The Franco-American Institute is a unique place in France
The Franco-American Institute is located in the heart of Rennes, 7 quai Chateaubriand, in Hôtel Thétiot du Demaine, a nineteenth century townhouse.
With high ceilings, a beautifully decorated reception room, an inner courtyard and a monumental horseshoe-shaped staircase, the Institute is one of the city’s architectural jewels. It also remains a historical symbol of the French-American friendship in the region.
In 1941, the building was occupied by German administration, before being liberated by Patton’s 3rd Army in 1944.
During the liberation of Rennes in September 1944, American officers occupied the building’s ground floor and stayed until 1949. For four years, the building and the courtyard were maintained by the remaining American troops in Rennes. The premises were used as barrack buildings for the G.I. The soldiers turned the building into a recreational gathering place and set up a library on the ground-floor. For three years, the American Embassy rented the ground-floor and turned it into the regional headquarters for the Marshall plan.
A twinning partnership between the cities of Rennes and Rochester (NY) was signed in the very same building in 1958. When it became a heritage site in 1960, the American Embassy bought the building for the American Library in Paris. (The American Library in Paris).
On February 15th 1961, the Franco-American Institute was founded by the US Embassy and the City of Rennes.
+ The building’s inner courtyard, the fountain and the horseshoe-shaped stairs can be visited during the Institute’s opening hours.
+ Every year in September, guided tours of the courtyard and the first-floor reception room are organized as part of the European Heritage Days.