The old town of Dinan is really lovely. I think what makes it more so, is the River Rance.
Water, lots of Boats, Old Medieval homes, shops, cafes, this is a lovely area to spend some time. There are boat tours available, they leave from Porte de Dinan quayside and take 2¾ hours.............we didn't do one, not enough time.
As we were leaving Dinan, heading up a hill in our car, I noticed the beautiful views of the "old town" and had to stop for photo's.
I think it was the road to Lanvallay.
Dinan is a medieval town, so it is no wonder that it has a Chateau. The Dinan Chateau, also known as the Tower of Duchesse Anne, was built in the 14th Century, between 1382-1387.
Dinan, city and castle, were the property of the family of Dinan until XIII century
In the chapel on the ground floor of the castle keep, there is a collection of holy objects, furniture, and gold and silver ware. Located in the basement ( once the castle kitchen)there is a collection of prehistoric tools. A series of illustrated information boards tell the story of the castle buildings and life in the Middle Ages. These are all in the Chateau museum.
I loved the stunning views across the walled city of Dinan from the chateau terrace!
IT IS OPEN ALL DAYS
Mainly from 10am - 6pm.
In the winter months, please check with the Tourist Office.
ADMISSION IS 4.20 euros
Dinan is medieval walled city and its walls or ramparts are some of the best preserved in France.
The ramparts extend for almost 2 miles around the compact old town, including 14 watch-towers and 4 decorative gateways. You can take a walk around much of the walls, which offer fabulous views of the surrounding countryside.
The tourist office has a brochure (given to us by our hotel) which outlines a walking tour of the ramparts, taking approximately two hours. I do love a good rampart, but unfortunately we did not have time this trip to have more than a brief wander along part of the wall.
July and August
Monday to Saturday: 9.00 am to 7.00 pm
Sunday: 10.00 am to 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm to 6.00 pm
September 1 to June 30
Monday to Saturday: 9.00 am to 12.30 pm and 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm
Dinan is Brittany's one of the most beautiful all-round medieval town. You can see houses and buildings built by heavy stones. They can stand against the strong wind of Brittany. Its relatively small town and the architect is typically Brittany.
One really enjoys walking around and visiting medieval streets.
The river-side is a "must to see" area. Its beautiful and calm area with medieval houses are built along the river. Its used also as a small harbor. There are nice cafes and restaurants. People were enjoying sun and conversation. The life goes slowly here.
This attractive garden behind the Basilique Ste-Sauveur and enclosed by the ramparts is a pleasant place for a stroll, specially if you have young children in need of a run-a-bout with you. From the walls of the ramparts there are good views of the river - telescopes are provided for a beter view for a Euro coin or thereabouts.
Dinan attracts tourists - why wouldn't it with such a wealth of preserved buildings, the river and all its history. - there are tourist shops - lots of postcards and souvenirs alongside butchers and bakers - but it never strikes me as "tacky tourism".
This is still a real working little town with a life of its own - shared with lots of visitors.
Respect the little houses you walk past - real people live there!
When you have explored the old town take a walk down Rue du Jerzual and through la Porte du Jerzual and the change in light and scenery will be quite dramatic as your eyes light upon the busy river scene - the small boats alongside, and in the little marina, riverside creperiies, bars and cafes and a view towards the bridges - the viaduct and old bridge and La Tour Ste-Catherine.
We first dsiscovered this place on a sunny but cooleApril day and always make a point of returning. Itis alovely place to warche the world go by.
This is an impressive looking church with a lovely Romanesque Porch. The Guide book description is intriguing and describes an extraordinarily asymmetrical interior with a Romanesque south side , with flamboyant Gothic in the north side , transept and chancel.
We have often used the small car park in the little square front of the church at lunchtime - when it has been closed.
On one occasion seeing the door wide open my grandson, then aged about 6 ran ahead to investigate but quickly came out - to tell us that there was "one of those boxes for dead people with lots of men near it". On another occasion a wedding was about to begin.
Behind the Church is the Jardin Anglais with spendid oak trees and border and good views from the ramparts over the river.
In the square there is an ordinary French cafe where we have ejoyed good salads at lunchtime.
When you walk around the city, you will admire the late medieval houses. From the port take the Rue du Petit Port which is a steep and cobbled streets full of timbered houses where lots of artists work.
Behind the apse of the Church of St.-Sauveur is a garden called the English Garden (which may have once been the church cemetery). In the garden is an access to the Ramparts with excellent views down into the Rance Valley and back into the Garden.(There are other Tips on this).
AS predicted by the West Front, the interor is an architectural mixture. The South wall of the nave is Romanesque with a blind arcade below and half of the clerestory bays occluded of windows. There are lots of colonnettes all with simply carved capitals. The North side has an aisle. It , the chapels, chancel and transepts are 15-16C Flamboyant Gothic. An elaborate altar, baldachin and crucifix are 18C additions. Some interesting contents are a 12C font, some 15C and modern glass of qualty and importantly a cenotaph of the great local hero Bertrand du Guesclin (shown in a General Tip on him). The carving is worth lingering over, both for its quantity and its rarity (again a separate General Tip).
The Basilica is an interesting example of the mixture of Romansque and Gothic styles. The lower West Front is early 12C and above the central door is a Flamboyant Gothic 15C gable. A chapel at the right is also 15C. (The inside is also a stdy in contrasts-another Tip). The central door is a set of recessed arches and the lateral bays are sealed and have statuary niches but with colonettes like the center. All of the colonettes have simple figured carved capitals. The voussoirs of the central arches and winged lions and grotesque faces above the arches are finer. The statues are worn and stand on lions. There is a tympanum of a Welcoming Christ with Censing Angels (undoubtedly retouched). There are few examples like this in this part of France.
From the old bridge we saw the Rance river and the once active port now only a place for excursion boats and yachts and the like but it is certainly nicely situated (if you do not mind the climb to the center of town). Some take excursions down the river and bus back (not us).