Exeter and Rennes


Exeter in Devon is twinned with Rennes, the capital of Brittany. Steve Morris, the secretary of the Exeter Twinning Circle, tells us more.

Exeter and Rennes have been twinned for over fifty years. Twinning between the two cities started in 1955 when Exeter University exchanged visits with Rennes University. The following year the two city councils got together and the cities were officially twinned. Exeter Twinning Circle was formed soon after in order to promote and foster friendships and understanding between the people of Rennes and Exeter, and to broaden the understanding of the cultural, educational and social activities of the twinned cities.

Exeter and Rennes are very similar to each other, as both are old cities dating back to Roman times and both now are major regional centres with modern commercial areas. The warmth of Rennes’ narrow and winding medieval streets lined with half-timbered houses matches Exeter’s historic heart of the Cathedral quarter, as well as the old street pattern including Stepcote Hill leading down to what was the original gateway from the River Exe to the city.

Over the years members of Exeter Twinning Circle and the Comit� de Jumelage de Rennes have made numerous visits to each others’ homes and many long lasting friendships have been made. New connections between the two cities continue to be forged and the two cities continue to support each other at both citizen and council levels.

Exeter Twinning Circle has also encouraged other societies to twin with their counterparts in Rennes. During the 50th anniversary celebrations a number accompanied the members of Exeter Twinning Circle on a visit to Brittany. As a result of the anniversary visit, the Pablo Picasso Primary School in Rennes visited Pinhoe Primary School in Exeter. The visit was a great success as the children played with each other and chattered in some curious Anglo-French language that only children know and understand – a successful visit for all generations!

If you have a town twinning experience you would like to share with us, please email us at [email protected]

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