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Rennes (France)

Stand: 06.06.2024

Already described as the most dynamic city in France in the 1980s, Rennes impresses with its vibrant cultural life and beautiful old town. With an impressive research landscape and favorable conditions for technology start-ups, the city is preparing for the future.

The partnership between Erlangen and Rennes was established in 1964. Rennes is located 350 km west of Paris and 1,200 km from Erlangen.

The origins of today's Rennes go back to the Gallic settlement of Condate, which already existed around 57 BC. In the 6th century, Rennes was the seat of a duke and bishop and came under the French crown in 1532. In 1720, a devastating fire destroyed 900 of the characteristic half-timbered houses. In 1899, the city is the scene of the 2nd Dreyfus trial. During the Second World War, the Germans occupied Rennes, which was liberated by American troops on August 1, 1944.

Today Rennes has 212,000 inhabitants. It is France's tenth largest city, the capital of Brittany, the capital of the Ille-et-Vilaine department and the center of the Rennes Métropole metropolitan area with 362,000 inhabitants, which is currently being connected to Rennes by a modern, environmentally friendly railroad.

Rennes attracts new residents from all over France, not least because of its thriving economic and cultural life. Rennes is home to two universities and several important colleges with a total of almost 60,000 students. With 153 students per 1,000 inhabitants, Rennes is well above the average for other major French cities. The university hospital is the city's largest employer with almost 7,000 employees.

In the economy, the successful cooperation between research, development and industry, particularly in the fields of communication technology and biotechnology, is exemplary. Of particular note here is the Rennes-Atalante Technology Center, founded in 1984, which comprises 200 high-tech companies and 12 research centers with a total of 8,000 jobs at three locations. Another economic focus is the food industry, which obtains its raw products from the city's agricultural and livestock farming environment.

In terms of "classical" cultural institutions, Rennes is home to an opera house, the Breton national theater and a number of museums, the most famous of which is the "Musée de Bretagne". Events such as the major summer music festival "Les Tombées de la Nuit" and the "Transmusicales" jazz salon in November also contribute to the cultural scene.

Rennes was voted "France's most dynamic city" in 1988 and has since proved itself worthy of this award. In recognition of its merits in promoting the European idea, the city has been awarded the "Golden Star of Europe".

The partnership activities cover all areas of club and cultural life, youth, schools and sport, professional and university exchanges as well as political contacts. The intensive partnership and cooperation between the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg and the two universities Rennes 1 and 2 is particularly important.

We are celebrating 60 years of town twinning!


Rowing club from Rennes visits

Eight rowers from Erlangen's twin city visit RVE and EWF. Report of the rowing club Erlangen e.V.


Ceremony "60 years of town twinning between Erlangen and Rennes"

We celebrated the anniversary of the town twinning with over 200 visitors


Looking back on 60 years

Some stages of the town twinning