Dinan Favorites

  • Map of Dinan - 1852
    Map of Dinan - 1852
    by grayfo
  • West Front Main Portal
    West Front Main Portal
    by hquittner
  • Side Bay West Front
    Side Bay West Front
    by hquittner

Best Rated Favorites in Dinan

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    The Old Town

    by sue_stone Written Jul 24, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    beautiful half-timbered houses
    4 more images

    Favorite thing: Dinan's old town is the main reason to visit. Its old cobbled streets are so picturesque and are home to some magnificent 15th century half-timbered houses, which lean this way and that, looking like they may collapse if you lean on them.

    In the heart of the old town you have place des Merciers and place des Cordeliers. These small, pretty squares are lined with shops and restaurants. Surrounding them are several small streets with some interesting shops and the odd wine bar.

    You can check out the Tour de l'Horloge, which is a 15th century clock tower crammed in amongst the timber buildings. You can climb up to its small balcony for views of the old town.

    Fondest memory: Just take a wander around the streets, browsing in shops, photographing half-timber buildings and perhaps enjoying an ice cream.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    Romanesque Modillions & More Places to Carve Stone

    by hquittner Written Oct 14, 2007
    West Front Main Portal
    4 more images

    Favorite thing: The esthetics of the Romanesque period like most others illustrates the "horror vacua" tendency. Nothing should be left plain, especially to hide structural necessities. So the end brackets that support roof cornices are decorated with stone carvings - modillions. All columns shound have capitals with figuration, statues should be painted, walls should have murals, etc. The idea that plain or smooth is beautiful is a 19 & 20C esthetic for the most part. The cost of such "filling-in" often became prohibitive and so was often delayed or if the style already in place became objectional, obliterated by new designs and whitewash. So in St.-Sauveur there remain numerous unobtrusive carvings that you can relish. The best are on the outside of the church. Look carefully and use binoculars if you have them. First is the West Front, look at every column and pilaster. The South side is also Romanesque and they are there too under the cornice at the roof-line.

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    The Life & Death of Bertrand du Guesclin

    by hquittner Written Oct 14, 2007
    Statue of du Guesclin in His Place
    3 more images

    Favorite thing: Bertrand du Guesclin was 5th of 10 children (born 1320) in a minor nobility family living near Dinan. He was essentially self-trained and emerged at 17 as a leading expert in jousting and then successful in battle becoming a knight in 1354. His tactical military prowess also quickly became evident and he garnered various noble titles (mostly in battles against the English in the 100 Years War). He became Constable of France and was particularly successful in employing guerilla tactics to wear the English down. He died in the field of dysentery in 1380, asking to be buired in Dinan. The embalming was inadequate and enroute his flesh was boiled and removed and buried at Monferrand (in a church destroyed in 1793). His skeleton continued on but was stopped at Le Mans and transferred by order of the King to St. Denis for burial there. Only his heart made it to Dinan where it was kept by the Jacobins who eventually transferred it to the Cenotaph in St.-Sauveur. His statue is in his Place. (Please forgive my backlight and front light difficulties)

    Fondest memory: Its preservation of tradition

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Dinan - a wonderful place

    by Dinanfan Written Nov 30, 2007

    Favorite thing: Dinan is simply a step back in time. With 14th century half timbered homes and castle ramparts nothing comes close to the authenticity of the town. With numerous restaurants and bars Dinan is a great place to visit any time of the year. If possible you should try to stay up in the old medieval part of town. Although the port and the very popular Jerzual are great places to visit, the majority of restaurants and activities happen in the old town. Also, the steepness of the Jerzual leading down to the port make this a great place to spend a few hours shopping but you wouln't want to be walking up and down it everyday (unless you are very fit).

    Fondest memory: Dinan is a place you can visit any time of year and my fondest memories is the abundance of restaurants and the quaint shops.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • grayfo's Profile Photo

    History of Dinan

    by grayfo Written Jun 6, 2014
    Map of Dinan - 1852

    Favorite thing: The first inhabitants of Dinan arrived during the 9th century when monks settled at the foot of a hill on the banks of the river Rance. Nominoë, who was the first Breton king, granted the monks land and privileges in return for the promise to build a monastery. By the 12th century the town was an important centre for trade and had been enclosed by stone walls. Shopkeepers were attracted by this flourishing town which became a Ducal town in 1283 although this increased development was halted for 23 years by the War of Succession.
    In 1357, Dinan was besieged but the town and its ramparts held firm, in 1364 the town was again besieged, this time by Jean IV during one long month and finally succeeded in entering the town. During the 16th Century, Dinan disowned the Duke of Mercoeur and gave allegiance to Henry IV.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Dinan

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

110 travelers online now

Comments

Dinan Favorites

Reviews and photos of Dinan favorites posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Dinan sightseeing.

View all Dinan hotels