Xerjoff Magazine

Les Machines de l’île, where Jules Verne and Leonardo da Vinci meet


Les Machines de l'île is an amusement park in Nantes that combines Jules Verne’s literary creativity with Leonardo da Vinci’s scientific genius.

Les Machines de l’île is an original artistic project, which originated from François Delaroziere’s and Pierre Orefice’s imagination. It is a place halfway between the fantastic worlds of Jules Verne, the mechanical studies of Leonardo Da Vinci and the industrial history of Nantes – city ​​that welcomes the themed park and where Verne was born. Founded in 2007, the amusement park rises, where once stood the ancient city’s shipyards; the place now hosts large machines featuring fantastic animals that interact with the public as a sort of fantastic city of the future.

The park’s main attraction is a gigantic 12-meter-tall wooden and iron elephant, whose creation is inspired by a novel by Verne entitled “The Steam House” which recounts the travels of a group of British colonists across India in a wheeled house pulled by a steam-powered mechanical elephant. A reference to Verne’s masterpiece, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas” that provided the inspiration for the Carousel des mondes marin, a three-storey structure, 25 meters high where the public can enjoy riding on steel jellyfish, fish, crabs or calamari.

The park is constantly evolving, hence in the Galerie des Machines where there are flying herons, prehistoric insects and metal spiders, they are working on the construction of L’Arbre aux Hérons (end of works planned for 2022), a tall and luxuriant tree that will host various houses and from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Loire.