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“Stunningly different”

Les Machines de L'ile
Ranked #2 of 121 things to do in Nantes
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Machines de l’Ile is an artistic and a tourist project. It is a blend of the invented worlds of Jules Verne, the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci, and the industrial history of Nantes, on an exceptional site in the former shipyards. A ride on the 12-meter tall Great Elephant, climb aboard the Marine Worlds Carrousel of 27 moving sea creatures or the Heron Tree to fly over the hanging gardens.
Reviewed August 2, 2014

What an amazing place! We spent several hours looking around the site, which comprises three main attractions. The galleries and workshops contain models and ideas for previous work or new constructions. Some of these are demonstrated with help from visitors, which adds to the fun.
The best part (in my view) was a ride on the huge mechanical elephant. Fifty people at a time are carried inside and on its back, for a 25-minute ride around the site. It's best to book the ride on this as early as possible in the day, as numbers are limited. The elephant itself is three time life-size, and built around a metal frame. The pneumatic systems that move the legs, head, and trunk are all visible inside the elephant, and this adds to the trip. My children especially enjoyed the operator squirting water from the trunk over the nearby crowds of spectators, and the air-operated trumpeting sounds!
The last part of the visit is the carousel. This is actually a triple-decker ride, representing the sea. The lowest level has submarines, squids, and other deep-sea fish, all of which can be ridden in, and which have controls that operate limbs and other parts during the ride. The middle and upper levels represent the higher levels of the sea and the surface, with different animals and boats to ride in/on. Children under 1.35 m cannot ride on the middle level, but can on both other levels. Our entrance covered two rides.
The Machines is not cheap, if visiting all three areas. However, there is a small discount for the three. If time or money preclude this, the Elephant and Carousel would be my recommendations. The site has a small café, but otherwise bring a picnic. The centre of Nantes is a walk of over 15 minutes, which after visiting all the attractions on a hot day was a bit too far for my children.
This is a great day out!

Thank Antony B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 30, 2014 via mobile

Please visit such art program in person as you will experience something cannot be told with words! The famous giant elephant , the machine gallery, the carousel, were all run by some teams of great uniqueness. Some artists. Originally we visited as we thought it would be great for kids. And actually it was a extraordinary act of art to create and to design machines like these. We enjoyed all the demonstrations although we are not fluent in French. The elephant was superb and nothing could be compared. It was alive as it got intimate interactions with all the kids and adults, with its own humors! Like all the artworks, it touches your heart in an unexpected way.

1  Thank alicecheungsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2014

Loved it. Super unique, and worth to see 100%.
There are so many things to do, to climb artificial tree, to go on elephant, or just to walk around and be amazed by nature of machines, modern, contemporary approach. Love it.

1  Thank fabioinmontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2014

Just great. Went to the Carousel! Enjoyed every moment watching and riding! The Walking huge metal Elephant is hilarious!
tho paying 8 EUR for each attraction (Elephant / Carousel/ Exposition)... felt too much...

Thank Maria_14_july
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2014

Book the ride on the elephant online. It's easy to pick up reserved ticket(s) in the morning. The ride was fun, but as another reviewer said, it's just as fun to watch it and see & hear the elephant as it walks to the carrousel and back. Do ride the 3-tiered Carrousel des Mondes Marins! Fun if you're 8 or 80! Delightful jambon bacquette & a glass of vin rose' at the little cafe next to the (great!) giftshop, made for a delightful morning!

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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