Celebrating 50 ... at last!
April 27-April 30, 2022
Join classmates to celebrate 50 years of friendship!
Please mark your calendar for this memorable event reconnecting and reminiscing in Rennes. We'll revisit old favorites and see some new.
Our gathering will feature good food and wine, meetings with current students and faculty, and more good food and wine. We’ll revisit our school AND we will have the good fortune of spending time with students, both inside and outside of class at SYA France’s “new” campus. The schedule below is a work in progress and is subject to change along the way.
— Alphie, David, Doug, Jamie, John and Paul
Class of SYA France 1971 50th Reunion Committee
- Schedule of Events
- Saturday's Optional Excursion to Mont St. Michel
- Post Reunion Bike Tour
- Where to Stay in Rennes and Travel Tips
- Things to Do in Rennes
- Places to Eat in Rennes
- France's Requirements during COVID
April 27-30, 2022
Please note that this is a work in progress and subject to change. Our schedule involves coordinating school activities under strict pandemic guidelines.
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Plan to arrive and rest up before the official activities begin. We can meet up for an apertif or dinner,
Thursday, April 28, 2022
School Has Left the Building
8 a.m. (TBD)
Time to freshen up our French language skills! ! Students become our teacher for the morning during an experiential class in the community. We’ll break up into small groups and they’ll lead us on a walking tour of Old Rennes to help reacquaint us with some old favorites and discover some new!
Lunch with Students
Following class, we'll break up in smaller groups with a student who will "host" us for lunch, our treat.
Après Lunch ... On Your Own
A good opportunity to stroll through Parc du Thabor, enjoy a some cidre and an afternoon treat, or head back to your hotel.
Back to OUR School
Return to our campus, the original home of SYA France, with current faculty members Pascal Montéville and Alexia Delanoue for le goûter. We’ll be welcomed by the Institute’s president, Virginia Manhard Lubin, along with special guests Economic and Commercial Attaché to the United States Consulate for Western France Eric Beaty and Public Affairs Specialist Eva Prévost.
For those who wish to gather, we'll meet at a local restaurant, or two, for dinner.
Friday, April 29, 2022
Back to School
8 a.m. (TBD)
Visit the “new” school, Villa Alvarez, and learn a little more about today’s student experience and curriculum. Just like registering for school, you will be able to select your top choices, available on a first come, first served basis.
*With a full school and COVID safety, we regret that we cannot extend the invitation to your guests.
Lunch with Resident Director Mina M. Qadir
12 p.m. (TBD)
Mina cordially invites you to be her guest for lunch. You’ll have the opportunity to hear more about the SYA France of today.
We’ll travel by bus to Monteneuf for our celebration dinner at Château de la Voltais, the ancestral home of Harper Sibley's French family. This 18th-century chateau was built in 1737 and bears the coat of arms of the Prévost family.
On the way we'll stop at Menhirs, the standing stones of Monteneuf that date back to the beginning of time. They stand close to the forest of Paimpol, adding an extra touch of enchantment to the landscape.
Saturday, April 30, 2022
Breakfast on Your Own!
Time for one last galette or pain au chocolat. (Maybe a quick trip to Marché des Lices? But don't miss the bus if you plan to join the optional excursion!)
*POSSIBLE EXCURSION TO MONT ST. MICHEL
If there’s enough interest, we’ll plan an excursion to Mont St. Michel, still a favorite destination of SYA. (See tab below.)
Mont St. Michel - St. Malo – Dinan
•Mont St. Michel •les remparts de St. Malo •Cathédrale de St. Malo •Dinan – centre historique •les remparts de Dinan
Mont St. Michel will greet you with either high or low tides, and both offer different perspectives. The Romanesque-Gothic Mont St. Michel abbey complex sits atop the rocky island where upon entering you may hear the hauntingly beautiful sounds of the choir.
In St. Malo, a walk around the ramparts offers a rewarding vista of the coast and the city just below. The fortifications of St. Malo today include eight gates, three posterns and three bastions. The ramparts, lined with crenellations and flanked by several towers, are classified historical monuments. The Chateau de Saint-Malo, although it has a medieval look, was built between the 15th and 18th centuries.
In Dinan, a walk around the Promenade des Petits Fossés is the best way to tour the city and its fortifications. The 2700m long ramparts included 14 guard towers (10 are left), four massive gates and the castle once protected the medieval citadel that spread over 30 hectares. A walk through one of its emblematic streets — rue du Jerzual — connects the historic center to the port of Dinan (and is noted for its artists).
Where to stay
OUR OFFICIAL HOTEL
Hôtel de Nemours
5, rue de Nemours
Other lodging options:
Balthazar Hotel and Spa
rue du Maréchal Joffre
Hôtel de Nemours
5, rue de Nemours
Mercure Rennes Centre Parlement
1 rue Paul-Louis Courier
Novotel Spa Rennes Centre Gare
22 avenue Janvier
Mercure Rennes Centre Gare Hotel
1 rue du Capitaine Maignan
Marnie and Mr. H
3 rue du Chapitre
Airbnb - many options to choose from!
How to get from Paris to Rennes
Since the opening of the TGV Atlantique high speed rail service in July 2017, it only takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to Rennes from Paris city center by train! A similar direct rail service exists from Charles de Gaulle airport (2h38min).
For more information :
Tickets may be purchased in advance. Reservations are recommended. The train station is minutes away to the center of Rennes. Download the SNCF app here.
The Rennes Bretagne Airport operates direct and indirect flights throughout the year to 120 destinations. The airport is located outside of the city. Plan to take a taxi to your hotel. A journey from the airport to the center of Rennes is about EUR 18 (during the day) to EUR 20 (at night).
Musée des beaux-arts
20, Emile Zola Dock
Musée des beaux-arts is a municipal museum of fine arts in the French city of Rennes, the capital of Brittany. Its collections range from ancient Egypt antiquities to the Modern art period and make the museum one of the most important in France outside Paris, notably for its paintings and drawings holdings, and for SYA, eight of the series of 16 Le roi vu par le Peuple, acrylique sur toile, 100 x 80 cm, by J.P. Lemée.
La Criée – Centre d'art contemporain
Place Honoré Commeurec
This contemporary art center is based on Place Honoré Commeurec in Rennes city center, in the central market building that was designed by architect Emmanuel Le Ray in 1923. With its four creative platforms (Art at the Centre, Looking to the Future, On Continental Shores, and Territories in the Making), La Criée brings art to the general public via exhibitions, artist residencies, conferences, seminars, workshops and events.
The Champs Libres
10, cours des Alliés
The Champs Libres, an innovative cultural center designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc in the heart of Rennes, is home to the Brittany Museum, the Science Centre and the library of Rennes Metropolitan District. The Champs Libres is a unique and exciting blend of science and art that offers visitors a plethora of experiences and perspectives. With exhibitions and installations, visual arts, digital arts and literary and artistic performances, this is a truly vibrant cultural center.
The Brittany FRAC
19, avenue André Mussat
Whether you are a connoisseur or just curious, at Brittany's Regional Contemporary Art Fund (FRAC), you'll find a collection of contemporary works that will catch your imagination and open your mind to artists from a variety of backgrounds. The aims of the Brittany FRAC are to collect, showcase and raise awareness of the work of contemporary artists. It has built up one of the largest collections of contemporary art in France, with some 4,800 pieces. The Brittany FRAC promotes access to all forms of contemporary creation for people of all ages. It displays a wide variety of works by French and international artists. Alongside more well-known names such as Raymond Hains and Jacques Villeglé, talented young artists are leaving their own mark on our era. The premises of the Brittany FRAC, designed by architect Odile Decq, house an extensive program of temporary exhibitions.
Historical Sites and Monuments
Place de l'Hôtel de ville
Did you know that Rennes has its own Panthéon? Come and admire this fascinating memorial in the City Hall. After the fire in 1720, Jacques Gabriel, architect to the king, planned to bring together the city hall, judicial tribunal and clock tower in a single building on a new square. Its concave shape brings to mind buildings designed by the great architects Le Vau and Hardouin-Mansart. It perfectly complements the convex opera house opposite. Famous Breton figures such as Duguay-Trouin, Laënnec, Renan and Chateaubriand are all depicted in its great hall.
Parlement de Bretagne
Place du Parlement de Bretagne
Although the Parlement of Brittany building may seem like a solid part of the city's history that has survived the ages untroubled, in reality it might never have been able to open its doors to visitors today. The building has certainly had an eventful past. Designed by Salomon de Brosse, it was spared in the great fire of 1720, only to be partly burnt down in 1994. Extensive restoration and renovation work have since given a new lease of life to the historical building, which houses several fine examples of 17th-century French pictorial art. One night was luckily not enough to destroy a century of building work! Inside, the Parlement building boasts prestigious French-style ceilings, sculpted gilded wood panelling and allegorical paintings, culminating in the magnificent Grand'Chambre, or main chamber. Please note: prior to each tour, a film about the fire and the work to restore the building is shown at the tourist information center.
Palais du Commerce
Place de la république
The river Vilaine was canalised in the mid-19th century, with a covered stretch between the Nemours and Berlin bridges that was officially opened in 1912 by the mayor Jean Janvier. An imposing palace was built here between 1885 and 1929 by Jean-Baptiste Martenot and later Emmanuel Le Ray. The building was commissioned by the mayor Edgar Le Bastard to make the southern part of the city more attractive. It originally housed the Trade Exchange and the post and telegraph office.
6 Rue des Portes Mordelaises
A castle entrance gate with two towers, defended by a drawbridge and featuring two smaller gates for carriages and pedestrians, once led to Mordelles. This symbolic setting was where the future Dukes of Brittany swore an oath to defend Brittany's freedoms. The mediaeval walls to the west were built on the site of a third-century wall. An artillery platform was added on the fortified gateway (or barbican) to protect this entrance to Rennes.
11 rue Saint-Yves
Saint-Yves Chapel houses the city's architecture and heritage discovery centre. The permanent exhibition "Rennes, a City of Art and History" in the restored 15th-century chapel tells the story of the city through its heritage, as depicted in photos, models, pulpits and headstones.
Marché des Lices
Place des Lices
Calling all food lovers, connoisseurs, gourmets and culinary enthusiasts – the Marché des Lices is guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling! Discover for yourself the fabulous selection of fresh, delicious produce from vegetables to cheese, cider, fish and much more.
Every Saturday at dawn, the Marché des Lices – France's second largest market – comes to life, bringing you the very freshest, finest produce. The stalls explode with colors, smells and tastes. Come along and soak up the wonderfully festive atmosphere! Don’t forget the galette saucisse!
Parc du Thabor
Enjoy strolling around one of France's most beautiful parks. As you explore the wonders of the Thabor gardens, you'll be drawn to the romantic, elegant atmosphere. Here even "L'Enfer" – which means "hell" in French – is a delightful open-air theatre venue. The former garden of the monks of Saint-Melaine Benedictine Abbey was redesigned by Denis Bühler, a famous 19th-century landscape artist. Spanning 10 hectares, it boasts French-style gardens, an English-style park, a cave, bandstand, aviary and an impressive rose garden featuring over 2,000 varieties!
Rennes’ culinary landscape, while French at heart, offers an impressive number of award-winning restaurants and local flavor. Alumni, staff and faculty favorites are marked with *
Le Fournil Vasselot *
La Boite à Cookies *
Bistrot à Tartines *
Le Haricot Rouge*
Le Synthi *
Crêperie La Gavotte*
Crêperie St. Anne *
La Fabrique St. Georges*
La Saint Georges
Crêperie An Erminig *
Crêperie des Portes Mordelaises *
La Fontaine aux Perles
Le 2 rue des Dames
Leon le Cochon*
Picotta (Pizza and Tapas)
Please stay up to date on what is necessary for entering and traveling within France. For updates on COVID regulations and necessary documents, please visit this page.
The news as of February 17 is that no testing is required to enter France, wearing masks outdoors is no longer mandatory and on February 28, those with three doses do not have to wear a mask indoors. Of course, this is subject to change at any moment.