the 15th-century Church of the Cordeliers are the tombs of several of the dukes of Lorraine. The city is the seat of the universities of Nancy I and II (founded 1572, reorganized 1970).
The city developed around a castle of the dukes of Lorraine, who made Nancy their capital in the 12th century. Near Nancy, in 1477, Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, was defeated and killed by Swiss forces while trying to capture the city.
From 1633 to 1697 the city was held by the French, but in the latter year was given back to Leopold, duke of Lorraine. The duchy of Lorraine was granted in 1737 to Stanislaw I Leszczynski, who had lost the throne of Poland as a result of the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35); he held court in Nancy and made the city one of the most splendid in Europe. The king was born in L'viv in present-day Ukraine, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After the death of Stanislas in 1766, the city came under French control. Nancy was occupied by the Germans for several years following the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), and it suffered considerable damage in World War I.
Sources and links:
Microsoft Encarta 2002.
Other World Heritage Sites in France (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section France for further information on the individual properties.
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Revised 09 sep 2007