Nantes (French pronunciation: [nɑ̃t]) (Breton: Naoned, Gallo: Naunnt) is a city in westernFrance, located on the Loire River, 50 km (31 mi) from the Atlantic coast. The city is the 6th largest in France, while its metropolitan area ranks 8th with over 800,000 inhabitants.
Nantes, labeled art and history city, is the capital city of the Pays de la Loireregion and the Loire-Atlantiquedépartement and also the largest city in the Grand-Ouest (North western France). Together with Vannes, Rennes and Carhaix, it was one of the major cities of the historic province of Brittany, and the ancient Duchy of Brittany. Though officially separated from Brittany over 60 years ago, Nantes is culturally Breton and still widely regarded as its capital city.
Pays de la Loire (French pronunciation: [pɛ.i də la lwaʁ]; Breton: Broioù al Liger) is one of the 27 regions of France. It is one of the regions created in the late 20th century to serve as a zone of influence for its capital, Nantes, one of a handful so-called "balancing metropolises" (métropoles d'équilibre)¹. Other examples of "artificially created" regions include Rhône-Alpes, which was created as the region for Lyon, and Midi-Pyrénées, which was created as the region for Toulouse.