Nancy - Jewel of the Baroque; Star of Art Nouveau

Prices from £1,480


4 Sep 2019 - 8 Sep 2019
Duration: 4 nights
Ref: 19NANC
With: Dr Justine Hopkins


Prices from £1,480
Single Supplement: £200
Deposit: £200

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The historic capital of the ancient Duchy of Lorraine, Nancy has been a centre of trade, commerce and craftsmanship since the 11th century. The winding streets and imposing gates of its Old Town indicates its status as a ducal stronghold during the Renaissance, while the 18th-century elegance of Place Stanislas at the city’s heart reflects the ambition of the exiled King of Poland to redesign his new capital as an urban Utopia.

But it was an artist and glassworker, Émile Gallé, who made his native city internationally famous as the vanguard of the Art Nouveau style. In the last years of the 19th-century and the beginning of the 20th, Gallé and his colleagues at the École de Nancy electrified Paris and the world with their outstanding creations in glass, wood, ceramics and metal, which celebrated the sinuous lines of nature. In Nancy itself, houses, apartments and public buildings in the unmistakeable Art Nouveau style transformed the streets and brought their architects commissions from all over Europe and beyond.

Nancy is a gem of many ages and styles that blend harmoniously together to create one of the most pleasant towns in France.


Freelance lecturer and writer, Dr Justine Hopkins specialises in the fine and decorative art the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She has taught at many universities including Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge and London. Also, Justine has lectured for the Tate, the V & A and National Gallery, as well as many other independent art groups.

DAY 1:

We board the train at London St Pancras and travel via Paris to Nancy. We are transferred to our hotel by private coach. We have an introductory stroll around the magnificent Place Stanislas, followed by a welcome dinner.

DAY 2:

The morning is spent in Place Stanislas, Europe’s most beautiful royal square, visiting two of Nancy’s finest buildings: the majestic Hôtel de Ville occupies the square’s entire south side, while the Musée des Beaux-Arts, as sleekly modern inside as it is classically elegant outside, displays works by Caravaggio and Delacroix, as well as the Daum Collection of Art Nouveau glassware. In the afternoon, a walking tour around Nancy’s finest Art Nouveau exteriors, including the blue ceramic façade of the Point-Central pharmacy.

DAY 3:

After a stroll along Rue Félix Faure to see the house façades, visit the museum devoted to the Nancy School of artists and craftsmen associated with Émile Gallé, featuring work by all its major representatives, including Gallé himself, Antonin Daum and Eugène Vallin. Visit the nearby Parc Sainte-Marie, the site of the 1909 International Exhibition of Eastern France, held partly in honour of Gallé. In the afternoon, tour the Quartier Saurupt (Art Nouveau Garden Estate) and visit the Maison Bergeret, designed by Lucien Weissenburger, decorated with stained-glass windows by Gruber and Janin.

DAY 4:

Stroll through the atmospheric Old Town past the elegant, arcaded Place Saint-Epvre and its eponymous Neo-Gothic basilica and finish at the Porte de la Craffe. In the afternoon, visit the Villa Majorelle, the crowning example of Nancy’s Art Nouveau architecture, with features in ceramics, iron, glass and wood, returning via the Avenue Foch. Share a farewell dinner at the refined Brasserie Excelsior, which has been welcoming clients for over 100 years, a great café of the “Belle Epoque”.

DAY 5:

A farewell stroll through the Parc de la Pépinière to see Rodin’s sculpture of Claude Lorrain before returning by trains from Nancy via Paris to London St Pancras.


Twin/double share: £1480 per person
Double room for sole use supplement: £200
Tour without trains cost: £1360
Deposit: £200 per person


  • Travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras International to Paris Gare du Nord and TGV (high-speed train) between Paris Est and Nancy
  • Private coach transfers in France
  • Four nights’ bed and breakfast in the 4* Grand Hotel de la Reine, Nancy
  • Two dinners and one lunch
  • Guided visits to all sites listed in the programme
  • Services of the Lecturer and Tour Manager
  • Detailed programme and study notes
  • All entrance fees, taxes & gratuities for coach drivers & waiters

Grand Hotel de la Reine****

The four-star Grand Hotel de la Reine, Nancy, located ideally in the centre of Nancy on the Place Stanislas. The hotel has traditional decoration, Louis XV style, influence of the belle époque, masterpiece of French architecture of the eighteenth century and classified World Heritage of Unesco. Relax in the hotels reading room, enjoy a drink in the bar or something tasty to eat in the restaurant. The bedrooms have a telephone, television, hair dryer, en suite, internet access and tea and coffee making facilities.