Capital of Brittany
Rennes features remnants of typical timbered medieval architecture as well as two town centers, Place de l’Hôtel de Ville and Place du Parlement. One remains from the 15th century, and the other was built in stone after a massive fire swept through the city in the early 18th century.
This capital of the region of Brittany is more a college town than most French cities, gaining 80, 000 students a year when the school year commences, and as such it's a little more of a meat and beer town than is the French cliche.
There is a cobblestone area not far from the medieval cathedral, as well as a yearly Festival Gourmande in September, in which local chefs create special menus and compete for honors.
Every Saturday Rennes hosts the second biggest market in all of France, with 300 purveyors arrayed at the historic Place des Lices. You'll find Coucou de Rennes chickens, Petit Gris melons and Reinette apples, cider, shellfish and of course caramel candies and cookies made from famous Brittany salted butter.
One of France's most rugged and friendly regions, Brittany is a fascinating mix of spectacular coastline, medieval towns, magical islands and inland woods. A Celtic duchy for more than one thousand years before its annexation to France in 1532, it is a land rich in culture, tradition and history. When you journey through Brittany, you'll discover a people whose language, customs and dress remain a vivid homage to their past. (See map)
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