Rennes, France

Opening any guide book of France, you won’t find much information on Rennes. This is because the capital city of Brittany suffered a great deal during World War II and much of it had to be rebuilt. A fire in 1720 also destroyed most of its timbered houses, sparing a few.

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We arrived in Rennes in wind and rain. But as unpredictable as Brittany’s weather can be…the sun came out shortly thereafter and we set out for one of the regions’s specialty food – Galette bretonne. The Brittany galette is like a crêpe. But instead of using wheat flour, it is made of buckwheat, and comes with a savory filling.

After savoring delicious galettes at a cozy welcoming little crêperies called La Ville d’Ys, we resumed our walk, checking out interesting buildings here and there – such as, this one bearing the city’s coat of arms.

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and noticing that the street signs are in both French and Breton.

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One of the most popular attractions in Rennes is Parc du Thabor. Unfortunately it was closed on the day of our visit due to strong wind.

Next to the park stood the eleventh century Benedictine abbey of Saint-Melaine. Here, we had the fast-moving clouds playing tricks with our eyes making the bell tower falling upon us.

On our way back towards the Vilaine river, we passed Palais Saint-Georges – another Benedictine Abbey

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whose garden was also closed.

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Fortunately the Museum of Fine Arts was open and free the first Sunday of the month 🙂

It had a small collection of paintings from Pablo Picasso, Georges De la Tour, Gustave Caillebotte and Peter Paul Rubens. But this sculpture piece named Beethoven blew my mind!

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For dinner, we went to Le Bistro Volney and ordered the set menu with one appetizer and one main dish. My friend had the tuna tataki with Romesco sauce and casserole of the day which turned out to be an hearty lamb shank . I had the steamed duck ravioli in Thai broth with soba noodles and catch of the day.

All the dishes hit the spot, I especially loved the duck ravioli. It was light and infused with herbs. We could not believe how busy the restaurant was on a Sunday evening. Our waiter was literally running up and down the stairs. But then again, in France not many restaurants are open on Sundays.

This concludes our brief visit to Rennes. Overall we found the city charming and manageable – a great transportation hub and connecting point for those visiting the Brittany region.

La Ville d’Ys
Address: 5 Rue Saint-Georges, 35000 Rennes, France
Phone: +33 2 99 36 70 28

Le Bistro Volney
Address: 38 Rue Saint-Georges, 35000 Rennes, France
Phone: +33 2 99 27 04 46
Webpage: http://www.lebistrovolney.com/

Le Fournil Vasselot (for best pastry in the city)
Address: 13 Rue Vasselot, 35000 Rennes, France
Phone: +33 2 99 79 02 07

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9 thoughts on “Rennes, France

  1. I’ve never been to Rennes – those half-timbered buildings look gorgeous. Interesting that the street signs are in French and Breton; nice to see a regional language “in use” as such! I remember when the park here in Lyon was closed due to high winds back in November – there were no signs explaining why, and my friend just said “oh, it’s because it’s too windy” and I couldn’t believe it, as it just wouldn’t happen in the UK!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rosie, we had the same thoughts. In this case, there were signs but on the gate, but I’ve also never heard of a park being closed due to mother nature 🙂 Besides the wind had already died down by the time we visited, so it doesn’t really explain.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think what makes it seem so odd is the fact that parks are natural places… and wind is natural! A baffling concept though, even if the French think it’s perfectly normal.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have visited many places in France, but not familiar with Rennes. Thank you so much for the fabulous tour. Enjoyed the museum site here, and the food looks so delicious! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was in Rennes around this time last year, and I agree with you that the galettes are out of this world! They’re simple, but hearty; I had a galette aux saucisses and I still dream about it to this day! I mainly stayed in the very city center, checking out the Hôtel de Ville and Opéra in the same square and a few of the remaining timbered houses. From your photos, though, I’d love to return and see more of the city. Glad you enjoyed it, especially with luckily-good weather!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rebecca. I’d love to return to Rennes too. I haven’t been to those places you mentioned so that will be something for next time. I just looked up your post on galette saucisses. It sounded really delicious. I am adding it to my list of food to try. More reasons going back there 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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