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NANTES: (Loire-Atlantique département, Pays de la Loire région, Bretagne) PDF Print E-mail
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Nantes is a city in western Franc, near the Atlantic coast and the capital of the Pays de la Loire région, as well as the capital of the Loire-Atlantique département. It is also the most important city of Brittany. With a population of 245,000, the city was founded as a town by the Celtic tribe named Namneti around 70 BC and was conquered by Julius Caesar in 56 BC and named Portus Namnetus. A major Atlantic seaport at mouth of Loire River, Edict of Nantes (1598) granted civil and religious rights to Protestants but not Jews. According to Camille Mellinet ("La Commune et la Milice de Nantes," i. 37), there were Jews in Nantes in the tenth century. Other historians, however, date the first settlement as late as the thirteenth century. That Jews were there then is shown by a receipt in Hebrew and Latin given in 1234, After Pope Gregory IX had preached a crusade in 1235, the crusaders, before departing for the Holy Land, put several Jews of Nantes to death. Those escaping the massacre were soon driven from the city. In 1239 Duke Jean of Brittany, in an edict dated at Ploërmel, declared that he would expel all the Jews from Brittany and not suffer them to remain longer on his own lands or on those of his subjects; that all debts due them should be considered annulled; that all articles, movable or immovable, which they held in pawn should be restored to their owners; and that no one should be punished for the death of a Jew slain before the date of the edict. The duke furthermore pledged himself and his successors, under oath, to enforce this decree under penalty of excommunication for its violation. In the sixteenth century, some Maranos took refuge in Nantes and were favorably received. Henry IV protected them against the Christian merchants; but Louis XIII expelled them in 1615. In 1744, despite the protests of Christian competitors, Israel Dalpuget and Moïse Petit, Jewish merchants from Bordeaux, were authorized by the intendant of Brittany, Pontcarré de Viarmes, to exhibit and sell their wares at the public fair. They were followed in 1766 and 1773 by other Jewish merchants from Bordeaux: Jacob Lisbonne, the Rodrigues brothers, Abraham Melendes, Abraham Cozales, Isaac Rodrigues, and Moïse Juarez Cardoza; but on the petition of the merchants of Nantes they were expelled from the city by an order of the court (Aug. 21, 1773. A Nantes street carries the name "rue des Juifs". The modern community formed in 1834. The synagogue was constructed in 1870. The 1808 census numbered but thirty-five souls. 1904 saw between thirty and forty families. Like many communities in France, during WWII, Nantes had numerous victims of deportation. The community rebounded during the repatriation of the fellow Jews of North Africa. Services are celebrated according to Sephardic ritual in general. But during Tishri, both Sephardic and Ashkenazi rituals are sometimes noted. The members of the nantaise community are professionally just like the French community and fit into the society where they belong. A.C.I. et Synagogue, Centre communautaire at 5, impasse Copernic B.P. 30414 - 44004 NANTES CEDEX 1, Tél 02-40-73-48-92, Fax 02-40-73-96-44. [January 2008]

Cimetière du Parc: Chemin de la Justice à Nantes [January 2008]

Cimetière Miséricorde: Rue de la Pelleterie à Nantes [January 2008]

 
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