Nantes is a city in western France, located on the Loire River, 50 km (31 mi) from the Atlantic coast. The city is the sixth largest in France, with 711,120 inhabitants in its metropolitan area at the 1999 census, and 790,318 inhabitants at a 2007 estimate.
Nantes is the préfecture of the Pays de la Loire région, as well as the Loire-Atlantique département. It is also the most important city of the historic province of Brittany, and culturally still remains strongly identified with it. The city's name derives from the Nemnètes, a Gallic tribe who had settled there before the Romans conquered Gaul.
In 2004, Time described Nantes as the "the most livable city in all of Europe".