Vannes – an artistic and historic town

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Vannes – an artistic and historic town

The ministry of culture and communication awards the "Villes ou Pays d'art et d'histoire" label (Artistic and Historical Towns or Regions label) to local councils who wish to highlight their heritage and encourage architectural creativity. The term “heritage” should be understood in its widest sense, as it concerns the town’s heritage of buildings and monuments as well as its natural, industrial and maritime heritage.

This desire is cemented by setting up an "Artistic and Historical Town" or "Artistic and Historical Region" agreement established after joint discussions with the council. This sets out precise targets and includes a funding element. Vannes Council signed an Artistic and Historical Town agreement with the Culture ministry in 1990.

The Heritage initiatives department in Vannes

The Heritage department coordinates Vannes - Artistic and Historical Town initiatives. It informs the inhabitants, young people and tourists about the town’s cultural riches and shares them with the public.

Throughout the year it offers a programme to discover the heritage of Vannes by means of guided tours, events suitable for different sectors of the public and publications.

In collaboration with the Brittany Inventory regional department, it establishes the inventory of the cultural heritage of Vannes.

Vannes Council - Heritage initiatives department
Les Lavoirs 15, rue porte Poterne 56000 Vannes
Tel: + 33 (0)2 27 01 64 00 – Fax: + 33 (0)2 97 01 64 01

The aims of the agreement

A programme of action to highlight the heritage and raise awareness in all sectors of the public

Raising the awareness of the inhabitants concerning their environment and promoting high-quality tourism

The local inhabitants are the foremost ambassadors for their town or region; thematic tours and conferences are programmed for them, depending on the specific nature and news concerning heritage, urban planning and architectural issues.

Informing young people about architecture, heritage and urban planning

Architecture and heritage educational initiatives are one of the priorities of the agreements. They are coordinated by the heritage organiser and take place throughout the year in a specific place. These workshops are for pupils from both primary and secondary schools, during and outside school term time (school holidays, summer holidays for 6-12 year olds, etc.).

Presenting the town or region

In addition to setting up guided tours, the agreement recommends the creation of an architecture and heritage interpretation centre (CIAP) presenting the history and evolution of the town as well as current development projects in an interesting and motivational way.

It also encourages the creation of information documents and promotional material that is compatible with the graphic design that identifies the network throughout France.


The creation of an Architecture and Heritage initiatives department

Setting up these actions required the creation of an Architecture and Heritage initiatives department, where an Architecture and Heritage organiser works in collaboration with approved guide-speakers and the local cultural and tourism organisations.

The ministry of culture and communication provides support for councils. This is in the form both of specific support for the area concerned and general support for all Artistic and Historical Towns and Regions. In addition to financial aid during the first five years of the agreement, it takes the form of training provided for Architecture and Heritage organisers and guide-speakers, and help with the creation of information documents, exhibitions and teaching tools.

The national network of Artistic and Historical Towns and Regions

A national network fostering dialogue and experience-sharing

This national network fostering dialogue and the pooling of experience and knowledge is protected by a label registered at the National Institute for Industrial Property and is subject to a contract, setting out targets, and a quality-monitoring process. A permanent partnership with the culture and communication ministry (regional department for cultural affairs and regional department for architecture and heritage) allows long-term follow-up of these actions.

Other Artistic and Historical towns close to Vannes

Concarneau, Dinan, Dinard, Fougères, Guérande, Lorient, Nantes, Rennes and Vitré have all been awarded the Artistic and Historical town label.



Place Maurice Marchais

Tél. : 02 97 01 60 00



Monday to Friday from 8h to 12h15 and from 13h15 to 18h.Saturday morning from 9h to 12h.



7 rue Joseph Le Brix

Tél. : 02 97 01 60 00


Ouverture :


Monday to Friday from 8h15 to 12h15 and from 13h15 to 17h.


Permanence of the state civil service, Saturday 9am to 12pm.Are given priority: the declarations of birth and death as well as passport applications (by appointment).


Saturday morning, home phone from 9h to 12h.