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Very little details of the Ducal palace's Porterie

The Porterie | Arnoprepa / CC-BY-SA
Town house Nancy ducal palace

Our story begins in 1050, with the construction of a first castle by Gérard of Alsace, duke of Lorraine.

A stronghold was founded at the same time as city of Nanciacum. 2 centuries later, the dukes palace took shape with duke Ferri III. A palace destroyed by duke of Burgundy Charles the Bold...

Never mind! Duke René II raised a Renaissance building between 1502 and 1508, continued by his son Antoine then by Charles III in 1570.

First, Antoine built the Porterie, with its beautiful equestrian statue.

Completed in 1512, it's a mix between Gothic and Renaissance style, created by the sculptor Mansuy Gauvain (he also created the Virgin statue in Bonsecours chapel in Nancy).

But the current duke's effigy isn't the original one... it was destroyed in 1792! The current statue dates back to 1851, copied by Jiorné Viard.

Oh, look! Do you see that tussock, below the horse? It's a thistle from Lorraine! The oldest representation of the city symbol, says the book Histoire de Nancy part 2 by Charles Pfister. On the blanket covering the horse, we can see Jerusalem and Lorraine's crosses...

On the upper part, Lorraine coat or arms was hammered during the Revolution but replaced in the 19th century: the helmet, the eagle with wings unfold, wearing Lorraine cross... Above this, two warriors heads (dukes Antoine and René II's portraits)...

Next to the Porterie, we have a little door, the "Masco door". Look! We can see a small character, a strange monkey wearing monks' clothes. Sculptor Gauvain made it, and the legend says he carved it because a monk of Cordeliers monastery mocked at him and his work! Gauvain took revenge and caricatured the chap...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!