snag-0115027-30.jpgLa fresque de Matt Admate
©Christian Robert

Saint-Nazaire Art around town

Saint-Nazaire is an open-air art gallery! As you walk through the streets, you’ll be able to admire a series of vast mural paintings created by artists from all over the world, you can visit exhibitions in unusual places, challenge your views on contemporary art and even seek out tiny blue characters created by a local graffiti artist. So head off, open your eyes and open your mind as you explore all the monuments, artworks and exhibition spaces.

Street art in Saint-Nazaire

Saint-Nazaire presents visitors with coats of many colours! Over the past few years, the town has given the green light to a selection of artists, allowing them to decorate a number of buildings with vibrant wall paintings. Here, street art is making walls dance!

The giant murals

Melbourne, Valparaiso, Detroit, Cape Town, Saint-Nazaire… No, it’s not a game of spot the odd one out! Saint-Nazaire has something in common with these major towns in Australia, Chile, the USA and South Africa – street art painted by leading artists. Since 2015, the festival Les Escales has invited specialists in street art from selected countries to decorate various buildings.

  • In the Petit Maroc Quarter, outsized, rather enigmatic figures painted by Chilean artists Inti and La Robot de Madera lead you along to the side of the Loire Estuary, passing via a lush jungle scene depicted by Charquipunk.
  • Not far from here, it’s easy to spot the impressive, six-storey-high abstract composition created by Ellen Rutt (USA) in 2017.
  • At the junction of Rue Henri Gautier and Rue des Frères Pereire, one apartment block particularly stands out. Flamboyant flowers native to South Africa have bloomed on one side since summer 2016, thanks to the artist Nardstar*; on another side, opposite the theatre, the fascinating face of an Aborigine boy, painted by Australian Matt Adnate, draws your gaze.
  • Finally, the most recent addition, on a wall along Rue d’Anjou, recreates the convivial, musical atmosphere of the wider Les Escales festival, this painting executed by Apolo Torres in 2019.

Street art in Saint-Nazaire

That’s not all, by any means! Around town, seek out: on Avenue de Lesseps, a large fresco by the artists Toqué Frères, celebrating Saint-Nazaire’s pride in its traditions linked to ocean liners; on Avenue de la République, a giant eagle, on whose back you feel you could fly away, the bird painted by DALEast; in the Petit Maroc Quarter, a mysterious work by Djuradje, facing the ocean; along Boulevard Paul Leferme, the highly colourful graffiti art decorating a very long fence; and, on Avenue de Penhoët, the graffiti art along a concrete wall. These last two places see further street art appear every year during the Bouge Festival.

To help you easily find the various artworks scattered around Saint-Nazaire, as well as the town’s major monuments, sculptures and exhibition spaces, ask the Tourist Office for the free brochure ‘Parcours à Saint-Nazaire – l’Art en Ville’ – or download it here!

Estuaire  Nantes <> Saint-Nazaire trail

Outdoor art along the estuary

Estuaire Nantes <> Saint-Nazaire is a collection of 34 works by international artists, spread over a dozen remarkable estuary sites.
All year long, you can enjoy the open-air art collection throughout this fascinating town, whether you’re walking, cycling, driving or sailing by. Two supersize artworks are part of the landscape around the port, the Jardin du Tiers Paysage by Gilles Clément and the Suite de Triangles by Felice Varini. The recent addition to the collection arrived in 2021: Le pied, le pull-over et le système digestif (The foot, the pull-over and the digestive system) by artists Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel, which you’ll find in Place du Commando.

Artworks at a glance

At a single glance, you can see the various works of art ready to discover at your own pace, depending on how much time you have.
Click on the bubble to see nearby artworks.

Idea for an unusual visit with the family

Why not have fun as you walk about?
With your family, go and track down the Tintin posters dotted throughout the town and hunt for the little blue characters known as ‘Oides’!

Tintin in Saint-Nazaire

Saint-Nazaire is one of the very few real towns that can boast of having received a visit from Tintin. In The Seven Crystal Balls, Tintin accompanied by Captain Haddock and his dog Snowy comes to Saint-Nazaire in search of their friend Professor Calculus who has been abducted. Six giant reproductions taken from this album have been put up at different places in town and around the harbour. Follow in Tintin’s footsteps!

Seek out the ‘Oides‘!

As a family, seek out Saint-Nazaire’s ‘Oides’ (from the French slang language, verlan, which reverses syllables in a word, here turning around the French word ‘doigts’, or fingers)! These fun blue figures hide out along Saint-Nazaire’s coastal path, but also, and more discreetly, in the town centre and the harbour area. They’re a joy for young children and even older ones to discover and are fun to photograph too! Keep your eyes peeled!

Saint-Nazaire’s Cultural Events

Saint-Nazaire’s cultural events cover the whole range from rich and diverse programmes of theatre and cinema to live gigs and contemporary art exhibitions, often featuring renowned artists. The Grand Café, Villès-Martin Fort and the LiFE cultural centre welcome you almost the whole year round. Ask for the programme and prepare to be blown away!