Stanislas also known as the place Stan is a huge pedestrianized square in Nancy, Lorraine, France. Nancy is the capital of the Meurthe-et-Moselle Department which is the historical capital of the Duchy of Lorraine as well as the largest urban area in Lorraine region. Besides this it is also the second largest city in Eastern France and the fifth largest university town nationwide with regards to student population.
Three squares in Nancy have been added on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1983 namely Place Stanislas, Place de la Carriere and Place d’Alliance. Due to the easily mined iron ore in the Meurthe River, the region of Nancy settled as early as 800 BCE, though no major settlement existed in ancient times.
Stanislas Square is considered as the most beautiful royal square in Europe and the high point of Nancy’s exceptional collection of the 18th century monuments, on UNESCO’S World Heritage List, the city of Nancy is known across the globe due to Place Stanislas. It has been surrounded by wrought iron worker Jean Lamour’s fine work railings with gold highlights, a magnificent example of Classical French architecture that was built by Emmanuel Here.
Royal Fountains Works of Barthelemy Guibal
The royal fountains of the Square are the works of Barthelemy Guibal and famous buildings that surround the square comprise of the City Hall, the Theatre-Opera House and the Fine Arts Museum. Towards the middle of the 17th century, the Old Town as well as the New Town of Nancy had been separated by vast esplanade.
An exiled king of Poland, Stanislas Leszcznsko, who had become Duke of Lorraine in 1737 decided to create a square to honour and glorify his son-in-law Louis XV of France. The leading French royal squares, sanctifies the royal image while at the same time is the setting for all famous festivities.
Architect Emmanuel Here and Stanislas had selected a perfect site for their project in mind which was opposed by Marshal de Belle-Isle, a French military commander of the province for a long time. Foundation stone of the first building in the square was officially laid in March 1752 and the inauguration of the royal square was solemnly done in November 1755.
Magnificent Buildings – Classical Style
A bronze statue of Louis XV in the attire of a roman general decorates the centre of the square, which was the work of two sculptors Guibal and Cyffle and the statue together with the surround allegorical figures went missing during the French Revolution. It was only in 1851 that a new statue of Stanislas was erected in its place. The City Hall occupies the whole of the south area and the façade above the main entrance have coats of arms of both the town of Nancy and Stanislas.
The magnificent buildings surrounding the square are in classical style. Till date the Grand Hotel and the Opera House are on the east side and towards the west area is the Jacquet Pavillion and the Fine Arts Museum which was the College of Medicine during the time of Stanislas. On the north side, the buildings are kept lower for the purpose of defense to enable crossfire between the Vaudemont and Haussonville bastions.