Rennes is a city in the east of Brittany in northwestern France. Rennes is the capital of the region of Brittany, as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department. Rennes is classified as a city of art and history.The Parlement de Bretagne (Parlement of Brittany, Breton: 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 historical center.Colourful traditional timber framed 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 15th century ramparts east of the Gallo-Roman fortifications, in place Rallier-du-Baty.
    • Rennes Cathedral (cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Rennes)
  • The former St. Yves chapel, now the tourism office and a museum about historical 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-Melaine to Place Saint-Melaine
    • Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melaine basilica,
      • tower and transept from the 11th century Benedictine abbey of Saint-Melaine
      • 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 17th 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 Kêr)
    • City Hall
    • Opera
  • Place du Vau-Saint-Germain
    • Saint-Germain Church
    • Saint-Germain footbridge, 20th century wood and metal construction to link the plaza with Émile Zola Quay, across the Vilaine River.
  • Place du Champ-Jacquet
    • statue of Leperdit ripping up a conscription list.
  • Rue du Chapitre
    • Hôtel de Blossac

South of the Vilaine

The Fine Arts Museum is situated on Quai Émile Zola (Émile Zola Quay), by the Vilaine River.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 locks 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).

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