Sunday, May 8, 2016

Place Stanislas

Executive summary by Darmansjah

The Place Stanislas, known colloquially as the place Stan', is a large pedestrianized square in Nancy, Lorraine, France. Since 1983, the architectural ensemble comprising the Place Stanislas and the extension of its axis, the Place de la Carrière and Place d'Alliance, has been on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Place Stanislas is 125 meters long and 106 meters wide. It is paved with light ochre stones, with two lines of darker stones forming a diagonal cross motif. The square is surrounded by an architecturally harmonious ensemble of buildings, most notably:

The City Hall of Nancy (Hôtel de Ville), which occupies the entire South side of the square, with the Préfecture of Meurthe-et-Moselle at the South-East corner;

To the East, the Opéra-Theâtre (formerly the bishop's palace) and the Grand Hôtel (originally the Hôtel de la Reine, actually occupied by the Intendant Alliot);

To the West, the Fine Arts Museum (Musée des Beaux Arts, originally the Collège de Médecine) and the Pavillon Jacquet;

On the North side, the buildings were kept lower for defensive purposes (to permit crossfire between the Vaudemont and Haussonville bastions).

An Arc de Triomphe by Héré stands in the centre of the fourth side, leading to the adjoining Place de la Carrière, where the main axis is developed as a double avenue of trees, with symmetrical buildings facing each other down its length.

At the far end is the Place d'Alliance, defined by the hemicycles of colonnades that enclose the sides and are carried across the pre-existing façade of the Palais du Gouvernement.

The statue in the center of the Place Stanislas, created by Georges Jacquot (1794–1874), represents Stanislas standing, dressed in flowing robes, holding a sword in his left hand and pointing towards the north with his right hand. The inscriptions on the high marble pedestal read :

• South face :    "Stanislas Leszczynski, Roi de Pologne, Duc de Lorraine et de Bar, 1737-1766"
(Stanislas Leszczynski, King of Poland, Duke of Lorraine and Bar, 1737–1766)
• North face :    "A Stanislas le Bienfaisant, la Lorraine Reconnaissante, 1831, Meurthe-Meuse-Vosges"
(To Stanislas the Benefactor, Lorraine [is] grateful, 1831, Meurthe-Meuse-Vosges)
The four corners and West and East sides of the square feature gilded wrought iron gates and lanterns, created by Jean Lamour (1698–1771), who was also responsible for the wrought iron balustrade on the main staircase in the Hôtel de Ville and the balcony across the center of its main façade. The North-West and North-East corners also feature ornate fountains designed by Barthélémy Guibal (1699–1757).

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