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Fête des Remparts Dinan

21 and 22 July 2012

 

 

Réjouissances princières et liesse populaire

  "Princely Celebration and Jubilation"

 

Considered one of the most important mediaeval festivals in Europe, The Fête des Remparts is held in July every other year  in  Dinan.  The 2012 festival will be the 20th Festival to have taken place.

 

Mediavel houses in DinanThe festival is hugely popular and attracts visitors from all over Europe. Dinan is a perfect setting for such an event as the town centre is populated with wonderfully preserved, half timbered houses dating back for centuries.

 

The town is easily taken back to medieval times. People in costume parade through its streets and free entertainment is provided by  musicians and street entertainers as well as lively members of the public.

 

Restaurants and street vendors offer traditional food and drinks from the time as well as authentic Breton dishes in addition to their usual menus. A vast medieval market is based in the main town square.

 

Street entertainers abound, harps and old musical instruments are played and the culmination of the weekend's events is a jousting competition and a costumed parade through the town. 

 

Apart from the free street shows, there are exhibitions and shows such as battle re-enactments and jousting  held in the walled fortress areas.  

 

Costs

 

To get into the four areas where the shows are going on you will have to pay unless you are wearing a suitable, correct, mediaeval costume.  Just a sheet thrown over your ordinary clothes will not do!  

 

Costs for Entertainment areas:

Adults 12€ - Two day pass 20€

Groups - 15 people minimum 8€
Jousting Tournament Prices:

Adults 10€

Children under ten 6€

Children under three but sitting on parents laps Free

Entry to the shows apart from the Tournament for students from France as well as those seeking work (proof has to be shown) 8€

 

If you do not want to queue on arrival you can reserve on line http://www.fete-remparts-dinan.com from the 15th May.  Reservations can also be made by going into the tourism office from two days prior to the festival. 

 

 

Development of the Fête des Remparts


The first festival called Journée des Remparts, took place on 9 October 1983 and comprised visits to the various gates and the opening of areas not normally accessible to the public. The following year musical and equestrian entertainment was added. In 1985 the festival really “took off” with the influx of professional street entertainers and over the next two years the festival developed further until in 1988 it was decided to close the town centre to traffic.

 

The festival continued to be held yearly until 1992 when it was decided to hold it every other year.  1994 and 1996 saw the commencement of themes as well as commemorating the town hero the Duc du Guesclin who managed to beat his English adversary the Duke of Canterbury in a one to one battle in Dinan. In those years most entertainment was free and the festival held in the autumn. The shop keepers and restaurant owners in the town dressed in mediaeval costume and the streets in the old part of the town were streets covered with straw and taken back to medieval days.

1998 saw two radical changes with the date moving to the last weekend of July and although the town was still open free to the public and full of animation, the shows were only open to those who paid.

From 2004 each festival had an individual theme commencing with Des remparts de Dinan aux portes de l'Orient.

 

Couple in costume at the Fete des Remparts in Dinan

 

 

Photographs below were  taken at the 2010 Fête des Remparts

Entertainers at the 2010 festival

Costumed visitors to the town
Battle

Stilt walker in costume

Street entertainers at the Fete des Remparts of Dinan

The mediavel town centre is closed off but there is plenty of parking either in the car parks by the Marie (town hall) accessed either at street level by the Hotel Ibis or further in by the Jardin de Cocquerel.  Other parking areas are up by the old barracks - heading out of Dinan in the direction of Le Clercq supermarket, by the station there is often parking.  There are usually signs showing special parking areas.  Get in early to park closer.