The first shipyards opened in 1842 on the Prairie-au-duc, an island in the Loire.
The arrival of the railway and the construction of new bridges helped to industrialise the site.
In 1950, 7,000 people worked here each day, crossing the Loire using the transporter bridge, of which only the piers remain. On 3rd July 1987, the launch of the Bougainville, a ship built by the Dubigeon yard, marked the end of shipbuilding on the island and the site was abandoned. The site began to be converted in 2002 and the park opened to the public in 2007.
The former boilerworks at the Chantiers de la Loire, the bays are now home to the Machines de l’île.
Beneath the roof, an elephant rubs shoulders with exotic vegetation featuring bamboo, eucalyptus and aralias. We can also find the ailanthus, which represents the île de Nantes. In the Machines de l’île greenhouse, exotic luxurious vegetation with tree ferns and carnivorous plants meet strange insects and mechanical plants built by humans.
The heron tree prototype branch
This is a full botanical experimental site.
The baskets are planted in dry land plants which grow in a mountainous environment: herbaceous plants, wild roses and brooms.
Their development is studied to design a perennial plant-based metal tree in time.