The port city of Brest

Monday, 26 November 2012 - 01:05 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General

Rue Saint-Malo maisons © Moreau.henri

Rue Saint-Malo maisons © Moreau.henri

Brest is a city in the Finistère department in Brittany in northwestern France. Located in a sheltered position not far from the western tip of the Breton peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon. The city is located at one of the occidental edges of continental Europe, hence the expression «Europe from Brest to Brest». Counting 142,722 inhabitants, Brestois and Brestoises (2007 sensur), Brest is the main metropolitan area (reaching 300,300 inhabitants) of Western Brittany, only third behind Nantes and Rennes in the whole Brittany, and the 22nd populous city of France; moreover, Brest provides services to the one million inhabitants of Western Brittany. Although Brest is by far the largest city in Finistère, the préfecture (regional capital) of the department, Quimper, is much smaller.

During the Middle Ages, the history of Brest was the history of its castle. Then Richelieu made it a military harbour. Brest grew around its arsenal, until the second part of the 20th century. Profoundly marked by the Allies bombing raids during World War II, the city centre was completely rebuilt after the war. At the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, the deindustrialization of the city was followed by the development of the service sector. Nowadays, Brest is an important university town with 23,000 students. Besides a multidisciplinary university, the University of Western Brittany, Brest and its surrounding area possess several prestigious French elite schools such as École Navale (the French Naval Academy), Télécom Bretagne and the Superior National School of Advanced Techniques of Brittany (ENSTA Bretagne, formerly ENSIETA). Brest is also an important research centre, mainly focused on the sea, with among others the largest Ifremer (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea) centre, le Cedre (Centre of Documentation, Research and Experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution) and the French Polar Institute.

Strait of Brest © Remi Jouan Strait of Brest © Louboutinj Russian tall ship Kruzenshtern during Brest 2008 © Fanny Schertzer Porsmilin Rade Beach at Brest © Rundvald Museum of the Defense of Brest Fortress - 6th room © Christian Ganzer Lighthouse du Portzic © Llorenzi Hotel Vauban © Gaëlle Fily Ecole Navale panorama © moi City Hall on Freedom Square © Antoine BRUNET Brest Port - Trimaran Banque Populaire V © DM Larvor Brest Harbour Fortress and Tanguy Tower © S DÉNIEL Rue Saint-Malo maisons © Moreau.henri
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Museum of the Defense of Brest Fortress - 6th room © Christian Ganzer
Brest’s history has always been linked to the sea: the Académie de Marine (Naval Academy) was founded in 1752 in this city as well as the aircraft carrier Charles-de-Gaulle was built there. Every four years, Brest hosts the International Festival of the Sea 2012 (Fêtes maritimes internationales de Brest), boats and sailors: it is a meeting of old riggings from around the world. Brest is best known for its Pont de Recouvrance (Recouvrance Bridge, a massive drawbridge 64 m/210 ft high), the military arsenal and the rue de Siam (Siam Street). The castle and the Tanguy tower are the oldest monuments of Brest.

The Musée de la Tour Tanguy, in the Tanguy tower, houses a collection of dioramas that depict the city of Brest on the eve of World War II. The Musée national de la Marine de Brest, housed in the ancient castle, contains exhibits which outline Brest’s maritime tradition, as well as an aquarium, the Océanopolis marine centre. The city also has a notable botanical garden specializing in endangered species, the Conservatoire botanique national de Brest, as well as the Jardin botanique de l’Hôpital d’Instruction des Armées Clermont-Tonnerre. A few kilometres out of town, there are more impressive landscapes, from sandy beaches to grottos to tall granite cliffs. Sunbathing, windsurfing, yachting and fishing are enjoyed in the area.

Read more on City of Brest, Brest Tourism, Wikipedia University of Western Brittany and Wikipedia Brest. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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