[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
Dinard (Breton: Dinarzh, Gallo: Dinard) is a commune in the Ille-et-Vilaine department in Brittany in northwestern France.
Dinard is on the Côte d’Émeraude of Brittany. Its beaches and mild climate make it a popular holiday destination, and this has resulted in the town having a variety of famous visitors and residents. The towns of Pleurtuit and Saint-Malo are nearby and the Dinard Pleurtuit Saint-Malo airport is about 4 km south of Dinard.
In modern history Dinard was first settled by Saint-Malo’s shipping merchants who built some of the town’s magnificent houses in the town- however very few survive. In the late 19th century American and British aristocrats made Dinard popular as a fashionable summer resort, and they built stunning villas on the cliff tops and exclusive hotels such as the ‘Le Grand Hotel’ on the seafront during the French «Belle Époque».
The name Dinard comes from the words Din («hill»/»fort») and Arz/Art («bear»/»Arthur»); the bear in Celtic mythology is a symbol of sovereignship.
Originally, Dinard was part of the parish of Saint-Énogat. In the late 19th century, the resort became popular with the British wealthy who built magnificent villas on the coast. Dinard rapidly expanded and became the most popular seaside resort in Europe. It started declining in the 1930s when the Jet set started preferring the Côte d’Azur. Today, Dinard is considered as one of the most «British» of sea resorts in France, however it has retained its French charm. There are 407 listed villas.
The official name of the town was Saint-Énogat until 1879 when the name was changed to Dinard-Saint-Énogat. The name was changed once more in 1921 to become simply Dinard. Saint-Énogat is now just the name for the western area of the town.