Fodor's Expert Review Grand Eléphant et Galerie de les Machines de l’île
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 established this unique and engaging workshop-gallery. Their spirit certainly lives on 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 works in many shapes and sizes—some of them interactive—and you can watch more being made in the workshop on weekdays. The eye-popping Carrousel des Mondes Marins (Marine Worlds Carousel) is located just outside the gallery on the banks of the Loire.