"A mediaevel Town on the River Rance" Top 5 Page for this destination Dinan by ranger49

Dinan Travel Guide: 66 reviews and 259 photos

Welcome to Dinan in Cotes d'Armor

I love small medieval towns with centuries old timbered buidings, ramparts overlooking a river and plenty of cafes . All of these are to be found in Dinan and it is one of my favourite places to make a stop in France.

Located in Cotes d'Armor, close to several cross channel ferry ports, it is a good place for a comfort stop enroute to a holday home, and for that last bit of shopping before heading for home.
Over the years we have spent many holidays within less than an hours drive of the town and have made return days visits on all of them.

The photos you will see on this page were taken over more than 20 years on a variety of cameras so reflect not only changing technology but changing seasons and weather, too.
Our visits usually take place in spring and early summer and occasional early autumn.

History, art and architecture

Dinan, was founded by Celtic monks who built the Abbey there in the 9th Century. Its advantageous position on a naviagable river led to the building of a fortress and developments that brought trade and prosperity.
In 1065,the year before William the Conqueror led the invasion of Grande Bretagne (so called to distinguish it from Bretagne and nothing to do with might or power) he ruled the town from a chateau built from wood.
The ramparts were built by the Dukes of Brittany from the C12th and have survived almost intact along 3000 metres, and were listed as an Historic National Monument in 1886.
Over centuries the town grew on a plateau protected bt the ramparts and the same spirit of preservation and conservation that ensured their survival must have been at work to also preserve so many 15th and 16th century houses.

The impressive viaduct seen in this pictur was completed in 1842. Two arches damaged during the 1944 bombardment were repared; and a further feat of engineering in 1967 widened 40metres of the road, all the work taking place above ground level.

Porte and Rue du Jerzual

The main road - still really a lane - that leads up to the old town is a steep alley bordered by beautiful old houses. Some now serve as the studios and shops of artists and crafts people. At the top you come to Place du Merciers and Place de Cordeliers with shops and restaurants. When staying nearby I like to shop there and have found excellent butchers, bakers and greengrocers.

  • Intro Updated Apr 6, 2009
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Reviews (7)

Comments (6)

  • CDM7's Profile Photo
    Aug 3, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    Interesting page on Dinan!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2010 at 2:18 AM

    This Town is beautiful Barbara! What views, the Church, and the streets look like they are begging to be explored, I love it! Great photo's and tips, thanks.

  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2010 at 3:30 AM

    Some lovely pics of Dinan here Barbara, one of my favourite towns just 25 kms from us.

  • nickandchris's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2009 at 12:48 AM

    France has some beautiful towns, doesn't it? Interesting tip about the parking.I have to agree, French food shops are very inviting!! Thanks for visiting North Yorks, I'm sure you'll love the area. Have a good trip.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Apr 26, 2009 at 7:43 PM

    What a lovely place. The Basilique Ste-Sauveur and the Quay and Riverside looks so quaint and peaceful place to sit and enjoy the world. Thanks for sharing your part of the world.

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Apr 10, 2009 at 6:20 AM

    What a wonderful new page, Barbara. The place looks magical. I love the cobbled streets,and the beautiful old houses. That food looks good too. Are these the photos that you told me about recently?They are perfect!

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