After a brief excursion to Luxembourg, we turned Wanderlust about and headed back up the Moselle. When Wanderlust reached the village of Pompey, we split left off the river and moved on to the eastern segment of the Canal de la Marne au Rhin. At first the landscape alongside the canal is industrial. As the waterway nears the urban center of Nancy residential housing predominates.
Place Stanislas was constructed in the middle of the 18th Century under the order of Stanisław I Leszczyński, the former King of Poland and father-in-law to King Louis XV of France. Stanislaw wanted the plaza constructed to link medieval old town of Nancy to its new town. The product of the dream was an expansive symmetrical square rimmed by buildings decorated with golden trim work. Place Stanislas remains as the culture center of Nancy today.
Past the era of Stanislaw, more recent events also helped to shape modern day Nancy. At the conclusion of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, the German territory of Alsace-Lorraine was created from lands annexed from France. With the annexation Nancy was now close to the German border. Refugees from the new German occupied territories poured into the city. Nancy’s population doubled in three decades. With the boom in inhabitants the commune flourished. It soon became a center of artistic, academic, financial, and industrial excellence.
The past informs the present and modern Nancy flourishes as a tourist center. For waterway travelers, the commune’s port de plaisance is popular as a stopover. The port is close enough but not too close to the city’s attractions. At the same time it is close to the many services needed for day-to-day life.
(In 2015 Wanderlust stopped in Nancy for two nights starting on the 16th of August and for 11 nights beginning on the 4th of September. Nancy is 62 kilometers and 6 locks from Metz.)