The culture complex Les Champs Libres opened in 2006 and is located in the heart of Rennes, directly at the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle. This place has been used for festivities, parades and fun fairs for the past centuries, and today is seen as a symbol for the exchange between cultures. The complex consists of three institutions which were designed by the architect Christian de Portzamparc. It was especially important for him that each building of the complex would be recognized as an own entity.
The city library in the glass tower
One of the three buildings mentioned, located in Les Champs Libres, is the city library of Rennes. It extends over six floors and is situated in the flashy glass tower of the complex which looks like a pyramid. Aside from having around600 seats, the library contains a proud collection of 700.000 works and is therefore the biggest in Brittany.
History and tradition in the museum of Brittany
Le musée de Bretagne illustrates beautifully how a traditional, agricultural Brittany of the 20th century turned into the modern region it is today. One of three permanent exhibitions tells the story of the western French region, dating from as early as the Stone Age up to the 21st century. The two other exhibitions are dedicated to showing the culture and daily life of the region. Two additional halls are reserved for regular temporary exhibitions. For a better way of illustration, you will also find modest everyday objects amongst the artworks. The sculpture of a celtic goddess, which was found by a famer, counts as one of the most valuable monuments in the museum.
„L`Espace de sciences“ – young and old experiment in the natural science museum
The third of the three buildings houses a science center. The building has the shape of a cone, and at the very top it looks somewhat like a dome. Visitors can learn a lot about the discoveries of various branches of science that make our lives easier today. In “Merlin's laboratory“, a didactic facility, visitors of any age can experiment themselves. Thirty different experiments offer the opportunity for understanding science playfully. In the planetarium, you can travel through space or see the stellar constellation of the day you were born. Next to it, the Hall of the Earth (Salle de la terre) exhibition sheds light upon the biodiversity and geological history of our planet.
- The day pass at Les Champs Libres is €6 making it one of the 10 cheapest tourist Attractions in France.
How to get there
Coming from Germany you reach the capital Paris via the A4. In Paris, first take the exit A89, then change onto the A6B and continue on the A10 direction Palaiseau/Étampes/Bordeaux-Nantes. The A10, then the A11 will lead you out of the wider area of Paris. Near Le Mans, take the exit A81 direction Rennes/Laval. Continue further on the E50/N136 to get to the city center of Rennes. Here, follow the signs direction centre/station or, respectively, the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle. Les Champs Libres offers many parking facilities.
All trains coming from Germany lead through Paris. From the station "Gare Montparnasse" in the capital it is - thanks to fast train connections - only two hours to Rennes. From Rennes train station, the building complex Les Champs Libres can be easily reached by foot, it is located only 200 meters away. Directly at the culture center are the subway as well as the bus station Charles de Gaulle. If you travel by plane, you will probably find it best to fly to Paris and from there take the TGV to Rennes.