The Parlement of Brittany
From a heritage and historical point of view, the Parlement of Brittany building is one of Rennes and Brittany's finest tourist attractions. Steeped in history, this imposing law court overlooks the stately town square that bears its name, and features a wealth of 17th century French pictorial art.
Visit the Parlement of Brittany
Symbol and backdrop to of the various episodes which have marked Brittany’s history, the palace of the Parliament is also, quite paradoxically, a remarkable testimony of the grand royal and Parisian décor of the 17th century.
Built between 1618 and 1655 after the plans of Salomon de Brosse, architect of the palace of Luxembourg in Paris, the site of this sovereign court of justice with the responsibility to record royal edicts and letters, expresses within its walls the very prestige of its function. The Grand chamber - the work of Charles Errard and Noël Coypel - is the exceptional jewel of the interior décor which features French style ceilings and sculpted gilded wood panelling.
Most specialists agree it represents a unique example or pictorial art of the time.
After a century long building process, Louis XVIth’s architect, Jacques V Gabriel, provides the palace with a royal square, with the visual beat of contrasting patterns of granite and tuffeau stone: a worthy background for the statue of the sun king. At the onset of the Revolution, the parliament looses its importance yet maintaining its role as a court of justice. The fire of 1994 left the Brittany people quite traumatised. Luckily the damage was repaired with an exemplary restoration which enabled the building to reopen as a court of appeal, with visits being re- started as soon as 1999.