The Full Wiki

Rennes: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Blazon of Rennes

Rennes (Gallo: Resnn, , ) is a city in the east of Brittany in north-western Francemarker. Rennes is the capital of the Bretagne region, as well as the Ille-et-Vilainemarker department.


The current mayor of Rennes is Daniel Delaveau, a member of the Socialist Partymarker who replaced retiring Socialistmarker incumbent Edmond Hervé, in office since 1977 in 2008. The (city hall) is right in the centre of Rennes.

Rennes is divided into 11 cantons:

Since the 2008 cantonal elections, all eleven cantons are held by Socialistsmarker or their allies. The right held Rennes-Nord-Ouest until 2008.


The ancient centre of the town is built on a hill, with the north side being more elevated than the south side. It is at the confluence of two rivers: the Illemarker and the Vilainemarker.


Population of the city (commune) of Rennes at the 1999 census was 206,229 inhabitants (209,100 inhabitants as of February 2004 estimates). Inhabitants of Rennes are called Rennais. Rennes have the 3rd fastest growing Metropolitan area in France. Population of the metropolitan area at the 1999 census was 521,188 inhabitants, and 588,684 inhabitants as of 2007 estimate.
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
30,160 25,904 29,225 29,589 27,340 35,552 37,895 39,218 39,505
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
45,664 45,483 48,283 52,044 57,177 60,974 66,139 69,232 69,937
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
74,676 75,640 79,372 82,241 83,418 88,659 98,538 113,781 124,122
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2005 - -
151,948 180,943 198,305 194,656 197,536 206,229 210,500 - -
Starting in 1962: Population with duplicates - Sources : Cassini et INSEE

Main sights

Rennes is classified as a city of art and history.

Historic Centre

Thabor park's bandstand.

The Parlement de Bretagne (Parliament of Brittany, Breujoù Breizh) is arguably the most famous 17th century building in Rennes. It was rebuilt after a terrible fire in 1994 caused by a flare launched by a protester during a demonstration. It houses the Rennes Court of Appeals.

Basilica Saint-Sauveur is also located in the historic centre.

Colourful traditional timber frame houses are situated primarily along the roads of Saint-Sauveur, Saint-Georges, de Saint-Malo, Saint-Guillaume, des Dames, du Chapitre, Vasselot, Saint-Michel, de la Psallette and around the plazas of Champ-Jacquet, des Lices, Saint-Anne and Rallier-du-Baty.

There are 16th century polychromatic wooden busts in the façade of 20, Rue du Chapitre.

  • Place des Lices and surrounding area
    • Les Halles Martenot of the 19th century, built between 1868 and 1871 by Jean-Baptiste Martenot, host the market on Saturday mornings (the third largest market in France).
    • The Mordelaises Gate (Portes Mordelaises), chatelet with two towers and a drawbridge
    • The remaining fortifications of the 3rd century
    • The Jehan Duchesne tower of the 15th century, on rue Nantaise
    • The fifteenth century ramparts east of the Gallo-Roman fortifications, in place Rallier-du-Baty.
  • The former St. Yves chapel, now the tourist bureau and a museum about historic Rennes development.
  • Place Saint-Anne (Plasenn Santez-Anna)
    • Saint-Aubin Church
    • Location of a former 14th century hospital
    • Jacobite convent
  • La rue Saint-Michel nicknamed rue de la soif (road of thirst) because there are bars all along this street.
  • Area from Saint-Mélaine to Place Saint-Mélaine
    • Notre-Dame en Saint-Mélaine Church,
      • tower and transept from the eleventh century Benedictine abbey of Saint-Mélaine
      • 14th century Gothic arcades
      • 17th century columnar façade
      • bell tower topped with a gilded Virgin Mary (19th century)
      • 17th century cloister
    • Magnificent park, The Parc Thabor, (formal French garden, orangerie, rose garden, aviary), on 10 hectares of land, built between 1860 and 1867. Contains the Jardin botanique du Thabor, a botanical garden.
    • The seventeenth century promenade "la Motte à Madame", and a monumental stair overlooking the rue de Paris entrance to the Thabor.
  • Rue Saint-Georges and rue Gambetta
    • 1920s Saint George Municipal Pool, with mosaics
    • Saint George Palace, and its garden
  • Place de la Mairie (City Hall Plaza, Plasenn Ti Ker)
    • City Hall
    • Opera
  • Place du Vau-Saint-Germain
    • Vau de Saint-Germain Church
    • Saint-Germain footbridge, 20th century wood and metal construction to link the plaza with Émile Zola Quay.
  • Place du Champ-Jacquet

South of the Vilaine

The Fine Arts Museum is situated on Quai Émile Zola (Émile Zola Quay), by the Vilainemarker River.
Place de la Mairie.
Rue St. Michel.
Inside of Gare de Rennes.

Les Champs Libres is a building on Esplanade Charles de Gaulle designed by the architect Christian de Portzamparc that houses the Brittany Museum (Musée de Bretagne), regional library Bibliothèque de Rennes Métropole on six levels and a Espace des Sciences science centre with a planetarium. At Place Honoré Commeurec is Les Halles centrales, a covered market of 1922, with a part converted into contemporary art gallery.

Mercure Hotel is located in a restored building on rue du Pré-Botté, which was the prior location of Ouest-Éclair, and then of Ouest-France, a premier daily regional newspaper.

There are large mills at Rue Duhamel, constructed on each side of the south branch of the Vilaine in 1895 and 1902.

Other sights

To the North-west of Rennes, near rue de Saint-Malo are the sluices of the canal d'Ille-et-Rance of 1843. There are two halls of the printer, Oberthür, built by Marthenot between 1870 and 1895 on Rue de Paris in the eastern part of the city. Oberthür Park is the second biggest garden in the city. The 17th century manor of Haute-Chalais, a granite chateau, is situated to the south of the city in Blosne Quarter (Bréquigny).


Rennes is the capital of the région of Brittany, in Francemarker, the seat of the 'préfecture de région' and of the 'conseil régional'. It has a long history due to its location at the confluence of two rivers.

The eastern Armorican people of Redones founded Condate— an ancient Celtic word meaning confluent— at the confluence of the Ille and Vilaine rivers and made it the capital of a territory that extended to the Bay of Mont Saint-Michelmarker. The name of the city of Redon also reflects that of the Redones. Early in the 1st century BCE, they adopted the Greek and Roman practice of issuing coinage, adapting the widely-imitated gold staters of Philip II of Macedon, in the characteristic Celtic coin metal alloy called billion. Without inscriptions, as the Celtic practice was, the Redones coinage features a charioteer whose pony has a human head. Large hoards of their coins were unearthed in the "treasure of Amanlis" found in June 1835 and that of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande, discovered in February 1941. The Museum at Rennes contains a large representative collection.

They joined the Gaulish coalition against Rome in 57 BC, which was suppressed by Crassus. The following year, Roman emissaries were held hostage by the Redones, which obliged Julius Caesar to intervene in Armorica and suppress the rebels, and the following year to cross the Channel to discourage further support of the Redones by the Britons. In 52 the Redones responded to the call of Vercingetorix to furnish a large contingent of warriors

Roman era

In the Roman era, Condate became Condate Riedonum, capital of Civitas Riedonum.

The oldest known rennais is Titus Flavius Postuminus, known to us from his steles found in Rennes in 1969. As indicated by his name, he would have been born under the Flavian dynasty, under the reign of Titus, i.e. between 79 and 81 AD. One of the steles tell us, in Latin, that he took charge over all the public affairs in the Civitas Riedonum. He was twice duumvir and flamen for life for Mars Mullo.

During the Roman era, the strategic position of the town contributed to its importance. To the west the principal Roman route, via Osismii stretched from Condate to Vorgium (modern Carhaix).

In the year 275, the threat of barbarians led to the erection of a robust brick wall around Rennes. Rennes became known as the "red town".

Threatened by the danger of peasant marauders called bagaudae at the end of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, the Armorican peninsula, including Brittany and therefore Rennes, made up the last of the stronghold of the western Roman Empire. The invincible Armorican Romans held their ground against Clovis I, who occupied most of Alamans, then the Visigoths. Melaine, the bishop of Rennes, played an important role in the peace treaty between the Franks and the Armoricans in the year 497. He famously declared "Il faut faire la paix entre chrétiens" ("Peace must be made between Christians").

Middle Ages

Starting in the fifth century, Breton occupied the western part of the Armorican peninsula, which started to be called little Britain, and then Brittany, while the Franks took the rest of Armorica. To contain the expansion and avoid Breton incursions, the Carolingians instituted a Breton march, composed of the counties of Rennes, Nantesmarker, and Vannes.

These marches were entirely absorbed by the Breton Kingdom in the ninth century, and Rennes became Breton in 851. Rennes would later become the capital of Ducal Brittany.

During the Breton War of Succession, in 1356 and 1357, the city was laid siege to by Henry of Grosmont, the Duke of Lancaster, cousin of the English king, but Bertrand du Guesclin slipped into the city and took over the resistance, which would ultimately be victorious. After nearly a year, Lancaster renounced the English siege in 1357.

In 1491, it was the French army of Charles VIII, led by his general, La Trémoïlle, that unsuccessfully attacked Rennes. Brittany having already capitulated elsewhere, Rennes alone still resisted. The defenders of Rennes were determined to resist to the death, but the Duchess Anne of Brittany chose instead to negotiate. By her marriage to Charles VIII, she made Brittany a part of France. Anne jealously guarded Brittany's autonomy, but the duchy was eventually fully merged with the French crown by her daughter Claude of France.

Modern era

In 1857 the Rennes train stationmarker was built, which gradually led to the southward sprawl of the town. In 1899 Alfred Dreyfus' trial in Rennes caused a national commotion.

During World War II Rennes suffered heavy damage from just three German airplanes which hit an ammunition train parked alongside French and English troop trains and near a refugee train on the yard: 1,000 died. The next day, 18 June 1940, German troops entered the city. Later, Rennes endured heavy bombings from the US and British Air Forces in March and May 1943, and again in June 1944, causing thousands of deaths. Patton's army freed the capital of Brittany on August 4, as retreating German troops blew the bridges behind them, adding further damage. About 50,000 German prisoners were kept in four camps, in a city of only about 100,000 inhabitants at the time.

From 1954 onwards the city developed extensive building plans to accommodate upwards of 220,000 inhabitants, helping it become the third fastest-growing city in France, after Toulouse and Montpellier (1999 census).


Local industries include car manufacturing and telecommunications. PSA Peugeot Citroën, currently the largest employer of the population of Rennes, opened a manufacturing plant at Rennes La Janais in 1961. Thomson employs over 1,000, and France Telecom R&D over 1,200.In few years, Rennes became one of the main centers in high tech industry.Rennes is one of first Technopoles in France that were established in an effort to stimulate the economies of regions other than Parismarker during the Aménagement du territoire.Rennes is one of biggest concentration of ITC firms in France (with well-known companies like Orange France Telecom, thomson R&D, Canon, Mitsubishi, Alcatel-Lucent, Thales or Logica), and the 3rd innovation potential in agrofood french industry.


Historic downtown on a quiet Sunday afternoon
Rennes invests heavily in arts and culture and a number of its festivals (such as the music festival Les Transmusicales, les Tombées de la Nuit and Travelling (a cinematic festival)) are well known throughout France.Rennes was one of the first towns in France to have its own television channel 'TV Rennes', created in 1987.In Rennes is the only Institut Franco-Américain in France.There are 4 museums in Rennes:

  • Musée des Beaux Arts (Art Gallery).
  • Musée de Bretagne (Museum of Brittany) at the Champs Libres, together with le 'espace of sciences' and a planetarium.
  • Museum of Farming and Rennes Countryside at la Bintinais, south of Rennes.
  • Musée des Transmissions (Museum of Broadcasting) at Cesson-Sévigné, west of Rennes center.

The Parc du Thabor contains a compact but significant botanical garden, the Jardin botanique du Thabor. The University of Rennes 1marker, with a campus in the city's eastern section, also contains a botanical garden and collections (the Jardin botanique de l'Université de Rennes).


The Rennes agglomeration has a large student population (around 60,000). The Breton language is taught in one Diwan school, some bilingual public and catholic schools, in evening courses, and in university.

The city has two main universities; Université de Rennes 1marker ( site), which offers courses in science, technology, medicine, philosophy, law, management and economics and Université Rennes 2marker ( site), which has courses in the arts, literature, languages, communication, human and social sciences, sport.
Breton bilingual classes in a French school in the city centre.

There are a few École Supérieure in Rennes. The École Normale Supérieure de Cachanmarker has a branch on the Ker Lann campus, just outside Rennes. An École Supérieure for political science, Institut d'études politiques de Rennes ( site), is also based in Rennes.

There is also a branch of École Supérieure d'Électricitémarker - Supélecmarker in the east of the city (Cesson-Sévigné), Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Rennes and the grande école Institut National des Sciences Appliquées, which is next to the "École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes".

The computer science and applied mathematics research institute, IRISA, is located on the campus of the Université des Sciences, nearby Cesson-Sévigné. The Délégation Générale pour l'Armement (defense procurement agency) operates the CELAR research center, dedicated to electronics and computing, in Bruz, a neighboring town.

Breton language

The municipality launched a linguistic plan through Ya d'ar brezhoneg on January the 24th of 2008.

In 2007, there was 2.8% of the children attended the bilingual schools in primary education.

Football club

Rennes is home to Stade Rennais FC, who play at Route de Lorient stadiummarker (capacity of 31,000 seats) in the French Division One.


Rennes has well developed national road, rail and air links and is two hours by TGV from Parismarker. Local transport is based primarily on an extensive bus network (38 different lines) and a metro line that was inaugurated in March 2002 and cost €500 millions to build. The driverless Rennes Metro is in length and has 15 stations, including one designed by architect Norman Foster.

A second metro line is being planned, it should be operational by 2018, and the construction will begin in 2013.

See also: Gare de Rennesmarker

Rennes is also served by an airport, Rennes-St. Jacques Airportmarker, located from the center to the south-west in the commune Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Rennes is twinned with:

(These twinned towns are inscribed on the bridge over the central canal of Rennes)

Broadcasting facilities


External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address