Dinan (Dinan, Gallo: Dinan) is a walled Breton town and a commune in the Côtes-d'Armor department in northwestern France.
Geography and natural features
Its geographical setting is exceptional. Instead of nestling on the valley floor like Morlaix
, most urban development
has been on the hillside, overlooking the river Rance
. This river has moderate turbidity
and its brownish water is somewhat low in velocity due to the slight gradient of the watercourse; pH
levels have been measured at 8.13 within the city of Dinan
and electrical conductivity
of the waters have tested at 33 micro-siemens per centimetre. In the centre of Dinan the Rance summer flows are typically in the range of 500 cubic feet per second.
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 meter long tidal barrage which doubles as a crossing point nearer to the sea.
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. It occurs only every other year, which can catch visitors out.
Inhabitants of Dinan are called Dinannais
Notable people linked with Dinan
Dinan was the birthplace of:
Dinan is also associated with:
- François-René de Chateaubriand, writer, studied in Dinan
- Bertrand du Guesclin, connétable of France. Born at nearby Broons. His heart is buried in Dinan.
- Yvonne Jean-Haffen (1895-1993), painter, died in Dinan
- Danielle Mitterrand, wife of President François Mitterrand, educated at the Roger Vercel college
- Jean-François Paillard (born 1928), orchestral conductor, educated at the Cordeliers de Dinan
- René Pleven, (1901-1993), politician, minister, essayist. The hospital in Dinan is named after him.
- Roger Vercel (1894-1957), writer, winner of Prix Goncourt 1934, died in Dinan. A college in the town is named after him.
Dinan was also a favourite place for artists to visit in search of picturesque views. The British artist John Everett Millais lived there as a child. It was also painted by Edward Ward and Horace Tuck among others.