Rennes

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Rennes
Resnn
City hall of Rennes
City hall of Rennes
Flag of Rennes
Flag
Coat of arms of Rennes
Coat of arms
Motto: Vivre en intelligence (French: "Live in harmony")
Rennes is located in France
Rennes
Rennes
Coordinates: 48°06′53″N 1°40′46″W / 48.1147°N 1.6794°W / 48.1147; -1.6794Coordinates: 48°06′53″N 1°40′46″W / 48.1147°N 1.6794°W / 48.1147; -1.6794
Country France
Region Brittany
Department Ille-et-Vilaine
Arrondissement Rennes
Intercommunality Rennes Métropole
Government
 • Mayor (2014-2020) Nathalie Appéré (PS)
Area
 • Land1 50.39 km2 (19.46 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Population2 206,604
 • Population2 density 4,100/km2 (11,000/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 35238 / 35000, 35200, 35700
Elevation 20–74 m (66–243 ft)
(avg. 30 m or 98 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Rennes ([ʁɛn] ( ) French: Rennes, Gallo: Resnn, Breton: Roazhon, Latin: Condate, Civitas Redonum) is a city in the east of Brittany in northwestern France. Rennes is the capital of the region of Brittany, as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department.

History[edit]

Rennes is the administrative capital of the French department Ille-et-Vilaine. Before the French revolution, prior to the integration of the Duchy of Brittany into the Kingdom of France, Rennes was the capital of the duchy, with the other historical capitals of Brittany's Ducal period being Nantes and Vannes. It has a long history due to its location at the confluence of two rivers and its proximity to the bordering regions from which arose various challenges to the borders of Brittany.

The eastern Armorican people of Redones founded Condate —an ancient Celtic word meaning confluent— at the confluence of the Ille and Vilaine rivers and made it the capital of a territory that extended to the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel. The name of the city of Redon also reflects that of the Redones. Early in the 1st century BCE, they adopted the Greek and Roman practice of issuing coinage,[1] adapting the widely imitated gold staters of Philip II of Macedon, in the characteristic Celtic coin metal alloy called billion. Without inscriptions, as the Celtic practice was, the Redones coinage features a charioteer whose pony has a human head. Large hoards of their coins were unearthed in the "treasure of Amanlis" found in June 1835 and that of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande, discovered in February 1941. The museum at Rennes contains a large representative collection.

They joined the Gaulish coalition against Rome in 57 BC, which was suppressed by Crassus. The following year, Roman emissaries were held hostage by the Redones, which obliged Julius Caesar to intervene in Armorica and suppress the rebels, and the following year to cross the Channel to discourage further support of the Redones by the Britons. In 52 the Redones responded to the call of Vercingetorix to furnish a large contingent of warriors.[2]

Roman era[edit]

In the Roman era, Condate became Condate Riedonum, capital of Civitas Riedonum.

The oldest known Rennais is Titus Flavius Postuminus, known to us from his steles found in Rennes in 1969. As indicated by his name, he would have been born under the Flavian dynasty, under the reign of Titus, i.e. between 79 and 81 AD. One of the steles tells us, in Latin, that he took charge over all the public affairs in the Civitas Riedonum. He was twice duumvir and flamen for life for Mars Mullo.

During the Roman era, the strategic position of the town contributed to its importance. To the west the principal Roman route, via Osismii, stretched from Condate to Vorgium (modern Carhaix).

In the year 275, the threat of barbarians led to the erection of a robust brick wall around Rennes. Rennes became known as the "red town".

Threatened by the danger of peasant marauders called bagaudae at the end of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, the Armorican peninsula, including Brittany and therefore Rennes, constituted the last of the strongholds of the western Roman Empire. The invincible Armorican Romans held their ground against Clovis I, who occupied most of Alamans, then the Visigoths. Melaine, the bishop of Rennes, played an important role in the peace treaty between the Franks and the Armoricans in the year 497. He famously declared "Il faut faire la paix entre chrétiens" ("Peace must be made between Christians").

Middle Ages[edit]

Rennes (Rednes), depicted in scene 18 of the Bayeux Tapestry

Starting in the 5th century, Bretons occupied the western part of the Armorican peninsula, which started to be called Little Britain, and then Brittany, while the Franks took the rest of Armorica. To contain the expansion and avoid Breton incursions, the Carolingians instituted a Breton March or frontier province, composed of the counties of Rennes, Nantes, and Vannes. These marches were entirely absorbed by the Breton Kingdom in the 9th century, and Rennes became fully Breton in 851. Rennes would later become the capital of the duchy of Brittany.

During the Breton War of Succession, in 1356 and 1357, the city was laid siege to by Henry of Grosmont, the Duke of Lancaster, cousin of the English king, but Bertrand du Guesclin slipped into the city and took over the resistance, which would ultimately be victorious. After nearly a year, Lancaster abandoned the English siege in 1357.

In 1491, the French army of Charles VIII, led by General Louis II de la Trémoille, unsuccessfully attacked Rennes. Brittany having already capitulated elsewhere, Rennes alone still resisted. The defenders of Rennes were determined to resist to the death, but the Duchess Anne of Brittany chose instead to negotiate. The result treaty of Rennes of November 15, 1491 concluded her marriage to Charles VIII and brought Brittany into the French kingdom. Anne jealously guarded Brittany's autonomy and the treaty promised that justice would continue to be dispensed according to practices, usages and customs maintained and observed heretofore. Furthermore, he promised the continuation of the Parlement of Brittany which met in February–April 1493, September 1494 and September 1495.[3]

In 1720, a big fire destroyed all timber framing houses the northern part of the city. The rebuilding was made of stone, on a grid plan.

Modern era[edit]

In 1857, the Rennes train station was built, which gradually led to the southward sprawl of the town. In 1899, Alfred Dreyfus' second trial in Rennes caused a national commotion.

During World War II, Rennes suffered heavy damage from just three German aircraft which hit an ammunition train parked alongside French and English troop trains and near a refugee train on the yard: 1,000 died. The next day, 18 June 1940, German troops entered the city. Later, Rennes endured heavy bombings by the US and Royal Air Forces in March and May 1943, and again in June 1944, causing hundreds of deaths. Rennes contained a German transit POW camp and a POW hospital which contained many of the paratroopers captured on D-Day. Patton's army freed the capital of Brittany on 4 August, as retreating German troops blew up the bridges behind them, adding further damage. About 50,000 German prisoners were kept in four camps, in a city of only about 100,000 inhabitants at the time.

From 1954 onward, the city developed extensive building plans to accommodate upwards of 220,000 inhabitants,[4] helping it become the second fastest-growing city in France, after Toulouse (1999 census).

Administration[edit]

Rennes is divided into 11 cantons:

Since the 2008 cantonal elections, all eleven cantons are held by Socialists or their allies. The right held Rennes-Nord-Ouest until 2008.

Rennes is divided into 12 quarters:

  1. Le Centre
  2. Thabor/Saint Hélier
  3. Bourg l'Évêque-Moulin du Comte
  4. Saint-Martin
  5. Maurepas-Patton-Bellangerais
  6. Jeanne d'Arc-Longs-Champs-Beaulieu
  7. Francisco Ferrer-Landry-Poterie
  8. Sud Gare
  9. Cleunay-Arsenal-Redon
  10. Villejean-Beauregard
  11. Le Blosne
  12. Bréquigny


Mayors[edit]

The current mayor of Rennes is Nathalie Appéré. A member of the Socialist Party, she replaced retiring Socialist incumbent Daniel Delaveau, in office from 2008 to 2014.

  • Edmond Hervé (b. 1942), Socialist mayor from 1977 to 2008;
  • Henri Fréville (1905–1987), mayor MRP from 1953 to 1977;
  • Eugène Quessot (1882–1949), interim mayor from 15 July 1947 until 26 October 1947;
  • Yves Milon (1897–1987), mayor RPF from 1944 to 1953.

Among previous well-known mayors are:

  • Jean Janvier (1859–1923), from 1908 to 1923;
  • Edgar Le Bastard (1836–1891), from 1880 to 1891;
  • Toussaint-François Rallier du Baty (1665–1734) from 1695 to 1734.

The mairie (City hall) is right in the centre of Rennes.

National representation[edit]

The French Prison Service operates the Centre pénitentiaire de Rennes, the largest women's prison in France.[5]

Geography[edit]

The ancient centre of the town is built on a hill, with the north side being more elevated than the south side. It is at the confluence of two rivers: the Ille and the Vilaine.

Climate[edit]

Rennes has a fresh Oceanic climate with rainfall all year round and cool temperatures.

Winters and autumns are generally very rainy and windy with cold temperatures and common fogs. Springs and summers are rather sunny with cool to mild temperatures.

Climate data for Rennes, Brittany
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.7
(47.7)
9.6
(49.3)
12.7
(54.9)
15.2
(59.4)
18.9
(66)
22.2
(72)
24.5
(76.1)
24.3
(75.7)
21.6
(70.9)
17.0
(62.6)
12.1
(53.8)
9.1
(48.4)
16.33
(61.4)
Average low °C (°F) 3.0
(37.4)
2.6
(36.7)
4.5
(40.1)
5.9
(42.6)
9.3
(48.7)
11.9
(53.4)
13.8
(56.8)
13.7
(56.7)
11.4
(52.5)
9.1
(48.4)
5.5
(41.9)
3.3
(37.9)
7.83
(46.09)
Precipitation mm (inches) 67.6
(2.661)
49.1
(1.933)
51.6
(2.031)
50.9
(2.004)
67.2
(2.646)
46.7
(1.839)
49.1
(1.933)
37.8
(1.488)
59.0
(2.323)
74.8
(2.945)
67.5
(2.657)
72.7
(2.862)
694
(27.322)
Avg. precipitation days 12 9 10 10 10 7 7 6 8 11 12 12 114
Mean monthly sunshine hours 69 87 128 163 191 217 211 205 178 117 81 69 1,716
Source: Météo France.[6]

Population[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1770 23,143 —    
1790 25,160 +8.7%
1793 30,160 +19.9%
1800 25,904 −14.1%
1806 29,225 +12.8%
1821 29,589 +1.2%
1831 27,340 −7.6%
1836 35,552 +30.0%
1841 37,895 +6.6%
1846 39,218 +3.5%
1851 39,505 +0.7%
1856 45,664 +15.6%
1861 45,483 −0.4%
1866 48,283 +6.2%
1872 52,044 +7.8%
1876 57,177 +9.9%
1881 60,974 +6.6%
1886 66,139 +8.5%
1891 69,232 +4.7%
1896 69,937 +1.0%
1901 74,676 +6.8%
1906 75,640 +1.3%
1911 79,372 +4.9%
1921 82,241 +3.6%
1926 83,418 +1.4%
1931 88,659 +6.3%
1936 98,538 +11.1%
1946 113,781 +15.5%
1954 124,122 +9.1%
1962 151,948 +22.4%
1968 180,943 +19.1%
1975 198,305 +9.6%
1982 194,656 −1.8%
1990 197,536 +1.5%
1999 206,229 +4.4%
2009 206,604 +0.2%

In 2009,the inner population of the city was of 206,604,and its urban area counted 663,214 inhabitants.

The inhabitants of Rennes are called Rennais in French.

Rennes has the second-fastest growing metropolitan area in France.

Sights[edit]

Rennes is classified as a city of art and history.

Historic centre[edit]

The historic centre is located on the former plan of the ramparts. There is a difference between the northern city centre and the southern city centre due to the 1720 fire, which destroyed most of the timber framed houses in the northern part of the city. The rebuilding was done in stone, on a grid plan. The southern part, the poorest at this time, was not rebuilt.

Due to the presence of the parlement de Bretagne, many "hôtels particuliers" were built in the northern part, the richest in the 18th century. Most of the monuments historiques can be found there.

Colourful traditional half-timbered houses are situated primarily along the roads of Saint-Sauveur, Saint-Georges, de Saint-Malo, Saint-Guillaume, des Dames, du Chapitre, Vasselot, Saint-Michel, de la Psallette and around the plazas of Champ-Jacquet, des Lices, Saint-Anne and Rallier-du-Baty.

The Parlement de Bretagne and city hall area[edit]

The Parlement de Bretagne (Administrative and judicial centre of Brittany, Breton: Breujoù Breizh) is the most famous 17th century building in Rennes. It was rebuilt after a terrible fire in 1994 that may have been caused by a flare fired by a protester during a demonstration. It houses the Rennes Court of Appeal. The plaza around is built on the classical architecture.

On the west, the Place de la Mairie (City Hall Plaza, Plasenn Ti Kêr) :

  • City Hall
  • Opera

On the east, at the end of the rue saint-Georges with traditional half-timbered houses :

On the south-east :

  • Saint-Germain square
    • Saint-Germain Church
    • Saint-Germain footbridge, 20th century wood and metal construction to link the plaza with Émile Zola Quay, across the Vilaine River.

The Place des Lices and Cathedral area[edit]

The place des Lices is lined by hôtels particuliers. with the place Railler-du-Baty, is the location of the weekly big market, the marché des Lices.

Near the Rennes Cathedral (cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Rennes) is the rue du Chapitre :

  • Hôtel de Blossac
  • There are 16th century polychrome wooden busts on the façade of 20, Rue du Chapitre.

On this era are the former St. Yves chapel, now the tourism office and a museum about the historical development of Rennes . and the Basilica Saint-Sauveur

Remains of the ramparts[edit]

Built from the 3rd to the 12th centuries, the ramparts were largely destroyed between the beginning of the 16th century and the 1860s.

The Place Saint-Anne area[edit]

Place Saint-Anne (Plasenn Santez-Anna)

  • Saint-Aubin Church, built in the beginning of the 20th century
  • Location of a former 14th century hospital
  • Jacobite convent

South-western, la rue Saint-Michel nicknamed Rue de La Soif (Road of Thirst) because there are bars all along this street.

South-eastern, the Champ-Jacquet square, with Renaissance buildings and a statue of mayor Jean Leperdit ripping up a conscription list.

East : the Thabor park area[edit]

Area of Saint-Melaine square

Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melaine basilica,
  • tower and transept from the 11th century Benedictine abbey of Saint-Melaine
  • 14th century Gothic arcades
  • 17th century colonnade
  • bell tower topped with a gilded Virgin Mary (19th century)
  • 17th century cloister

The Jardin botanique du Thabor (formal French garden, orangerie, rose garden, aviary) a botanical garden on 10 hectares of land, built between 1860 and 1867.

The 17th century promenade "la Motte à Madame", and a monumental stairway overlooking the rue de Paris entrance to the Thabor.

South city centre[edit]

The south city centre is a mix of old buildings and 19th and 20th centuries constructions.

South of the Vilaine[edit]

The Fine Arts Museum is situated on Quai Émile Zola, by the Vilaine River.

Les Champs Libres is a building on Esplanade Charles de Gaulle, and was designed by the architect Christian de Portzamparc. It houses the Brittany Museum (Musée de Bretagne), the regional library Bibliothèque de Rennes Métropole with six floors, and the Espace des Sciences science centre with a planetarium.

At Place Honoré Commeurec is Les Halles Centrales, a covered market from 1922, with one part converted into contemporary art gallery.

The Mercure Hotel is located in a restored building on rue du Pré-Botté, which was the prior location of Ouest-Éclair, and then of Ouest-France, a premier daily regional newspaper.

There are large mills at Rue Duhamel, constructed on each side of the south branch of the Vilaine in 1895 and 1902.

Other sights[edit]

To the northwest of Rennes, near rue de Saint-Malo are the locks of the Canal d'Ille-et-Rance of 1843.

There are two halls of the printer, Oberthür, built by Marthenot between 1870 and 1895 on Rue de Paris in the eastern part of the city. Oberthür Park is the second biggest garden in the city.

The 17th century manor of Haute-Chalais, a granite chateau, is situated to the south of the city in Blosne Quarter (Bréquigny).

Economy[edit]

Local industries include car manufacturing and telecommunications. PSA Peugeot Citroën, currently the largest employer of the population of Rennes, opened a manufacturing plant at La Janais in Chartres-de-Bretagne in 1961. Technicolor (ex-Thomson) employs over 1,000, and France Telecom R&D over 1,200.

In few years, Rennes became one of the main centres in high technology industry. The city hosts one of the first Technopoles established in France[citation needed].

Rennes is the 2nd concentration of ITC firms in France after Paris (with well-known companies like Atos, SFR, Orange France Telecom, Technicolor R&D, Canon, Mitsubishi, Alcatel-Lucent, Texas Instruments, NXP, Sopra Group, Thales or Logica), and the 3rd innovation potential in agrofood French industry.

Other large firms located in Rennes include the restaurant conglomerate Groupe Le Duff, owners of Brioche Dorée.[7]

Culture[edit]

Rennes invests heavily in arts and culture and a number of its festivals (such as the music festival Les Transmusicales, les Tombées de la Nuit and Travelling (a cinematic festival)) are well known throughout France.

Rennes was one of the first towns in France to have its own local television channel 'TV Rennes', created in 1987.

In Rennes is the only Institut Franco-Américain in France.

There are four museums in Rennes:

  • Musée des Beaux Arts (Museum of Fine Arts of Rennes).
  • Musée de Bretagne (Museum of Brittany) at the Champs Libres, together with the 'espace of sciences' and a planetarium.
  • Museum of Farming and Rennes Countryside at la Bintinais, south of Rennes.
  • Musée des Transmissions (Museum of Broadcasting) at Cesson-Sévigné, east of Rennes center.

The Parc du Thabor contains a compact but significant botanical garden, the Jardin botanique du Thabor. The University of Rennes 1, with a campus in the city's eastern section, also contains a botanical garden and collections (the Jardin botanique de l'Université de Rennes).

Education[edit]

The Rennes agglomeration has a large student population (around 60,000).

The city has two main universities; Université de Rennes 1, which offers courses in science, technology, medicine, philosophy, law, management and economics and Université Rennes 2, which has courses in the arts, literature, languages, communication, human and social sciences, sport.

There are a few École Supérieures in Rennes. The École Normale Supérieure de Cachan has a branch on the Ker Lann campus, just outside Rennes. An École Supérieure for political science, Institut d'études politiques de Rennes (site), is also based in Rennes. School Year Abroad, an American immersion program for high school students, has been in Rennes since its inception in 1965.

There is also branches of École Supérieure d'ÉlectricitéSupélec and Telecom Bretagne in the east of the city (Cesson-Sévigné), a campus of the École pour l'informatique et les nouvelles technologies, Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Rennes and the grande école Institut National des Sciences Appliquées, which is next to the "École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes".

The computer science and applied mathematics research institute, IRISA, is located on the campus of the Université des Sciences, nearby Cesson-Sévigné. The Délégation Générale pour l'Armement (defense procurement agency) operates the CELAR research center, dedicated to electronics and computing, in Bruz, a neighboring town.

Breton language[edit]

In Brittany, two regional languages are spoken: the Breton and the Gallo. In and around Rennes, Gallo was traditionally spoken as a local language, but Breton have always been spoken by regional migrants coming from the western part of the region.

Nowadays, the Breton language is taught in one Diwan school, some bilingual public and catholic schools, in evening courses, and in university.[8]

The municipality launched a linguistic plan through Ya d'ar brezhoneg on 24 January 2008.

In 2008, 2.87% of primary-school children were enrolled in bilingual primary schools, and the number of children enrolled in these schools is steadily growing.[9]

Sport[edit]

Football club[edit]

Rennes is home to Stade Rennais F.C., who play at Route de Lorient stadium (capacity of 31,000 seats) in the French Ligue 1.

Transport[edit]

Rennes has well-developed national road, rail and air links. Local transport is based primarily on an extensive bus network (38 different lines) and a metro line that was inaugurated in March 2002 and cost €500 million to build. The driverless Rennes Metro (VAL) is 9.4 km (5.8 mi) in length and has 15 stations, including one designed by architect Norman Foster (La Poterie station).

A second metro line is being planned, it should be operational by 2018, and the construction will begin in 2013.[10]

The Gare de Rennes, opened in 1857, is now two hours by TGV high speed train from Paris. This will be reduced to one hour and 30 minutes from 2017, after extension of the High Speed Rail Line.[11] Rennes is also an important train station for regional transport in Brittany.

Rennes is also served by Rennes–Saint-Jacques Airport, located 7.2 kilometres (4.5 mi) from the centre to the south-west in the commune Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande.

Notable people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Twinned towns inscribed on the bridge over the central canal.

Rennes is twinned with:

(These twinned towns are inscribed on the bridge over the central canal of Rennes)

Within France

Pacts of cooperation

Sponsorship

Broadcasting facilities[edit]

Image gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "VSO 15 – Armorica, Redones coinage (Rennes) – Mail Bid Sale". Cgb.fr. 1 March 2002. Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  2. ^ Caesar, Gallic Wars II.34; VII.75
  3. ^ Barthélemy-Amédée Pocquet du Haut-Jussé, "A Political Concept of Louis XI: Subjection instead of Vassalage," in The Recovery of France in the fifteenth century, ed. P.S. Lewis, trans. G. F. Martin (New York: Harper Row, 1972): 196-215, pp. 210.
  4. ^ "Insee – Populations légales 2008 – 35238-Rennes". Insee.fr. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "French pedophilia trial casts unsettling light on women sex offenders." Agence France Presse at The Island. 14 March 2005. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  6. ^ Climat en France 1981-2010 (in French), Météo France. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ (French) L'état de la langue bretonne dans l'enseignement en Ille-et-Vilaine (State of the Breton language in education in Ille-et-Vilaine) from Ofis ar Brezhoneg
  9. ^ (French) Ofis ar Brezhoneg: Enseignement bilingue
  10. ^ (French) Rennes.maville.com Le projet de nouvelle ligne du métro sur les rails
  11. ^ "Rennes à 1h30 de Paris en 2014 – France – Toute l'actualité en France". France Info. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  12. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns [via WaybackMachine.com]". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  13. ^ "Town twinning". Exeter City Council. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  14. ^ "City of Brno Foreign Relations - Statutory city of Brno" (in Czech). 2003 City of Brno. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  15. ^ "Brno – Partnerská města" (in Czech). 2006–2009 City of Brno. Retrieved 17 July 2009. 
  16. ^ Mulcahy, Noreen. "Cork - International Relations". Cork City Council. Archived from the original on 2013-05-18. Retrieved 2013-08-28. 
  17. ^ "Poznań - Miasta partnerskie". 1998–2013 Urząd Miasta Poznania (in Polish). City of Poznań. Archived from the original on 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2013-12-11. 
  18. ^ "Poznań Official Website – Twin Towns". Flag of Poland.svg (in Polish) 1998–2008 Urząd Miasta Poznania. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 

Further reading[edit]

Published in the 19th century
  • C.B. Black (1876), "Rennes", Guide to the North of France, Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black 
Published in the 20th century
  • "Rennes", The Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th ed.), New York: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910, OCLC 14782424 

External links[edit]