This medieval Town of Art and History, surrounded by tall ramparts that run for three kilometres, dates back to the Celtic era, but the monks settled on the banks of the Rance in the 9th century. The town developed in the 11th century around a priory. Having become a ducal town in the late 13th century, Dinan benefited from this new status as it developed.
In Dinan, time seems to have stood still. The picturesque cobbled streets, whose restaurants and pancake houses sometimes feature medieval decorations, invite long walks. There are pretty shops and emblematic monuments to see.
The small harbour is the starting point for boat excursions on the Rance.Various hikes and water sports activities are available on the banks of the river. There is also the House of the Rance, a museum about the valley that offers many activities including walks, bike rides and boat trips.
After a walk around the harbour, where trade developed in the Middle Ages, head to the picturesque cobbled street of Le Jerzual, an old, steep path that connects the harbour with the medieval town. This charming street lined with half-timbered houses and many art and craft shops used to be the street where weavers and tanners lived. Nowadays they have been replaced by wood-gilders and glass-blowers.
Good to know: Dinan has around 115 half-timbered houses, a legacy of its medieval past!
Built in the 14th century, Dinan Castle is now a museum with art and history collections. It consists of three parts: the Guichet Gate, the keep and the Coëtquen Tower.
The unusual 12th-century Basilica of St. Saviour was never completed. This religious monument combines Byzantine, Persian and Romanesque influences, and contains the heart of Bertrand Du Guesclin.
For a lovely view of the town and the Rance, head to the Clock Tower: standing 46 metres tall, this 15th-century edifice is open from April to September and is the highest point in the town.
There's no Celtic music without a harp… and Dinan is also the place where you can visit the House of the Harp - Ti an Delenn. Children can even attend workshops to discover the instrument.
At the Yvonne Jean-Haffen Museum, based in the house of the famous artist who donated it to the town, there are nearly 5,000 drawings, paintings and pottery on display for visitors to learn about her work.
The Rail Museum will appeal to young ones and anyone who has fond memories of their old electric train set…