© Regine Datin
Villers‑lès‑Nancy

Villers‑lès‑Nancy

Villers-les-Nancy was originally a wine-growing village and the fief of the local seigniors. It is known as the town with the seven châteaux. Its patron saint is Saint-Fiacre, the patron saint of gardeners, and one of the main things to see in the town is the outstanding Jean-Marie Pelt Botanical Garden.

Other sites of interest include: the ruins of the Cistercian Clairlieu Abbey founded in 1159 – all that remains are a few stones and a panel explaining the history on the road to Villers Clairlieu; Remicourt Château, a medieval building with neo-classical and neo-Gothic additions, and a small Orthodox Christian chapel; Domaine de l’Asnée (8 hectares) and its château built in the 16th century and altered in the 19th century, which belongs to the diocese and is used for meetings and conferences.

Madame de Graffigny Château, an 18th century mansion, stands in the centre of the old village. The local council owns it, and uses it for functions and exhibitions. Inside is an excellent example of a Nancy School fireplace, which is in the process of being listed. In the garden are two Lebanon cedars planted by Mathieu de Dombasle during the 19th century.

While you are in Villers, make sure you also visit the 36-hectare Brabois Château grounds, and take in the breathtaking view from the esplanade.

Something a bit different: twice a year, the USAN (Greater Nancy speleology union) organises tours of the late-19th-century hydraulic galleries. The visits are both awe-inspiring and instructive!