The Gulf of Morbihan

2 October 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Île-aux-Moines © Pinpin/cc-by-sa-3.0

Île-aux-Moines © Pinpin/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Gulf of Morbihan is a natural harbour on the coast of the Département of Morbihan in the south of Brittany. This English name is taken from the French version: le golfe du Morbihan. It is more accurately called ‘the Morbihan’ directly from its Breton name which is Ar Mor Bihan, meaning ‘the little sea’ (Compare the Welsh y môr bychan), as opposed to the Atlantic Ocean outside, (Ar Mor Bras). Legend says that there are as many islands in the Gulf as there are days of the year. However, this is untrue and the gulf has about 40, depending on the tide. Many islands are private property, except the largest two, l’Île-aux-Moines and l’Île-d’Arz.   read more…

Penmarch in Brittany

20 December 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Pointe de Penmarch © Photographe

Pointe de Penmarch © Photographe

Penmarch is a commune in the Finistère department of Brittany in north-western France. It lies 18 km south-west of Quimper by road. Inhabitants of Penmarc’h are called in French Penmarchais.   read more…

The Lighthouse of Saint-Mathieu

13 December 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Abbay and lighthouse of Saint-Mathieu © Pline/cc-by-sa-3.0

Abbay and lighthouse of Saint-Mathieu © Pline/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Saint-Mathieu lighthouse is a lighthouse located on Pointe Saint-Mathieu in Plougonvelin, around Brest in Finistère. The lighthouse is open to the public. Saint-Mathieu was built in 1835 among the ruins of the ancient Abbaye Saint-Mathieu de Fine-Terre. It is a major lighthouse of the French coast, with a theoretical range of 29 nautical miles (around 55 km). It was classified as a monument historique on 23 May 2011.   read more…

Dinan in Brittany

21 November 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Chateau de Dinan © Luna04

Chateau de Dinan © Luna04

Dinan is a walled Breton town and a commune in the Côtes-d’Armor department in northwestern France. Its geographical setting is exceptional. Instead of nestling on the valley floor like Morlaix, most urban development has been on the hillside, overlooking the river Rance. The area alongside the River Rance is known as the port of Dinan and is connected to the town by the steep streets Rue Jerzual and its continuation outside the walls the Rue de Petit Fort.   read more…

The Special Military School of Saint-Cyr

25 January 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Universities, Colleges, Academies

Guer - Camp Coëtquidan - Ecoles de Coetquidan © Nitot/cc-by-sa-3.0

Guer – Camp Coëtquidan – Ecoles de Coetquidan © Nitot/cc-by-sa-3.0

The École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr (ESM, literally the “Special Military School of Saint-Cyr”) is the foremost French military academy. It is often referred to as Saint-Cyr. Its motto is “Ils s’instruisent pour vaincre”: literally “They study to vanquish” or “Training for victory”. French cadet officers are named “saint-cyriens”, or “cyrards”. The École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr is located in Coëtquidan in Guer, Morbihan department, Brittany.   read more…

Morlaix in Brittany

21 May 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Morlaix with its viaduct in the background © Thesupermat/cc-by-sa-3.0

Morlaix with its viaduct in the background © Thesupermat/cc-by-sa-3.0

Morlaix is a commune in the Finistère department of Brittany in northwestern France with a population of 15,600. It is a sub-prefecture of the department. The old quarter of the town has winding streets of cobbled stones and overhanging houses constructed of stone and timber. Many have religious and secular sculptures on their façades. A tidal river that almost completely dries out at low tide reaches the town of Morlaix where there is a lock into a marina.   read more…

Auray in Brittany

30 April 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Port of Saint Goustan © Varus111/cc-by-30

Port of Saint Goustan © Varus111/cc-by-30

Auray is a commune in the Morbihan department in Brittany in northwestern France. Inhabitants of Auray are called Alréens.   read more…

Rennes in Brittany

22 September 2012 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Republique Square and Palace of Commerce © Pline

Republique Square and Palace of Commerce © Pline

Rennes is a city in the east of Brittany in northwestern France. Rennes is the capital of the region of Brittany, as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department. From 1954 onward, the city developed extensive building plans to accommodate upwards of 220,000 inhabitants, helping it become the third fastest-growing city in France, after Toulouse and Montpellier.   read more…

The Rance Tidal Power Station

23 May 2012 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Green Technologies

Aerial view: Saint-Malo on the right, Dinard on the left © Tswgb

Aerial view: Saint-Malo on the right, Dinard on the left © Tswgb

The Rance Tidal Power Station is the world’s first tidal power station and also the world’s second biggest tidal power station. The facility is located on the estuary of the Rance River, in Brittany. Opened on the 26th November 1966, it is currently operated by Électricité de France, and is the second largest tidal power station in the world, in terms of installed capacity. With a peak rating of 240 Megawatts, generated by its 24 turbines, it supplies 0.012% of the power demand of France. With a capacity factor of approximately 40%, it supplies an average 96 Megawatts, giving an annual output of approximately 600 GWh. The barrage is 750 m (2,461 ft) long, from Brebis point in the west to Briantais point in the east. The power plant portion of the dam is 332.5 m (1,091 ft) long. The tidal basin measures 22.5 km2 (9 sq mi).   read more…

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