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The development of Dinan started with the establishment of a Benedictine Abbey in the 11th Century. In 1283, under John I, Dinan became a Ducal town, and works started on building the town fortifications, which will prove their design quality in 1357, during The Hundred Years War.

The Dinan Chateau
The Dinan Château

How to get there:

By Train: You can take the TGV from Paris, and change at Dol de Bretagne. From here you can get to Dinan by taking either a local train, or a coach. The entire journey will take around 3h 19 min by train, and 3h 36 min if you choose the coach from Dol de Bretagne.
The round-trip ticket is 68.50 Euros.
If you are in St. Malo, also in Brittany, it takes only 1h 5 min by train to get to Dinan. The round-trip ticket is 8.50 Euros.
If you drive: A good GPS will do the trick!

Noblemen of Dinan had a notable presence in the Crusades. During one of the battles for the Holly Land, one of them, Rivallon le Roux, vowed to build a church on his return. He kept his word and the Romanesque Church of Saint Sauveur was built in 1120. The construction underwent many changes in the 15th century.

A famous French military commander, Bertrand Du Guesclin, Constable (Connétable) of France, was born in the Castle of La Mothe-Broon, near Dinan, in 1320. In 1357, the English troops laid siege to the town, which was successfully defended by the French troops under Du Guesclin.

During this siege, Du Guesclin also met Thomas of Canterbury in single combat, following a dispute regarding the capture of Du Guesclin's brother, Olivier, by Sir Thomas. The combat was supervised by the Duke of Lancaster, and Du Guesclin won. As a result, Thomas of Canterbury had to pay 1000 florins to Olivier, and he was banned from the English Army.

Du Guesclin's heart is buried in the church of Saint Sauveur.

The Dinan Château, also known as the Tower of Duchesse Anne, with its round towers crowned by machicolations, was built in the 14th Century, between 1382-1387. From here, the town evolved quickly, and craftsmen and shopkeepers invigorated its life. They also favorized the urban development in the form of half-timbered houses which can be still visible today.

As such, Dinan is a perfectly preserved Medieval town, with its narrow streets, half-timbered houses, in one word, a fairytale view. Visit the old commercial center of the town , Place des Merciers, surrounded by half-timbered maisons from the 15th Century. For a magnificent view on Dinan and the Rance Valley, visit "La Tour de l’Horloge", built in the 15th Century.

Dinan: Place des Merciers
Dinan: Place des Merciers
A must see, the sloped Rue du Jerzual, lined by 15th Century houses, is leading down to the old fishing port by the River Rance.  It is well worth to cross the bridge, and have a look at the town from the other side.

Do not leave Dinan without trying the "crêpes" (pancakes), a world renowned specialty of Brittany. There are many "crêperies" in Dinan, where you can have the best crêpes ever.




For more information, you can go to the Tourist Office:

Office de Tourisme
9, Rue Château
22100 Dinan, France
Tél.: +33 2 96 87 69 76

Happy Travelling!

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