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Grand Eléphant et Galerie de les Machines de l'Ille

Grand Eléphant et Galerie de les Machines de l'Ille Review

Had Jules Verne (a son of Nantes) and Leonardo da Vinci somehow got together when they were both in a particularly whimsical frame of mind, they may well have instigated this unique and engaging workshop-gallery. Their spirit certainly lives in the imaginative, artistic, and mechanically brilliant creations that are built and displayed here. The Grand Eléphant gets most attention—hardly surprising, since the 50-ton giant, just short of 40 feet high, regularly "ambles" along the quay carrying 49 passengers. Inside the gallery are more works in many shapes and sizes—some of them interactive—and you can view work in progress (weekdays) on the workshop's latest projects; the recently completed Carrousel des Mondes Marins (Marine World carousel) is the newest eye-popping addition, located just outside the gallery on the banks of the Loire.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Les Chantiers, bd. Léon Bureau, Ile de Nantes, Nantes, 44200
  • Phone: 08–10–12–12–25; 332–51–17–49–89 from outside France
  • Cost: €8; elephant ride €8; carousel €8
  • Hours: July and Aug., daily 10–7; Sept.–early Jan. and mid-Feb.–June, hrs vary (see website)
  • Website:
  • Location: Nantes
Updated: 07-16-2013

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