The Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery
Visit the Memorial of the Abolition of Slavery in Nantes
A touching visit full of humanity, a true duty of memory to denounce slavery and pay tribute to all its victims, past and present
Inaugurated in May 2012, the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery is the first one created in France and one of the largest in the world. Located on the banks of the Loire less than 10 minutes walk from our Hotel Graslin is open to all.
In the 18th century, Nantes was one of the most important slave cities in France. For a long time, the city drew part of its wealth from this horrible human trafficking, which is now recognized as a crime against humanity.
It's from this dark but now assumed history that the desire to pay tribute to the millions of victims of the slave trade and slavery was born. This duty of memory is also a message of peace and hope for all those who have fought, are fighting and will continue to fight against all forms of slavery.
The Memorial is accessed through a large esplanade on the waterfront. On the ground are inlaid 2000 glass inserts : 1710 recall the 1710 slave expeditions that left Nantes, the other 290 exhibit the various slave trading posts, ports of call and ports of sale all over the world.
You can then descend under the platform via a large staircase. You will see at first the Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the word Freedom translated into the 47 languages of the countries affected by the scourge of slavery. This meditative journey of the Memorial continues with texts and quotations written over the past 500 years on the theme of slavery, complemented by a historical timeline illustrating the Atlantic slave trade, and the dates of the abolition of the slave trade and slavery throughout the world over more than 200 years.
The configuration of the site is reminiscent of the ships' holds, and the sound design further amplifies the setting with the lapping of the water and slave songs...
Do not miss this poignant visit, a true duty of memory to denounce slavery and to pay tribute to all its victims, past and present.
Quai de la Fosse
Tramway ligne 1 – stop at the Médiathèque or Chantiers Navals
Free admission, open from 9am to 6pm from 16 September to 14 May and from 9am to 8pm from 15 May to 15 September. Last access 30 minutes before closing time.