France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Les Machines de l'Île, Nantes, Frances
A fanciful steampunk-inspired venue offers creative adventures and fun for all ages.





Les Machines de l'Île is a creative enterprise founded by two experienced and innovative street artists who wanted to bring something big to Nantes and to visitors from around the world. Taking over a large part of the former Nantes shipyards, they've brought new audiences to learn and be entertained.

Les Machines de l'Ile, Nantes, France
Huge buildings housing Les Machines de l'Île, the La Galerie des Machines.

Where else can you ride a 12 meter (almost 40 feet) high mechanical elephant or be transported by a giant mechanical heron? Have you ever wanted to see a huge spider (mechanical) flash its red eyes at you as it looms overhead? How about exploring the marine world from a carrousel? You can do all this and more at Les Machines de l'Île.

Start with the building called La Galerie des Machines, where you'll find a great collection of mechanical creations, some of which you can ride or operate. You can also see the workshops (ateliers) where these creatures get started, and see the mechanical/living branch that's the beginning of a planned giant tree. More...

If you want to ride Le Grand Éléphant, you'll board it in the atrium of this building for your slow (1-3 kilometers/hour, or less than 2 MPH) tour of the property. Talk about a unique experience! More...

Le Carrousel des Mondes Marins allows visitors to experience a variety of sea creatures. A three-story carousel offers a theater in the round that is dedicated to the sea. More...

The large shipyards of Nantes closed in 1987, and Les Machines de l'Île were part of a major effort to renovate and revitalize this important part of the city. They have brought new life to this area and reconnected it with the city center. Easily accessible by tram and on foot, Les Machine de l'Île is a great way to spend a morning.

Note that explanations in general are in French, though English summaries may be available, depending on the presenter. However, even if you can't understand the commentary, you can still marvel at the various exhibits.

Separate tickets are required for each element of Les Machines de Nantes, and schedules vary from exhibition to exhibition. Check the website of Les Machines de Nantes for current information.

Les Machines de Nantes

About Nantes

Hotels & Flats in Nantes

What to See & Do in Nantes

Nantes Transportation

Château des Ducs de Bretagne

Tourist Information

About the Loire Region


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  Les Machines de l'Ile, Nantes, France

Above, Giant mechanical spider in the Galerie des Machines.

Below, Le Grand Éléphant.


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