Travel Guide - Holidays & Tourism in the Ille-et-Vilaine

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Rennes - Tourism in the Ille-et-Vilaine

Capital of the Brittany region and City of Art and History, Rennes offers visitors a wealth of fantastic architecture in its old town, from medieval and Renaissance houses to majestic classical buildings. The historic centre is lovely to wander around with its typical paved streets, lively squares lined with café terraces, its crêperies and shops. Not far from the 15th-century Portes Mordelaises gate, formerly the city's main entrance (and through which the Dukes of Brittany passed when Rennes was their seat), is Saint-Pierre cathedral, a richly-decorated 19th-century building. There are also many must-see squares, including the Place du Champ-Jacquet with its particularly picturesque old timber-framed houses, the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, Place du Parlement de Bretagne, Place de la République with its old trade palace and Place des Lices with its covered market. The Parlement de Bretagne palace, meticulously restored after a fire in 1994, and the Town Hall are open to the public.

One can then head towards the Thabor garden, a wonderful 10-hectare park featuring among others a botanical garden, a rose garden and a French-style formal garden.

The Fine art museum is home to paintings from the 14th to the 20th century, and in particular the famous work by Georges La Tour, The Newborn.

The Brittany museum is dedicated to the history of Brittany and houses archaeological collections, currencies collections, medals and photos, as well as objects, furniture and utensils from Breton homes.

The Pays de Renne heritage museum, situated south of the city, recounts five centuries of history of the Bintinais farm through an exhibition of objects and room reconstructions.

An event not to be missed: the big marché aux Lices market, which takes place every Saturday morning in the Lices square.

At the beginning of July, the Tombées de la Nuit (Nightfalls) festival is an important event when actors, musicians, jugglers and acrobats perform in the city streets.

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Parliament (© City of Rennes - Didier Gouray)Parliament (© City of Rennes - Didier Gouray)
Decks place Sainte-Anne (© City of Rennes - Didier Gouray)Decks place Sainte-Anne (© City of Rennes - Didier Gouray)
Concourse (© Jose Mouret)Concourse (© Jose Mouret)
The Night of Champs Libres (© Alain Amet - British Museum)The Night of Champs Libres (© Alain Amet - British Museum)
Market of the Strings (© City of Rennes - Didier Gouray)Market of the Strings (© City of Rennes - Didier Gouray)
Rennes, Le Thabor (© City of Rennes - Didier Gouray)Rennes, Le Thabor (© City of Rennes - Didier Gouray)


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