Coordinates: 48°27′23″N 2°02′56″W / 48.4564°N 2.0489°W / 48.4564; -2.0489
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Château de Dinan
Flag of Dinan
Coat of arms of Dinan
Location of Dinan
Dinan is located in France
Dinan is located in Brittany
Coordinates: 48°27′23″N 2°02′56″W / 48.4564°N 2.0489°W / 48.4564; -2.0489
IntercommunalityDinan Agglomération
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Didier Lechien[1]
8.71 km2 (3.36 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2020)[2]
 • Density1,700/km2 (4,400/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
22050 /22100
Elevation7–92 m (23–302 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
View of the Port of Dinan from the Promenade of Duchesse Anne at the Jardin Anglais (English Garden)
View of the Port of Dinan and the Rance river from the Promenade of Duchesse Anne at the Jardin Anglais (English Garden)

Dinan (French pronunciation: [dinɑ̃] ; Breton: [ˈdinãn]) is a walled Breton town and a commune in the Côtes-d'Armor department in northwestern France. On 1 January 2018, the former commune of Léhon was merged into Dinan.[3]


On the banks of the Rance River

Instead of nestling on the valley floor like Morlaix, most urban development has been on the hillside overlooking the river Rance. The area alongside the river is known as the "port of Dinan", and is connected to the town by steep streets: Rue Jerzual and its continuation outside the city walls, the Rue Petit Fort. The Rance has moderate turbidity and its brownish water is somewhat low in velocity due to the very low gradient of the watercourse; pH levels have been measured at a slightly basic 8.13[4] within the city, and electrical conductivity of the waters has tested at 33 micro-siemens per centimetre. In the centre of Dinan, the Rance's summer flows are typically low, in the range of 500 cubic feet per second (14 m3/s).

For many years, the bridge over the river Rance at Dinan was the most northerly crossing point on the river, but the tidal power station at the mouth of the estuary, constructed in the 1960s downstream from Dinan, incorporates a 750-metre long tidal barrage, which also serves as a crossing point nearer to the sea.

Dinan station has rail connections to Saint-Brieuc, Lamballe and Dol-de-Bretagne.


Inhabitants of Dinan are called dinannais and dinannaises.

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 6,393—    
1800 6,406+0.03%
1806 7,188+1.94%
1821 7,175−0.01%
1831 8,044+1.15%
1836 7,356−1.77%
1841 7,533+0.48%
1846 8,159+1.61%
1851 7,732−1.07%
1856 8,238+1.28%
1861 8,089−0.36%
1866 8,510+1.02%
1872 7,698−1.66%
1876 8,180+1.53%
1881 9,964+4.02%
1886 10,105+0.28%
1891 10,444+0.66%
1896 10,620+0.33%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 10,534−0.16%
1906 11,078+1.01%
1911 11,410+0.59%
1921 10,161−1.15%
1926 10,002−0.31%
1931 10,633+1.23%
1936 11,822+2.14%
1946 12,737+0.75%
1954 13,844+1.05%
1962 12,847−0.93%
1968 13,137+0.37%
1975 13,429+0.31%
1982 12,267−1.28%
1990 11,591−0.71%
1999 10,907−0.67%
2007 11,087+0.20%
2012 10,768−0.58%
2017 14,166+5.64%
Populations after 2017 for the area corresponding with the new commune of Dinan (incl. Léhon).
Source: EHESS[5] and INSEE (2007-2017)[6]


Basilica of St Saviour
HIC MILITES WILLELMI DUCIS PUGNANT CONTRA DINANTES ("Here the knights of Duke William fight against the men of Dinan"). Scene from the Bayeux Tapestry, c.1066, showing the early castle of Dinan
ET CUNAN CLAVES PORREXIT ("and Conan passed out the keys"). Successive scene
Le haut de la rue Jerzual.

The medieval town on the hilltop has many fine old buildings, some of which date from the 13th century. The town retains a large section of the city walls, part of which can be walked round.

Major historical attractions include the Jacobins Theatre dating from 1224, the flamboyant Gothic St Malo's Church, the Romanesque St Saviour's Basilica, Duchess Anne's Tower and the Château de Dinan.

A major highlight in the calendar is Dinan's Fête des Remparts. The town is transformed with decoration and many locals dress up in medieval garb for this two-day festival. The festival takes place over the third weekend in July every even-numbered year.

Breton language[edit]

In 2008, 4.97% of primary school children attended bilingual schools.[7]


Prominent people born in Dinan include:

Other people associated with Dinan include:

  • François-René de Chateaubriand (1768–1848), writer, studied in Dinan
  • Bertrand du Guesclin (c1320-80), connétable of France. Born at nearby Broons. His heart is buried in Dinan.
  • John Everett Millais (1829–96), British painter who lived in Dinan as a child
  • Danielle Mitterrand (1924–2011), wife of President François Mitterrand, educated at the Roger Vercel college
  • Colonel Robert Jambon (1924/5-2011), soldier in the First Indochina War, died in Dinan
  • Jean-François Paillard (1928– ), conductor, educated at the Cordeliers de Dinan
  • Henri Pinault (1904–1987), Catholic Bishop of Chengdu, educated at the Cordeliers de Dinan
  • René Pleven, (1901–1993), politician, minister, essayist. The hospital in Dinan is named after him.
  • Horace Tuck (1876–1951), English painter, visited Dinan for its picturesque vistas
  • Roger Vercel (1894–1957), writer, winner of the Prix Goncourt in 1934, died in Dinan. A college in the town is named after him.
  • Edward Matthew Ward (1816–1879), English artist who painted views of Dinan


Dinan Port on the Rance River
Panorama from the belvedere of the Jardin Anglais (English garden)

International relations[edit]

Dinan is twinned with:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires" (in French). data.gouv.fr, Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises. 13 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2020". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2022.
  3. ^ Arrêté préfectoral 30 September 2017 (in French)
  4. ^ Hogan, C. Michael, Water quality of freshwater bodies in France, Lumina Press, Aberdeen, Scotland(2006)
  5. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Dinan, EHESS (in French).
  6. ^ "Populations légales 2017: Commune de Dinan (22050)". Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  7. ^ (in French) Ofis ar Brezhoneg: Enseignement bilingue

External links[edit]