Tame the Machines de l'île!


Climb onto the back of a gigantic elephant, explore the Carrousel des Mondes Marins or explore a gallery of giant animals! The astonishing mechanical creations of the Machines de l'île, in Nantes, enthral children and adults alike by combining the worlds of Jules Vernes and Leonardo da Vinci.

The joyful collection of animals in the Galerie des Machines

It awakens suddenly and comes out of its hole, to the dumbstruck gaze of little ones. The latest arrival to the Galerie des Machines (Gallery of the Machines) is a 4.5-metre-high spider that can walk and even rise up into the air. In this laboratory-space open to the public and housed in the Naves, an imposing building that represents that landmark of the amazing Machines de l'Île, it is kept company by a giant caterpillar and ant, or even an 8-metre-high heron. Exploring a little further, we discover a tropical glasshouse which is also home to some strange inhabitants...

Ride on a 12-metre-high elephant

Located on the other side are the workshops where these improbable creatures are created, with visitors also able to watch. This is where the site's emblematic 12 metre-high monumental elephant was built. The animal is available for several daily rides on the île de Nantes and can hold 50 lucky people each time. As the beast's frame carries its 48 tonnes around, trumpets or spurts out water, those interested can watch the cogs and gears inside that make its movements strikingly realistic.

Le Carrousel des Mondes Marins, a gigantic 3-level fairground ride

Located along the walk of the giants is the Carrousel des Mondes Marins (Sea World Carousel), a gigantic fairground ride almost 25 metres high. Its three levels are home to amazing sea creatures, such as a giant squid with reverse thrust, a giant crab, a deep-sea angler fish or a flying fish. The public can sit inside them or on a boat for a three-minute whirl watched by spectators, who can see the show from the gangways. At the end of this poetic trip, all that's left is to visit the bookshop, the café or the prototype branch of the future Arbre au Hérons (Heron Tree), the monumental creation 35 metres high and 50 wide, that will soon sprout up in the city centre!