Rennes's history goes back more than 2,000 years, at a time when it was a small Gallic village named Condate. Together with Vannes and Nantes, it was one of the major cities of the historic province of Brittany and the ancient Duchy of Brittany. After the French Revolution, Rennes remained for most of its history a parliamentary, administrative and garrison city of the Kingdom of France.
Since the 1950s, Rennes has grown in importance through rural flight and its modern industrial development (automotive). The city developed extensive building plans to accommodate upwards of 200,000 inhabitants. During the 1980s, Rennes became one of the main centres in telecommunication and high technology industry. It is now a significant digital innovation centre in France.
Located in the 6th arrondissement, part of the Left Bank of the city, Rennes is one of a number of Line 12 stations underneath Boulevard Raspail, in this case at its intersection with Rue de Rennes. It is from this street that it takes its name, in turn named after the city of Rennes.
The station opened on 5 November 1910 as part of the original section of the Nord-Sud Company's line A between Porte de Versailles and Notre-Dame-de-Lorette. On 27 March 1931 line A became line 12 of the Métro. The station was closed during World War II, and did not reopen until September 1968. For a period of time whilst closed, it was used to experiment with advertising schemes which could be viewed from passing trains.
Until 2004, this station was closed after 8pm Monday to Saturday, and was also closed all day on Sundays and public holidays. Today, it is open according to the same schedule as all other Métro stations.