Most of old Rennes was burnt down in 1720 when a fire ravaged the city, however some authentic pockets remain; the streets around Place Ste-Anne are lined with higgledy-piggledy half-timbered houses. The superbly restored Couvent des Jacobins (a former Dominican friary), is now home to the Convention Centre and many cultural events. Place des Lices was originally used for jousting but these days the only combat you’ll experience is elbowing your way through the crowds at the magnificent Saturday-morning market, one of France’s largest. Nearby are the remains of the 15th-century Porte Mordelaise, once the main gate into the city.
One of Brittany’s finest buildings can be found east of the old town – the Palais du Parlement de Bretagne. The parliament building, which was designed by the architect of the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris, was constructed from 1618-55 to house the Breton parliament following the region’s reunification with France. These days the palace houses the Court of Appeal; there are often temporary exhibitions and concerts in the lobby. Twww.brittanytourism.com