Nantes, a town of Western France, capital of the department Loire Inferieure, is situate upon the right bank of the Loire near the infall of the Erdre and Sevre, 269 miles S.W. of Paris, with which it is connected by railway. Part of the town is on two of the islands which here stud the Loire, and there are sixteen bridges. It is one of the finest towns in France, having good squares, and two miles of quays, while its position, 40 miles from the ocean, makes it convenient for commerce, large vessels, however, not ascending higher than St. Nazaire. Among the chief public buildings are the 15th-century cathedral, with sculptured entrances and fine monuments; the modern Gothic church of St. Nicholas with a tower 278 feet high; the 14th century castle, the Palais de Justice, the Hotel de Ville, and a picture gallery. The chief manufactures are blankets, serge, flannel, prints, ship's boilers, etc., canvas, cordage, and chemicals, and there are cotton-mills, sugar, iron, glass, and bleaching-works, and a large trade is done in sardines and preserved meats. The foreign trade is extensive, and the building docks employ many hands. The town is of historic interest. It passed with Anne of Brittany to the French crown in 1499, and is famous for the Edict of Toleration issued in 1598 by Henri IV. and revoked by Louis XIV. in 1685, and for the Noyades which took place here during the Revolution.