Rennes, a city in northwestern France, is the capital of the Brittany region as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department. It has a long history due to its location at the confluence of the Ille and the Vilaine rivers.
With about 220,000 inhabitants, Rennes has virtually the same population as its sister city, Rochester, NY. According to the 1999 census, Rennes is the third fastest-growing metropolitan area in France. The city’s residents are known as Rennais.
Rennes is a bustling business center. Local industries include car manufacturing and telecommunications. PSA Peugeot Citroën, currently the largest employer in the area, opened its large manufacturing plant in 1961. Technicolor employs over 1,000 people and France Telecom R&D over 1,200. In addition, Rennes is a major high-tech industry center. Such well-known companies as Atos, SFR, Orange France Telecom, Technicolor R&D, Canon, Mitsubishi, Alcatel-Lucent, Texas Instruments, NXP, Thales, and Logica are all located in and around Rennes. The area is also a major player in the French agro food industry.
The Rennes metro area is a major education center and boasts an annual student population of about 60,000. The city has two main universities; Université de Rennes 1 (offering courses in science, technology, medicine, philosophy, law, management, and economics) and Université Rennes 2 (with courses in the arts, literature, languages, communication, human and social sciences, and sports). The computer science and applied mathematics research institute, IRISA, is located on the campus of the Université des Sciences.
Rennes has well-developed national road, rail, and air links and a metro line that opened in 2002. The city’s train station offers high-speed train (TGV) service to and from Paris.
There are many museums, fine art galleries, churches and cathedrals, historical buildings, parks, and shopping opportunities to please anyone who visits this beautiful city.
The Stade Rennais Football Club was founded in 1901 and plays in Ligue 1, the top tier of French football. In fact, Rennes is one of the founding members of the first division of French football.