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La gare d'Amiens

The Nautilus and the Kraken Octopus

My name’s Pierre Aronnax and something amazing happened to me. Having been shipwrecked, I was taken aboard a submarine called the Nautilus. The captain, who went by the name Nemo (meaning “no-one” in Latin) showed me the mysteries beneath the sea, its treasures and monsters. One of them stood out in particular. Have you heard of the legendary Kraken, the giant octopus that can drag a ship down under the sea with its tentacles? The Nautilus almost fell prey to it! That’s an encounter I’ll never forget! 


You can understand why I am so proud that my name was chosen for this trail through Amiens! Indeed, you too will have some adventures! They won’t be dangerous though, I promise.


But just so that you’re clear: I’m a character from a novel, as you might have guessed. I appear in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and owe my existence to a man named Jules Verne. In fact, I had the privilege of being given the face of Jules Verne himself by the story’s illustrators.


gare d'amiens

Jules Verne in Amiens

Jules Verne wasn’t born in Amiens, but he chose to live there for most of his life and wrote most of his novels here. Jules Verne was born in Nantes in 1828 and lived in Paris from the age of twenty. In May 1856, he came to Amiens for a friend’s wedding and met Honorine Deviane, who would become his wife. During this visit, he got to know the city and decided to move there a number of years later, in 1871. 

Not only did Jules Verne live in Amiens, he fully immersed himself into city life. He was part of many associations and institutions, including the Académie d'Amiens (the Amiens Academy). He was also a municipal councillor for sixteen years. 


As you will see throughout this route, his life in Amiens was very important. And the city of Amiens inspired Jules Verne, who used it as a backdrop to many of his stories. 

Jules Verne