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Dinan

 

Dinan is a French commune, a sub-prefecture located in the Côtes-d'Armor department in the Brittany region. It is a town in the Poudouvre, a traditional country in the northeast of Upper Brittany.

By order of the Prefect of Côtes-d'Armor dated September 30, 2017, published in JORF No. 21 of January 26, 2018 of September 30, 2017, the new municipality of Dinan was created in place of the municipalities of Dinan and Léhon ( canton of Dinan, arrondissement of Dinan) from January 1, 2018.

The town of Dinan is fortified by a belt of ramparts and was defended by an imposing castle. Strategic point for traffic between Normandy and the north coast of Brittany, Dinan is built mainly on a hill. The city dominates by 75 m the Rance which flows north to flow into the Channel between Saint-Malo and Dinard. Dinan long proposed the northernmost bridge to cross the Rance and its wide estuary.

Dinan is the headquarters of Dinan Agglomeration, an agglomeration community created in 2017.

Its 14,222 inhabitants (in 2016) are Dinannais and Dinannaises.

 

Destinations

The castle of Dinan is a former fortified castle, from the fourteenth century, having replaced an ancient fortress, altered several times, which stands in the French commune of Dinan in the Côtes-d'Armor department, in the Brittany region. The castle is classified as historical monuments by decree of July 12, 1886.

An ancient fortress stood in Dinan before the castle erected in the fourteenth century. In 1064, William led an expedition against Brittany in which Harold Godwinson actively participated, who would then be his opponent at the Battle of Hastings. The Bayeux tapestry, scene 18 to 20, relates the successive captures of the fortresses of Dol-de-Bretagne, Rennes, where Conan II of Brittany took refuge after having fled Dol-de-Bretagne, and Dinan, where Conan made the keys to the city at the end of a spear.

Having emerged victorious from the war of succession in Brittany, John IV the Conqueror, Duke of Brittany, decided to build a main tower in Dinan in 1380 in order to assert his authority in a city that had long supported his rival Charles from Blois. Under the supervision of the master builder Étienne le Tur, the site was completed in 1393 and perhaps even as early as 1384. Made up of two round towers adjoining the junction of which is reinforced to the west by a square front section, the building rises to more than 30 meters. The crown is reinforced by consoles of machicolation with four projections. The lower projection, very stretched, allows the console to rely on a larger number of seats, while offering a high quality aesthetic rendering. Originally, a slate roof covered the whole.

At the end of the 16th century, Dinan became a stronghold of the Catholic League and, under the impetus of the Duke of Mercœur, governor of Brittany, major modifications were undertaken. In order to reunite the main tower with the Coëtquen tower (an artillery tower erected at the end of the 15th century), a military sheath called “the Mercoeur underground” was fitted, leading to the condemnation of the Guichet gate which was then walled up. At the same time, a high courtyard, protected by spur structures, was built. Very significantly, it is towards the city, and not towards the outside, that the embrasures are then turned.

Abandoned in the 17th century, the castle is the subject of two reports, in 1693 and 1701, by the military engineer Siméon Garangeau. Boasting the architectural quality of the building, he suggests work to transform the main tower into a military prison. Throughout the eighteenth century, English sailors lived there by the hundreds. As a result of these transformations, the roof is permanently replaced by a terrace while the apse of the chapel is pierced to accommodate a new front door.

Having become a common law prison in the 19th century, the castle was bought at the beginning of the 20th century by the town of Dinan which set up its municipal museum there in 1908. Dedicated to the history and crafts of Dinan and its territory, the collections of the Museum of Dinan include many ethnographic objects collected in the municipalities of the edges of Rance. Gradually withdrawn from the castle in 2015, the collections are now kept in the municipal reserves.

In 2014, the City of Dinan wished to carry out an ambitious program of restoration and enhancement of the monument made possible thanks to important historical research which allowed another look at the castle. Inaugurated on June 9, 2019, this project includes major work on the monument - starting with the opening to the public of the "Mercoeur underground" and the restitution of the influence of the main courtyard - but also the implementation of place of a new scenography whose two themes "the art of war in the fifteenth century" and "daily life in the princely residences" are at the service of the understanding of the castle and its architecture.

 

Getting in

By train
Take the TGV towards Saint-Malo and get off at Dol-de-Bretagne. Take the Dol-Dinan line (quite bucolic route)

Dinan station

 

Around the city

By car
Car parks (underground and outdoor) paying at 1 € per hour.
Free car parks: Porte Saint-Malo, Grands Fossés, Place Duguesclin (all year except summer from mid-June to September)

By bus
Bus lines are not numerous.
In 2006, the single ticket was 0.76 €.
The main lines are:

Line 2: Place Duclos / Station / Hospital
Line 4: Place Duclos / Le Port / Youth hostel