Our ship has docked in Saint Malo, France and I am off on an excursion to Dinan. After about a half hour drive we arrived in the village square that still allows cars in it and a parked near a statue of a man on a horse…… so we learned all about him first.
The first thing one notices about the statue of Bertrand du Guesclin, (1320-1380) is, he was not a very attractive man. He himself noted this and said it didn’t matter at all because he was a very good soldier. Nicknamed “The Eagle of Brittany,” he was a Breton, (a person whose family originally migrated from Cornwall and Devon in Britain) a knight, and French military commander during the Hundred Years War. He was made Constable of France from 1370 until his death, when King Charles V of France, recalled him to France to fight the English, after serving him in Spain for many years.
A loyal and disciplined warrior, Du Guesclin had reconquered much of France from the English, when he died of illness while on a military expedition in Languedoc. His men carried his body back to the King, as ordered for burial, but because there was no way to care for the corpse, it putrified. By the time he was buried at Saint-Denis, in the tomb of the Kings of France, there were just bones and his heart. His wife wanted his heart brought to the Basilica of Saint-Sauveur at Dinan. Brittany had been confiscated by Charles V in 1378 and the region was made part of France and for that reason the Britons have a love-hate relationship with Guesclin. He is one of theirs and was a brilliant tactician and warrior, but they did not forgive him for acceptance of the rule of France over their independent country. For that reason his heart was removed from the Basilica to an unknown location and just the memorial remains. In some parts of Brittany his statues have also been removed. Good to know that other countries have had issues concerning statues too!
That strikethrough is not graffiti, that is du Guesclin’s original coat of arms! Red Line and all!
Now, let’s move on to the remaining ramparts that surrounds the village, which sits high on a hill overlooking the river Rance. To get to the ramparts and the village edge we walked through a garden area with large chateaus too!
How beautiful is this?
The village sits high on the bluff so the villagers could see if anyone was sneaking up on them!
Turning around we followed the wide graveled road into the historic old village.
We’re getting closer to the center of the Village now and it’s pedestrian only……..
This green marking on the sidewalk reminded me of Jo’s Monday Walk Logo!
Then we reached the oldest part of the village, consisting of stone and timber buildings and theTudor style of half-timbering. The oldest section of Dinan represents buildings from the 13th century and are now in preservation mode since many of these buildings over the centuries have burned down.
And on one street corner was a man playing a hurdy-gurdy! What’s a hurdy-gurdy you ask? The hurdy-gurdy is the first stringed instrument to which the keyboard was applied.
The main streets in the village were named after the occupations of the people, who set up their goods on market day. This stone grave marker display was an advertisement. The body was pre-made and then the head would have been made from a death mask and placed on it at a later date.
The wine shops offered apple ciders and whiskeys from Dinan, in addition to their regional wines.
The Place des Cordeliers refers to the grey belts worn by the monks. The church was significant to the wealth of the village in the 1300’s. This village buzzed with people from near and far.
The monks are also shown on the street marker!
The street for the women hat makers had their own signs too.
Turning into the lanes I had many architectural discoveries!
Like the lane of red doors!
We finished up our day at the meeting square by several restaurants, which were enjoyed by all. Dinan is definitely a place I would visit again and spend more time exploring! To see more postings on Dinan, look HERE!
Well, I hope you enjoyed the walk through Dinan today! See you next week when I’m on another excursion in France. Be sure to check out the other walks this week HERE.