Rennes rĕn [key], city (1990 pop. 203,533), capital of Ille-et-Vilaine dept., NW France, at the junction of the Vilaine and Ille rivers. Rennes's many industrial products include textiles, leather goods, machinery, automobiles, electronic equipment, and petroleum. Rennes was an important Gallo-Roman town. In the 10th cent. it became the capital of the Breton county of Rennes and, in 1196, under the Angevin dukes, of Brittany. Under the ancien régime it was the seat of the provincial Breton estates, the powerful parlement of Rennes, and several courts of justice. The town was ravaged by the Norsemen and in the Hundred Years War and was swept by a fire in 1720. The Univ. of Rennes was founded in 1735. The National School of Public Health is in Rennes. General Boulanger was born in the city.
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