Thabor is an interesting park, manicured but quirky. As you enter you see two football fields next to a tree-lined pathway but once you have figured out how to navigate you discover its grandeur. It is more than a pretty park, it has a rose garden that is labelled with official names such as "exciting" or "Princess Diana." You may even find your name. There is a huge bird cage with exotic birds, including Australian ones, which was very exciting for me being millions of miles away from home. The park is very relaxed in the summer and there are designated grassy areas where you can sit or lay on but beware not to step on protected grass areas which are clearly marked, as the park inspector will tell you off! In winter, the park is not as vibrant but if you are in Rennes in winter, you should try to go anyway especially when the rose bush named "exciting" is anything but!
- National/State Park
- Travel with Pets
Porte Mordelaise is what remains of the 15th-century walls. Once it was the main access to the town and the Duches of Bretagne passed across it to go to the cathedral in order to be crowned. Today, it is not important at all, but it has undoubtedly kept its charm.
Cathédrale de Saint-Pierre
The cathedral was rebuilt from 1787 to 1844 where the main temples had been erected from the 6th century. The inside has to be very beautiful, with a lot of paintings and decorations, but I haven't got any pictures of it. Maybe we didn't visit the inside, I don't remember. Anyway, enjoy this picture of the outside.
Rue du Chapitre, rue de la Psallette, rue du Sauveur and other streets near the cathedral form what remains of ancient Rennes. They are bordered with buildings from the 15th to the 18th centuries, most of which are half-timbered houses, so typical of France. Luckily these streets are close to traffic, so the buildings are protected. This is a very pleasant part of the city.
Rue Saint-Yves is another ancient street of Rennes. There lies the Chapelle Saint-Yves, an old chapel that today houses the tourist office and an exhibition about the city. You should visit it if you have time, I think the entry is free.
- Museum Visits
Palais du Parlement de Bretagne
These pictures show the Palais du Parlement de Bretagne, ("Palace of the Breton Parliament") that houses today the Palais de Justice.
This building was built between 1618 and 1655 on Salomon de Brosse's projects. It has had a troubled history: after it survived to the huge fire that destroyed most parts of the town in 1720, another fire destroyed almost completely in 1994. Afterwards, it was rebuilt and some of its beautiful decorations and sculptures have been recovered.
I didn't visit the palace inside because I had little time. I don't know if it is possible to visit it, either.
- Castles and Palaces
Hôtel de Ville
Here are some more pictures of the Rennes city hall with details of the beautiful Tour de l'Horloge. While I am watching these photos again, I realize that this palace has absolutely nothing to share with Breton architecture, which proves that Rennes is a Breton city with a lot of French influence.
- Castles and Palaces
Place de la République
Place de la République lies to the South of Place de la Mairie; pedestrian Rue d'Orléans links up the two squares.
When you arrive in Place de la République, you will certainly see the Palais du Commerce built by Jean-Baptiste Martenot between 1886 and 1929. Nowadays it houses the General Post Office, but it is quite fun to learn that it was conceived in order to hide the lower town, which was not so beautiful as the city centre.
- Castles and Palaces
Place de la Mairie
Place de la Mairie is the historic centre of Rennes. The main building of the square is the Hôtel de Ville ("city hall"), built on Jacques Gabriel's plan between 1734 and 1743. The Tour de l'Horloge ("Clock tower") stands in the middle of the facade.
The Théâtre de l'Opéra stands opposite the city hall. It was built in Neoclassic style in 1832-36.
- Theater Travel
- Castles and Palaces
Parlement de Bretagne
Is perhaps the most famous Building in Rennes. After a massive fire in 1994 it was almost completely destroyed yet has recently been restored and looks as good as ever.
This palace is the place where parliment meets and is said to be "the guardian of Brittany’s heritage".
the Cathedrale St-Pierre, completed in 1844 is one of the main religious monuments in the city. It is an imposing structure where i would go to on occasions to have some quiet time or a pray.
I do remeber having some really good conversations here and often with the most supprising people. Homeless people occasionally wander in (but ususally stay on the steps with their dogs)and i recall always wanting to have a yarn with them.
Les Tombees de la nuit
Each year in Early July the city of Rennes has a festival called Les tombées de la nuit .
The festival is massive and almost all of Rennes seems to come out and take part in the light and sound extraveganza. You can catch a Concert in Breton or experience a lazer and light shown in the main squares, theres many things to do.
I oftn enjoyed these festivals when i was in town and for at least a for a few days your really fealt a communal spirit in the town.
If your in Rennes for the festival you will no doubt get caught up in the shows.
Les Trans Musicales de Rennes
Each year around December Rennes ahs a 3 day Music festival. This is definately the highlight of the year for most.
The festival is quite world famous and for a small town the line ups are seriously amazing. Last year 2004 they had Ben Harper, manu Chao, Daft Punk and many others.
Some of the biggest artists have played here includiong U2, David Bowie, ,Nirvana and many many others.
If you get here around december, you must come to this event, iot has been going for some 26 years.
Le Parc Du Thabor
Is one of the most beautiful parks in all of France. 10 hectares of Beautiful gardens in the heart of the town.
I used to like to wake up early and go for a stroll or simply sit down on one of the park benches and have a little think.
Rennes is also quite famous for its street markets, usually coming out about the time of july.
Some of the streets are closed off and people come out and sell their goods.
Fir a small fee the residents of Rennes can sell their old odds and ends or arts and crafts they have made.
Its is also a good place to get bragains on old records and cd's etc.
the two main street markets are the braderie centre ville, and the braderie st therese.
If your lucky there will also be some live music on the streets or people playing bongoes and the likes. All in all its a very festive experience, i used to love it.
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