I've had a few occasions to give friends a 'tour' of Rennes. What makes a place interesting for me isn't just the history, but the stories of the people behind them. When I give a tour of Rennes I talk about the Knight du Guesclin , Mayor Leperdit who opposed the brutal Jean-Baptiste Carrier during the Revolution, but the central character in Brittany and Rennes story is Anne de Bretagne. Here is her story:
Brittany finally yielded to France in 1532, after 600+ years of fighting for their independance. The pivotal character in this story is an 11 year old girl named Anne. Described as small and thin, charming and rosy cheeked. One of Anne's legs was shorter than the other, causing a limp. To fix the problem, she wore a higher heel on that leg. In her time, Anne was the richest woman in Europe.
Her dad was named Francis II, the last Duke of Brittany. Unfortunately for Anne, Francis lost a war with France and was forced to sign a treaty (Treaty of Verger) saying his daughters couldn’t marry without the consent of the King of France. About a year later Francis dies after falling from his horse during a leisurely ride. So Anne becomes the Duchesse of Brittany, at the age of 11.