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Nantes is located in the Loire-Atlantique department, in the Pays de la Loire region. It is the prefecture of this department and the capital of the district of Nantes, as well as the seat of the metropolis Nantes Métropole. It is located in the heart of a vast urban area of 565 km2, southeast of the Loire estuary. The river Erdre runs through the city. The city is located north of the Loire, 35 km from its mouth at sea.
Nantes is the historical capital of Brittany. Its location at the confluence of the Loire and Erdre rivers, in the heart of a 60 km long estuary, makes it a major port. The city is the headquarters of the metropolis. With 298,600 inhabitants in 2016, it is the sixth largest city in France by population. With Brest and Rennes, it is one of the three Breton cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants.
Nantes is one of the main cultural centers of Western France, with an art museum, a museum of fine arts, a museum of history, a museum of ethnography, a museum of the last war, a museum of the castle of the Dukes of Brittany, a museum of decorative arts, a museum of customs, and a museum Jules Verne.