Guided Tour of Dinan – French Story & Translation

Author: Suzanne

Come take a virtual tour of Dinan in Brittany, and practice your French with this free bilingual French story with English translation + many pictures.

Use the floating blue icon in the bottom right to hide/reveal the English translations below or just click here.

Une des visites les plus populaires parmi mes Ă©tudiants en immersion de français en Bretagne, c’est la visite Ă  Dinan, Ă  20 minutes de chez nous. J’aime beaucoup l’histoire mĂ©diĂ©vale de Dinan, donc j’essaie de garer la voiture dans un parking juste sous les remparts, puis je commence la visite devant une pierre commĂ©morative.

One of the most popular excursions among my French residential immersion students in Brittany is visiting Dinan, 20 minutes from us. I really enjoy the medieval history of Dinan, so I try to park the car in a carpark just below the medieval town walls, then I start the visit in front of a memorial stone.

Dinan and Du Guesclin

Avez-vous entendu parler de Bertrand Du Guesclin ? Je dois avouer que c’est un de mes hĂ©ros. La pierre commĂ©more  un combat bizarre pendant la Guerre de Cent Ans entre lui, breton et futur ‘ConnĂ©table’, c’est-Ă -dire chef de l’armĂ©e française, et Thomas de Cantorbery, un des principaux soldats de l’armĂ©e anglaise.

Have you heard of Bertrand Du Guesclin? I must admit that he is one of my heroes. The stone commemorates a bizarre battle during the Hundred Years War between him – a Breton and future ‘Constable’, in other words, chief of the French Army – and Thomas of Cantorbery, one of the main soldiers of the English army.

Cantorbery a kidnappĂ© le frĂšre de Du Guesclin, ce qui aurait pu provoquer une bataille entre les deux armĂ©es. Mais Du Guesclin a dĂ©cidĂ© qu’il n’était ni nĂ©cessaire ni souhaitable d’impliquer tous ses soldats dans cette affaire : il a choisi de rĂ©soudre le problĂšme avec un duel, une joute entre lui et Cantorbery
 lĂ , sur le parking du marchĂ© ! Heureusement il n’y avait pas beaucoup de voitures Ă  cette Ă©poque-lĂ .  

Cantorbery kidnapped Du Guesclin’s brother, which could have provoked a battle between the two armies. But Du Guesclin decided that it was neither necessary nor desirable to involve all the soldiers in this matter: he chose to resolve the matter with a duel, a jousting contest between him and Cantorbery 
 there, on the Market Square car park! Fortunately there weren’t many cars at that time.

AprÚs ça, nous continuons un peu plus loin pour admirer la statue de notre célébrité locale sur son cheval. Les jeudis matins, la statue est entourée des différents stands du marché.

After that, we continue a little further to admire the statue of our local celebrity on his horse. On Thursday mornings, the statue is surrounded by various market stalls.

Dinan’s Open Market

Nos excursions ont lieu gĂ©nĂ©ralement l’aprĂšs-midi, mais dans le cas de Dinan, nous y allons plutĂŽt le jeudi matin :   comme ça nous pouvons profiter du marchĂ©. Il y a plein de choses Ă  acheter : des vĂȘtements et des chaussures, des bijoux et des sacs, des produits rĂ©gionaux (pulls marins, cidre, miel, fromages, sans mentionner tous les beaux fruits et lĂ©gumes). Il y a beaucoup de producteurs bio : de pain, de produits laitiers, et de lĂ©gumes
  

Our visits usually take place in the afternoon, but in the case of Dinan, we go on Thursday morning instead: that way we can make the most of the market. There are plenty of things to buy: clothes and shoes, jewelry and bags, regional products (marine sweaters, cider, honey, cheeses, not to mention all the beautiful fruits and vegetables). There are many organic producers: of bread, dairy products, and vegetables 


Et aussi, il y a beaucoup de plats Ă  emporter. Ah, que ça sent bon ! Et quel choix ! de la paella, du couscous, de la tartiflette, des spĂ©cialitĂ©s vietnamiennes, italiennes, turques et rĂ©unionnaises aussi, et bien sĂ»r, notre spĂ©cialitĂ© locale, le ‘hot-dog breton’, c’est-Ă -dire la galette-saucisse. Miam miam !

And also, there is a lot of takeaway food. Oh, it smells good! And what a choice! paella, couscous, tartiflette, Vietnamese, Italian, Turkish specialties, and from the island of RĂ©union too, and of course our local specialty, the ‘Breton hot dog’, in other words a sausage in a savoury French pancake. Yum yum!

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Dinan – Medieval City

Mais ce n’est pas encore l’heure de manger, et nous avons le tour de la ville mĂ©diĂ©vale Ă  faire. Il est temps de quitter le marchĂ©. Nous prenons le passage de la Tour de l’Horloge, puis nous arrivons dans les petites rues Ă©troites de la ville mĂ©diĂ©vale. 

But it is not yet time to eat, and we have a tour of the medieval town to do. It is time to leave the market. We take the Clock Tower passage, then we reach the narrow streets of the medieval city.

Beaucoup des rues et des places portent le nom des anciennes professions et commerces : rue de la Poissonnerie, rue de la Cordonnerie, rue de la Lainerie, place des Merciers, par exemple. Notre itinĂ©raire varie selon les Ă©tudiants. Certains veulent visiter les Ă©glises, d’autres veulent aller dans une librairie, d’autres encore prĂ©fĂšrent faire du lĂšche-vitrine dans les rues commerciales. 

Many of the streets and squares are named after former professions and trades: Fish Street, Shoe monger Row, Wool Street and Haberdashers’ Square, for example. Our route depends on the students. Some want to visit churches, others want to go to a bookstore, while others prefer to do window shopping in the shopping streets.

La rue du Jerzual in Dinan

Tous doivent aller voir la rue du Jerzual. C’est un ‘must’ Ă  Dinan ! C’est un chemin piĂ©tonnier pavĂ© et escarpĂ© qui relie le vieux quartier de Dinan au port. Parfois, nous admirons le Jerzual d’en haut sans descendre, et quelquefois nous descendons jusqu’au port mais ça, c’est assez physique, surtout s’il fait chaud.  

Everyone must go and see the Rue Jerzual. It is a must in Dinan! It is a steep cobbled pedestrian lane that connects the old town with Dinan port. Sometimes we admire the lane from the top without going down, and sometimes we go down to the port but that is quite an effort, especially if it is hot.

french immersion Bretagne Dinan

Nous poursuivons notre chemin en visitant la basilique Saint Sauveur. A l’intĂ©rieur, il y a non seulement un vitrail montrant mon hĂ©ros Du Guesclin 
 mais aussi une urne qui contient son cƓur.

We continue our journey by visiting the Saint Saviour’s Basilica. Inside, there is not only a stained-glass window showing my hero Du Guesclin 
 but also an urn containing his heart.

View of Dinan’s Harbor

Mais maintenant, il faut nous presser, parce que sinon, nous allons ĂȘtre en retard pour le dĂ©jeuner que mon mari Peter est en train de prĂ©parer Ă  la maison. Nous traversons rapidement le jardin anglais derriĂšre l’église, pour aller voir la belle vue vers le port 75m plus bas.  

But now we must hurry, because if not, we’ll be late for the lunch that my husband Peter is preparing at home. We quickly cross the English garden behind the church to see the beautiful view towards the harbor 75m below.

Puis nous prenons de nouveau les petites rues Ă©troites du vieux quartier pour regagner la voiture dans le parking sous les remparts. Encore une belle matinĂ©e passĂ©e Ă  Dinan !

Then we go back to the narrow streets of the old quarter to get back to the car in the carpark under the town walls. Another lovely morning spent in Dinan!

Author: Suzanne

Suzanne

Bonjour ! My name is Suzanne. I am British born, and have dual British and French nationality. I have been teaching French for the past 40 years, internationally. My husband Peter & I moved to Jugon-Les-Lacs, a charming village of Northern Brittany over 20 years ago where I now offer French immersion stays at the teacher's home. I hope you will come visit me one day!

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