Emerald Coast, architecture in the sky – Voyage

The Englishman Lyona Faber, the Lebanese Count Rochaïd Dahdah, François Rochechouart de Mortemart, Sir Robert Mond, the wealthy businessman of Haitian origin Sylla Volsant Laraque de Fébur, the Duke of Audiffret Pasquier, the fashion designer Emile Poussineau, the architects Alexandre Roux- and Michier- Angier- Spitz … Do these names mean anything to you? However, they are the origin of the creation and development of Dinard, Saint-Lunaire and Saint-Briac. It is thanks to them, from the 1850s, that the bourgeois resort of Emerald Coast was born and developed. It is illustrated by these exceptional villas, which today make the charm of a coast far from lose its elitist image.

Instead of fishing and farmhouses …

The history of sea bathing in Dinard begins in the second half of the 19th century. Opposite Saint-Malo there are only a few houses of fishermen and farmers. Everything changed from 1850, when the English became interested in this coast. In 1852, Lyona Faber fell under his spell and bought land at the Pointe du Moulinet. In the wake of that, British and American friends settled down there. This original period is symbolized by Coppinger Castle. The huge building overlooking the Cale du Bec de la Vallée, a historic pier for passengers and goods to Saint-Malo, “is the coastal implementation of a malouinière,” says Amélie Hommette, head of the City of Art and History label. and Dinard. Built in 1858 for James Erhart Coppinger, it was one of the first seaside villas in Dinard. It is bought in 1927 by another Briton, Sir Robert Mond.

The figure of Rochaïd Dahdah

In addition to this English community, established over the Clair de Lune promenade, between the Pointe du Moulinet and the Prieuré beach (villa Bric-à-Brac, which has become the 5 * Castelbrac hotel, Saint-Bartholomew Anglican Church .. .), comes the figure Rochaïd Dahdah. This mysterious Lebanese count, former governor of the Maronites seeking refuge in France, invested his fortune in Dinard in 1872 and became a “beach jug”. He bought land on the back of the Écluse beach, where the first casino was already located, laid out the streets in the city center, had the station built (the train arrived in 1889), built a large hotel … and his own residence, the Château des Deux – Demolished, today converted into private apartments.

The iconic villa Les Roches Brunes

While the tip of the Moulinet is covered with princely residences, that of Malouine, on the other side of the beach at the lock, will experience the same fate. During the advance of the Duke of Audiffret Pasquier, then of the entrepreneur Auguste Poussineau, a private residential area emerged from the ground. In the years 1880-1890 this point was divided, giving Dinard its character: villas Kerozar (1884), Belle Assise (1888), Roche Plate (1890) and the iconic Les Roches Brunes (1896), the town’s estate (exhibitions).

Architectural walks by the sea

From the Clair de Lune promenade to the Saint-Enogat promenade, which passes through the Prieuré and Vicomté districts, the Moulinet and Malouine points and the city center, “407 villas are protected, three of which are classified historical monuments”, specifies Amélie Hommette . This is an opportunity for walks with iodized form, a way to appreciate the eclecticism of these “castles by the sea”, where Art Nouveau, art deco, neo Louis XII, neo-palladian, chalet, neo-Tudor are mixed … So many styles, which testifies to the aristocracy’s desire to shine.

A beach thrower of Haitian origin

The story of Saint-Lunaire and Saint-Briac is in the same spirit. Through spin-offs, other large families fell in love with these satellite ports west of Dinard. Their coasts, packed with capes (Pointes du Décollé and Pointe de la Garde-Guérin) and beaches, open up magnificent panoramas. Launched in 1880, Saint-Lunaire will benefit from the ambition of a promoter of Haitian origin, Sylla Volsant Laraque de Fébur. From 1890 to 1899 he acquired land and then built the seafront at Grande Plage in 1908, where the resort’s most notable building, the Grand Hôtel (1884), is located. The walk to the Pointe du Décollé reveals the magnificent villas built from the late 19th century until the 1960s.

Saint-Briac and Nessay Castle

To the west, Saint-Briac also plays a “chic and shock” card. Protected in the mouth of the Frémur, it concentrates its beautiful villas between the Boulevard de la Mer and the beach Petite Salinette. Its symbol remains the Château de Nessay (19th century), at the tip of the same name, transformed into a luxury hotel. A walk through this charming resort reveals a number of other residences, including the Ker Argonid villa, which retains the memory of members of the Romanov family who banished themselves there. An aristocratic Emerald Coast in the depths of its nuisances.


Dinard Emerald Coast Tourist Office: dinardemeraudetourisme.com

in complement




Dinard is 225 km from Brest. Count 2h30 driving.


Brest-Dinard with change in Rennes. 4 hours minimum journey. sncf-connect.com


Hotel Le Printania, Dinard

In four small adjoining buildings in Cale du Bec de la Vallée, this hotel is a museum in honor of Brittany. Rooms with Breton box beds, Armorican furniture, waitresses dressed in local costume … we stay within an ethnographic collection! Double rooms from € 97. printaniahotel.com

Roy’s Creperie, Dinard

Next to the tourist office, excellent buckwheat pancakes are served in a large rustic room decorated with beautiful portraits of Breton women. Lunch formula with full galette, crepe dessert and quarter cider for € 13.50. facebook.com/CreperieDuRoy. Such. : 02 99 46 10 57.

To visit

Art and Life

As a specialist in cultural travel, the tour operator offers excursions in France and Europe in its Escapades brochure. Among them, from 6 to 9 July, a 4d / 3n stay entitled “The secrets of the seaside villas of the Emerald Coast”, with overnight stays at a hotel in Saint-Malo. On the program: the city of Malouine, Dinard, Saint-Lunaire, Saint-Briac and Lancieux, with a specialized guide. From € 870 / person. artsetvie.com

Dinard, city and country for art and history

The city and its cultural heritage department offer thematic and unusual guided tours all year round. Information at the tourist office and online shopping at https:// ticketsie.dinardemeraudetourisme.com/

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