What to do in Dinan
What to do in DINAN
What to do in Dinan ? The upper town
We start to visit Dinan from the upper town, where we parked. Impossible to miss the superb castle of Dinan. Of this medieval past, only the Tower of the Duchess Anne and the ramparts that border the city remain. The castle is now a museum which we recommend you visit if the theme interests you. Otherwise, do not miss the walk on the ramparts which offers you a magnificent view of the Rance and the Dinan viaduct.
From the castle, the town of Dinan is very accessible on foot and the walk is particularly pleasant. One of the city’s must-sees is the clock tower. It is possible to climb to the top to enjoy a beautiful view of Dinan and the surroundings.
From this tower you can sneak through the streets of the old town, admire the dozens of half-timbered houses. Dinan is all we love : cobbled streets, colourful facades, typical houses, pointed gables… There are often a lot of people but you will always find a small isolated alley or a shop that smells like Brittany.
We really like Place des Cordeliers or Place Mercier, the most famous.
The alleys lead you naturally to the basilic Saint-Sauveur. I love this basilic because it has multiple architectural influences. Little information : this is where the heart of Bertrand Du Guesclin, hero of the Hundred Years War. Touching his heart helps make a wish come true and I’m sure you have plenty of them in stock.
Don’t hesitate to stroll through the hall of lost steps at the train station. Listed as historical monuments, two large and magnificent mosaics represent the plan of the city and the plan of
railway lines. A detour to the railway museum is essential. I participated in ‘my youth’ in
the realization of the main model. It is located in one of the wings of the station.
What to do in Dinan ? The lower town
We continue to visit Dinan which has the particularity of being located on 2 levels. To reach the lower town
from Dinan, you can of course take your car back but the best way is to get off by
the Jerzual, the legendary craggy street. This steep street of about 500 meters (1640,42feet)and with a drop of
75 meters(246,063 feet) connects the upper town to the port. If you feel like it, there is the famous «Jerzual challenge», it’s a running race in this street.
In any case, we can only adore the Jerzual and it’s splendid flowered houses and all the workshops. There are a lot of people but it’s a must !
When you arrive at the port of Dinan, at the edge of the rance you can rent a boat to explore from the river but you can also quite simply stroll along the small marina. You will fall in love with this street and these granite houses, aligned and flowered.
And then what a pleasure to walk along the Rance !
You will find below some ideas for visits, do not hesitate to ask us questions.
- The ramparts (13th century) with its 14 towers and 4 monumental gates
- Half-timbered houses (15th – 17th centuries)
- The castle of Dinan (14th century)
- The Clock Tower (15th century belfry)
- The Basilica of Saint-Sauveur (12th – 15th – 18th centuries), with different styles of architecture (Romanesque,
- gothic, classical and baroque)
- Saint-Malo church (15th – 19th centuries)
- The Cordeliers convent (13th century)
- The famous «Rue du Jerzual» which connects the port to the city
- The library esplanade and the bronze busts of Vène
DINAN, THE CASTLE : Castle of the Duchess Anne
Centerpiece of the medieval wall which encloses the city, the Castle is at the heart of a ambitious project highlighting the remarkable architecture of this princely residence.
The building brings together three elements brought together in the 16th century: The ducal keep built in the decade 1380 and which rivals the royal castle of Vincennes, the Coëtquen tower built at the end of the 15th century and the gate of the wicket (13th century). If the Coëtquen tower offers a fine example of defensive works characterizing the end of the Middle Ages, the ducal keep invites you to dive into everyday life and
the art of living at the court of the Dukes of Brittany. Not to be missed, the impressive kitchens, the exceptional banquet hall lit by beautiful mullioned windows, the rampart walkway and the panoramic view from the terrace.
DINAN, THE OLD TOWN : A journey through time
DINAN, THE CLOCK TOWER : Belfries of the city
Erected at the end of the 15th century by the rich bourgeoisie of Dinan, the Clock Tower dominates, high of its 47 meters (154,199 feet) , the old medieval city offers an exceptional panorama on the the monuments. His visit is an opportunity to take another look at the city of Dinan, in particular thanks to to the film “Dinan in 1750”, made from synthetic images and offered as part of the visit of the tower. A visit to the Clock Tower is also an opportunity to discover a clock mechanism with a long history: in 1501, the Duchess Anne granted the people from Dinan the privilege of owning a clock in their communal tower; the year, we bring a mechanism to Dinan watchmaking made in Nantes in 1498 by the German Hamzer. Still located in the Tower, the Clock is one of the oldest clock mechanisms in Europe today.
DINAN, THE JERZUAL : The Jerzual, the street that can be deserved between city and port
Leaving the half-timbered houses on Place des Merciers and Rue de l’Horloge, the medieval atmosphere continues in the rue du Jerzual. In 1500, it was still called the Jarjual.
This old access road, which connects the upper town to the steeply sloping way to the port, was originally full of shops of weavers, tanners … The dirt road was dreadful to climb, with the circulation of horses, donkeys, carts… And it was noisy with people.
Today, the Jerzual has a real identity in the city, the houses have been invested, mostly by painters, sculptors, artisans … But also by restaurants, creperies, small decoration and souvenir shops.
PORT DE DINAN, Stroll along the port
Nothing like a nice walk by the Rance to fully enjoy the port of the Marina of Dinan.
Here, we walk along the small port, take the time to sit on the benches and contemplate the boaters mooring … In the shade of palm trees, relaxation is guaranteed!
Do not hesitate to take the Jaman V to discover the Rance. Rental of canoes, kayaks, bicycles, Segway, boats without a license, pedal boats …
Sculptures by Roger VENE on the library esplanade.
Let your imagination wander face to face with Camus, Mauriac, Barbara, Colette, Pär Lagerkvist and Dina Vierny. The Man ends this visit which leaves no one indifferent.
This visit is free and accessible at any time.
On the edge of the Rance, a pretty footpath leads from the port to the Abbey of Léhon.
Majestic, this monument usually open to the public also hosts many art exhibitions. You can cross the bridge to reach the village of Léhon. This ancient commune is a real small city of character.
PORT DE DINAN, Towpath, family walks
This walk invites us to discover varied landscapes and we meet many hikers by walk, other on bicycles and even on horseback! A life-size change of scenery! I appreciate everything particularly the light and the colours of this morning walk along the towpath.
A walk along the water
DINAN, MAISON DE LA RANCE : A fun and attractive museography
An original permanent exhibition to discover, while having fun, the heritage of a river “Maritime”. Ideal family visit!
DINAN, MUSEUM OF RAIL : A history of rail!
The museum is spread over 4 large rooms, video projections, static and dynamic collections of scale models will immerse you in the heart of railway history.
For almost 15 years I participated in the realization of the large model. If you want you please, do not hesitate to walk through the door. The station concourse is also a marvel to discover.
DINAN, MUSEUM 39-45 : A visit is recommended!
Come and discover the history of the Second World War thanks to the military museum 39-45 located at Léhon near Dinan in the Côtes d´Armor. With family or friends, you will be immersed in the past thanks to the old artefacts and the many reconstructions of the museum.
If you take a look, you will find my grandfather’s service records in the french resistance.
PLEUDIHEN-SUR-RANCE, CIDER MUSEUM : the cider museum unveils tools from the yesterday and today
Visit an exhibition based on the apple: its links with health, painting, poetry, history, advertising, beauty, etc …
Relive the actions of the past years: those of the cerclier, the cooper, and the making of their cider.
LA VICONTE SUR RANCE,MOULIN DU PRAT : One of the oldest tide mills in the region
On the edge of the Rance, the Prat the tidal mill bears witness to the maritime and agricultural past of the estuary. A nice excuse for a family walk in the great outdoors.
VISIT DINAN AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
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