Brittany is the westernmost region of France, it occupies a vast peninsula stretching out towards the Atlantic ocean. In the Middle Ages it was an important independent kingdom. The current administrative region does not include the whole territory of the ancient kingdom of Brittany which extended far beyond the current borders.
The region, which has the city of Rennes as its capital, is divided into four departments. We find the Côtes-d’Armor (22) with as capital the town of Saint-Brieuc. Il Finistère (29) with as capital the town of Quimper. L’Ille-et-Vilaine (35) with as capital of the city of Rennes. And finally Morbihan (56) with as capital of the city of Vannes.
The Breton territory presents an undulating landscape made of rolling hills with very jagged coasts rich in excellent ports and with numerous islands. Agriculture that produces fruit, vegetables and cereals is highly developed. Fishing, thanks to the fishy waters of the ocean, is also a very profitable activity.
A SCENOGRAPHIC COAST, MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS AND CASTLES
Due to the peripheral position with respect to the rest of France, the Breton population has still preserved its traditions and customs in addition to the Breton language, this peculiarity makes the region an interesting tourist destination. The country is rich in megalithic prehistoric monuments, scattered throughout the territory, the largest alignment is found in Carnac. The words dolmen and menhir derive from the Breton language.
Brittany is also famous for its numerous castles and beautiful historic towns and cities such as Saint-Malo, Dinan, Fougères, Quimper, Quimperlé, Rennes, Pleyben. Another tourist attraction is the scenic Breton coast, full of coves and bays, with pink colored granite rocks, such as along the Pink Granite Coast (Côte de Granit Rose) which stretches for over 30 km between Plestin-les-Greves and Louannec.
Brittany’s landscape has inspired many artists such as Marc Chagall, Paul Gauguin and Paul Signac. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Tour Vauban of Camaret-sur-Mer, part of the Vauban fortification system, a total of 12 fortifications scattered on the borders of France.
- BRITTANY (BRETAGNE)
- Area: 27,208 km²
- Population: 3,103,000 (2007)
- Capital: Rennes