Around the 5th century, Nantes became the seat of a bishopric and a Frankish county.It was conquered by the Breton people in 851 and gradually became the largest city of Brittany.During the Gaulish period, Nantes was the capital of the Namnetes people, one of the five tribes of Armorica (later renamed "Brittany").The Namnetes were defeated by Julius Caesar in 56 BC.The confluence of the Erdre and the Loire on a 1890s photochrom. The river channels on the picture were diverted and filled in the 1920s and subsequently replaced with roads.Between the end of the 2nd century BC and the beginning of the 1st century BC, the Namnetes, the local Gaulish people, established a settlement on the north bank of the river Loire, near its confluence with the river Erdre.Together with Saint-Nazaire, a seaport located on the Loire estuary, Nantes forms the main metropolis of north-western France.Nantes is the administrative seat of the Loire-Atlantique département and of the Pays de la Loire région, one of the 18 regions of France.
In the end of the 20th century, Nantes experienced deindustrialisation and reoriented its economy towards services.
In 2012, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked Nantes as a Gamma- world city.
It is the fourth highest ranking city in France after Paris, Lyon and Marseilles.
The Romans reorganised the settlement and gave it the city status.
During the whole Roman period, Nantes was challenged as the main town in the area by Ratiatum, nowadays Rezé, on the south bank of the Loire.
The Gamma- category gathers other major cities such as Algiers, Orlando, Porto, Turin and Leipzig.