City Guide to Rennes
City guide: Welcome to the medieval, royal, festive, creative, rural, gourmet, and cultural Rennes.
Sophie de Lopez
14 July 2010
in Destination Guides
- Country: France
- Region: Bretagne
- Department: Ille-etVilaine
- Location: city in the east of Brittany in north-western France
- Why visit Rennes?
- Fine food and a warm welcome.
The creativity of its chefs makes Rennes a gourmet destination not to be missed. With nearly 400 restaurants, the Metropolitan District of Rennes offers a mouth-watering choice of traditional and innovative cuisines, inspired by the Festival Gourmand (see below). Gastronomic or traditional restaurants, bistros, crêperies... variety and quality are everywhere, with star-rated chefs* drawing young talent in their wake.
It is not unusual to bump into these chefs early in the morning at the Lices market, the gastronomic mecca of Rennes and the second largest food market in France. In the exceptional decor of the square of the same name, every Saturday more than 300 producers from all over the region display their wares on their colourful stalls – flowers, fruit and vegetables, seafood, meat, cheeses and bread... Before leaving the market, make sure you bow to local tradition and enjoy a galette-saucisse (sausage wrapped in a buckwheat pancake).
The Lices market is a “must-see” of local life, and is a colourful and truly sociable meeting-place.
- The Parlement of Brittany
From a heritage and historical point of view, the Parlement of Brittany building is one of Rennes and Brittany's finest tourist attractions. It is both a symbol and a backdrop for the episodes that have marked Brittany’s history, and is also, paradoxically, a remarkable testament to the grand royal and Parisian decor of the 17th century.
- A mediaeval city of painted timber-framed houses
The surrounding forests account for the prominence and quality of timber-framed housing in Rennes. Restored and renovated, these houses demonstrate the development of an expertise that spans three centuries, from the 15th to the 17th, and includes the Gothic tradition and the first and second Renaissance.
Much to the delight of its visitors, Rennes retains the highest number or timber-framed houses in Brittany, which add to the charm of the mediaeval streets and squares, and make it such a pleasure to take in the city in a stroll or stop at a pavement café, surrounded by these buildings from a bygone age that have steadfastly weathered the passing of time.
- The gardens of Rennes
“My walks in the Thabor were a delight…. The red trousers of the conscripts on arms drill practice produced a marvellous effect at sunset; it was like stepping into a Canaletto painting…” Stendhal. Memoirs of a tourist, 1838.
The Thabor gardens is a magnificent landscaped park stretching over an area of 10 hectares in the centre of the city. A rose garden, botanical gardens, English gardens, French gardens… The Thabor is able to offer the walker all these difference faces, which co-exist in the harmony created by Bühler and interspersed with creative touches by the architect Martenot, who designed the aviary and the bandstand.
Bühler also designed the Oberthur gardens. It stretches over 3 hectares and offers a superb setting for two stately houses built for this wealthy Rennes industrialist.
These two historic and emblematic parks are a fundamental part of the local heritage, between them making up 13 of the 820 hectares of public green space in the city of Rennes.
- Les Champs Libres
Featuring the Museum of Brittany, the Espace des Sciences with the planetarium, the city library and temporary exhibition rooms, the Champs Libres is a major centre for culture in Rennes and its Metropolitan district.
Designed by world-famous architect Christian de Portzamparc, the building is located in the centre of Rennes on the Place aux Cultures, near the railway station.
This complex is constructed of purple shale, concrete and glass, and covers an area of over 24,000 sq.m, combining the Museum of Brittany, the Science Museum with its planetarium, and the Library in one spectacular setting.
- The museums of Rennes
Fine Arts Museum
Museum of Brittany
Ecomusée du pays de Rennes
Ecomusée du pays de Rennes
La Criée - contemporary art centre
- A festive city
With its student population of 60,000, Rennes is a young and lively city. It boasts numerous events venues (café-theatres, literary cafés, cabarets, etc.) and performance halls with a diversity of programmes. There are festivals and events of all genres throughout the year: Les Transmusicales (contemporary music), Tombées de la Nuit (street performances), Travelling (film festival), Mythos (storytelling festival), Mettre en Scène (dance and theatre festival)… to name but a few, side by side with programmes for the Opera, the Orchestre de Bretagne or the Théâtre National de Bretagne, which has been classified by the Ministry for Culture as a European Centre for drama and dance.
Further information: http://www.tourisme-rennes.com/
Find hotels in Rennes
Find cheap flights to Rennes
Powered by WhichBudget.com Flight Search
Be the first to leave a comment
Add Your Comment