Le Patrimoine Breton

Authored by:
Jeff Pageau

Jeff Pageau

If you were to ask a resident of Rennes which monument is the most significant of the city, without a doubt, the #1 answer would be Le parlement de Bretagne.  So, what is so significant about this buidling?

The parlement dominates the center of Rennes and reminds passersby of its link to the French monarchy.  Construction began in 1618 and was completed in 1655.  The architect selected was the same architect who designed the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris.  After the unification of Brittany with France, the parlement served as an extension of the French monarchy.  As royal edicts were made in Paris (and later Versailles), the French kings would send representatives throughout the kingdom to enact new policies.  It was here in this parlement where the wishes of the king were carried out in an official manner.  It was in this room where royal edicts where officially declared and recorded.  Additionally, the parlement served another purpose.  It was the seat of justice and remains so even today.  At the ground floor, there was a prison (which no longer exists).  On the upper floor were the courts.  Today, the parlement is still plays an important legal function as a court of appeals and a superior court.  Perhaps the most famous court case to occur here was that of Alfred Dreyfus in 1899.

This incredible structure survived a massive fire that nearly destroyed the city of Rennes in 1720.  In 1994, the building caught fire and was restored to its orginal state over a 10 year period.  Today, our Global Navigators explored this significant and beloved monument in Rennes.

If these walls could speak, what questions would you ask?


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