|Canton||Brest-1, 2, 3, 4 and 5|
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||François Cuillandre (PS)|
|49.51 km2 (19.12 sq mi)|
|• Density||2,900/km2 (7,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||0–103 m (0–338 ft) |
(avg. 34 m or 112 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting : residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.|
Brest (French pronunciation: [bʁɛst] (
Finistère is a department of France in the extreme west of Brittany.
Brittany is a cultural region in the northwest of France, covering the western part of what was known as Armorica during the period of Roman occupation. It became an independent kingdom and then a duchy before being united with the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province governed as if it were a separate nation under the crown.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
During the Middle Ages, the history of Brest was the history of its castle. Then Richelieu made it a military harbour in 1631.Brest grew around its arsenal until the second part of the 20th century. Heavily damaged 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.
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.
The Château de Brest is a castle in Brest, Finistère, France. The oldest monument in the town, it is located at the mouth of the river Penfeld at the heart of the roadstead of Brest, one of the largest roadsteads in the world. From the Roman castellum to Vauban's citadel, the site has over 1700 years of history, holding right up to the present day its original role as a military fortress and a strategic location of the highest importance. It is thus the oldest castle in the world still in use, and was classified as a monument historique on 21 March 1923.
Cardinal Armand Jean du Plessis, 1st Duke of Richelieu and Fronsac, commonly referred to as Cardinal Richelieu, was a French clergyman, nobleman, and statesman. He was consecrated as a bishop in 1607 and was appointed Foreign Secretary in 1616. Richelieu soon rose in both the Catholic Church and the French government, becoming a cardinal in 1622, and King Louis XIII's chief minister in 1624. He remained in office until his death in 1642; he was succeeded by Cardinal Mazarin, whose career he had fostered.
Brest's history has always been linked to the sea: the Académie de Marine (Naval Academy) was founded in 1752 in this city. The aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle was built there. Every four years, Brest hosts the international festival of the sea, boats and sailors: it is a meeting of old riggings from around the world ( Les Tonnerres de Brest ).
The Royal Naval Academy of France was founded at Brest by a ruling of 31 July 1752 by Antoine Louis de Rouillé, comte de Jouy, Secretary of State for the Navy. This institutionalised an earlier initiative by a group of officers from the Brest fleet headed by the artillery captain Sébastien Bigot de Morogues who all wanted to contribute to the modernisation of the French Navy, a group which had very quickly received the approbation of Louis XV.
Charles de Gaulle is the flagship of the French Navy. The ship is the tenth French aircraft carrier, the first French nuclear-powered surface vessel, and the only nuclear-powered carrier completed outside of the United States Navy. She is named after French statesman and general Charles de Gaulle.
Rigging comprises the system of ropes, cables and chains, which support a sailing ship or sail boat's masts—standing rigging, including shrouds and stays—and which adjust the position of the vessel's sails and spars to which they are attached—the running rigging, including halyards, braces, sheets and vangs.
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The name of the town is first recorded as Bresta; it may derive from *brigs, a Celtic word for "hill."
The Celtic languages are a group of related languages descended from Proto-Celtic. They form a branch of the Indo-European language family. The term "Celtic" was first used to describe this language group by Edward Lhuyd in 1707, following Paul-Yves Pezron, who made the explicit link between the Celts described by classical writers and the Welsh and Breton languages.
Nothing definite is known of Brest before about 1240 [ dubious ], when Harvey V, Lord of Léon ceded it to John I, Duke of Brittany. In 1342 John IV, Duke of Brittany surrendered Brest to the English, in whose possession it was to remain until 1397. The importance of Brest in medieval times was great enough to give rise to the saying, "He is not the Duke of Brittany who is not the Lord of Brest." With the marriage of Francis I of France to Claude, the daughter of Anne of Brittany, the definitive overlordship of Brest – together with the rest of the duchy – passed to the French crown in 1491.
Harvey V of Léon was the eldest son of Harvey IV of Léon and his wife Maud of Poissy.
John I, known as John the Red due to the colour of his beard, was Duke of Brittany from 1221 to his death and 2nd Earl of Richmond in 1268.
John IV the Conqueror KG was Duke of Brittany and Count of Montfort from 1345 until his death and 7th Earl of Richmond from 1372 until his death.
The advantages of Brest's situation as a seaport town were first recognized by Cardinal Richelieu, who in 1631 constructed a harbour with wooden wharves. This soon became a base for the French Navy. Jean-Baptiste Colbert, finance minister under Louis XIV, rebuilt the wharves in masonry and otherwise improved the harbour. Fortifications by Vauban (1633–1707) followed in 1680–1688. These fortifications, and with them the naval importance of the town, were to continue to develop throughout the 18th century.
A wharf, quay, or staith(e) is a structure on the shore of a harbour or on the bank of a river or canal where ships may dock to load and unload cargo or passengers. Such a structure includes one or more berths, and may also include piers, warehouses, or other facilities necessary for handling the ships. Wharfs are often considered to be a series of docks in which boats are stationed.
The French Navy, informally "La Royale", is the maritime arm of the French Armed Forces. Dating back to 1624, the French Navy is one of the world's oldest naval forces. It has participated in conflicts around the globe and played a key part in establishing the French colonial empire.
Jean-Baptiste Colbert was a French politician who served as the Minister of Finances of France from 1661 to 1683 under the rule of King Louis XIV.
In 1694, an English squadron under Lord Berkeley was soundly defeated in its attack on Brest.
In 1917, during the First World War, Brest was used as the disembarking port for many of the troops coming from the United States. Thousands of such men came through the port on their way to the front lines. The United States Navy established a naval air station on 13 February 1918 to operate seaplanes. The base closed shortly after the Armistice of 11 November 1918.
In the Second World War, the Germans maintained a large U-boat submarine base at Brest. Despite being within range of RAF bombers, it was also a base for some of the German surface fleet, giving repair facilities and direct access to the Atlantic Ocean. For much of 1941, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen were under repair in the dockyards. The repair yard facilities for both submarines and surface vessels were staffed by both German and French workers, with the latter forming the major part of the workforce; huge reliance was made on this French component.In 1944, after the Allied invasion of Normandy, the city was almost totally destroyed during the Battle for Brest, with only a tiny number of buildings left standing. After the war, the West German government paid several billion Deutschmarks in reparations to the homeless and destitute civilians of Brest in compensation for the destruction of their city. Large parts of today's rebuilt city consist of utilitarian granite and concrete buildings. The French naval base now houses the Brest Naval Training Centre. A wartime German navy memorandum suggested that the town should perhaps serve as a German enclave after the war.
In 1972, the French Navy opened its nuclear weapon-submarine (deterrence) base at Île Longue in the Rade de Brest (Brest roadstead). This continues to be an important base for the French nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines.
The meaning of the coat of arms of Brest is half France (the three fleurs-de-lis of the former kingdom of France), half Brittany (semé d'hermine of Brittany). These arms were used for the first time in a register of deliberations of the city council dated the 15 July 1683.
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 .
The city of Brest does not have much remaining historical architecture, apart from a few select monuments such as the castle and the Tanguy tower. This is due to heavy bombing by the Allies during World War II, in an attempt to destroy the submarine base the Germans had built in the harbour. In the 1950s, the town was hastily rebuilt using a large amount of concrete. In Recouvrance, the west bank of the town, there remains an authentic street of the 17th century, Saint-Malo Street.
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. Brest was an important warship-producing port during the Napoleonic wars. The naval port, which is in great part excavated in the rock, extends along both banks of the Penfeld river.
Brest is located amidst a dramatic landscape near the entrance of the natural rade de Brest (Brest roadstead), at the west end of Brittany.
It is situated to the north of a magnificent landlocked bay, and occupies the slopes of two hills divided by the river Penfeld. The part of the town on the left bank is regarded as Brest proper, while the part on the right is known as Recouvrance. There are also extensive suburbs to the east of the town. The hillsides are in some places so steep that the ascent from the lower to the upper town has to be effected by flights of steps and the second or third storey of one house is often on a level with the ground storey of the next.
Brest experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb) in its classic version (due to its location in the Atlantic Ocean and the sea intrusion) where it shares a considerable moderation shared with other places of the Finistère and islands of Great Britain. Its climatic conditions also resemble Neah Bay, Washington but with summers a little warmer and drier in general than this.
|Climate data for Brest (Bretagne Airport), elevation: 103 m, 1981-2010 normals, extremes 1945-present|
|Record high °C (°F)||16.8|
|Average high °C (°F)||9.3|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||6.9|
|Average low °C (°F)||4.4|
|Record low °C (°F)||−14.0|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||143.8|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||17.7||14.0||14.5||13.0||11.3||8.6||10.4||9.6||10.1||15.7||16.9||17.2||159.0|
|Average snowy days||1.7||2.8||0.7||0.3||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.5||1.3||7.3|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||61.4||77.4||118.7||156.3||179.8||190.6||169.4||172.9||160.2||107.7||70.7||64.8||1,529.8|
|Source: Meteo France|
|Climate data for Brest (Bretagne Airport), elevation: 103 m, 1961-1990 normals and extremes|
|Record high °C (°F)||16.5|
|Mean maximum °C (°F)||11.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||9.3|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||7.0|
|Average low °C (°F)||4.6|
|Mean minimum °C (°F)||−2.0|
|Record low °C (°F)||−10.9|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||136.4|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||18.0||13.5||15.5||13.0||11.0||8.5||8.0||8.5||10.0||12.5||17.0||17.0||152.5|
|Average snowy days||1.5||1.5||1.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.0||5|
|Average relative humidity (%)||86||84||82||81||81||83||83||83||85||86||85||86||84|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||63.6||87.9||126.5||174.9||211.9||216.1||229.3||206.2||168.0||123.6||80.4||63.3||1,751.7|
|Percent possible sunshine||24.0||31.0||35.0||43.0||46.0||46.0||48.0||47.0||45.0||37.0||29.0||25.0||38.0|
|Source #1: NOAA|
|Source #2: Infoclimat.fr|
The railway station of Brest, Gare de Brest, is linked to Rennes and Paris and provides services to other stations in Brittany as well. TGV trains to Paris take approximately three hours and forty minutes to reach the capital.
A new 28 stop, 14.3 km (9 mi) tram line connecting Porte de Plouzané in the west with Porte de Gouesnou and Porte de Guipavas northeast of the city centre opened in June 2012.
Brest international airport, Brest Bretagne Airport, is mainly linked to Paris, London, Nice, Lyon, Dublin. The primarily operator is Air France (via its subsidiary HOP!). Brest international airport is the main airport of the region of Brittany in terms passager traffic with 45% of this traffic of the region, representing 919,404 passengers in 2010.A new terminal has been in service since 12 December 2007 and can accommodate up to 1.8 million passengers annually.
The harbour of Brest is mainly dedicated to bulk, hydrocarbon and freight containers. The harbour's facilities can accommodate the largest modern ships.
Due to its location, Brest is regarded as the first French port that can be accessed from the Americas. Shipping is big business, although Nantes and Saint-Nazaire offer much larger docks and attract more of the larger vessels. Brest has the ninth French commercial harbour including ship repairs and maintenance. The protected location of Brest means that its harbour is ideal to receive any type of ship, from the smallest dinghy to the biggest aircraft carrier (USS Nimitz has visited a few times). Naval construction is also an important activity: for example, the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle was built by Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) in Brest.
Despite its image of an industrialised city whose activity depends mainly on military order, the service sector represents 75% of the economic activity. The importance of the service sector is still increasing while industrialised activity is decaying, explaining the unchanged rate of working-class in Brest. Brest also hosts headquarters for many subsidiaries like the banking group Arkéa. Research and conception is taking an increasing importance. Brest claims to be the largest European centre for sciences and techniques linked to the sea: 60% of the French research in the maritime field is based in Brest.
Breton is not commonly spoken in the city of Brest, which was the only French-speaking city in western Brittany before the 1789 French Revolution, despite the surrounding countryside being fully Breton-speaking at that time. Like other French minority languages, Breton does not have any official language status in France.
The municipality launched a linguistic plan to revive Breton as a language through Ya d'ar brezhoneg on 16 June 2006. In 2008, 1.94% of primary-school children attended French-Breton bilingual Diwan schools.Besides bilingual schools, the Breton language is also taught in some schools and universities.
The association Sked federates all Breton cultural activities.
The city is host to several events to celebrate its long maritime history. The largest is held every four years, when the town organises a tall ship meeting. The last such tall ship event is "Les Tonnerres de Brest 2012" .
Brest also hosts an annual short film festival called "Brest European Short Film Festival". The city was the setting for the 1982 art film Querelle , directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
Brittany's most famous local delicacy, the Breton crêpe, is the main culinary feature apart from seafood. There are many crêpe restaurants (called crêperies). Breton apple cider is often featured.
Traditional biscuits include Traou Mad , which is a full-fat butter biscuit, similar to Scottish shortbread.
Since 1901 Brest has served as the midpoint for the 1,200 km (750 mi) bicycle endurance event, Paris–Brest–Paris. Brest is home to Stade Brestois 29, a football team in Ligue 2.
In 2002 the Brest throwball team Brest LC reached the 1st division of French throwball but were subsequently relegated due to financial difficulty. The club has recently adopted an Irish influenced infrastructure.
The 2008 Tour de France started in Brest. Stage 6 of the 2018 Tour de France will depart in Brest.
Brest is also home to Les Albatros, an ice hockey team in Ligue Magnus, and 2 league titles in the 90's.
Primarily research centre of western Brittany, Brest and its surrounding area is the home of several research and elite educational establishments:
Brest was the birthplace of:
Brest is twinned with:
Brest has an official friendly relationship (protocole d'amitié) with:
Brittany is one of the 18 regions of France. It is named after the historic and geographic region of Brittany, of which it constitutes 80%. The capital is Rennes. Bathed by the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south, it is located in the West of France, bordering the Normandy and Pays de la Loire regions. Bro Gozh ma Zadoù is the anthem of Brittany. It is sung to the same tune as that of the national anthem of Wales, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, and has similar words. As a region of France, Brittany has a Regional Council, which was most recently elected in 2015.
The arrondissement of Brest is an arrondissement of France in the Finistère department in the Brittany region. Since the January 2017 reorganization of the arrondissements of Finistère, it has 77 communes.
Carhaix-Plouguer is a commune in the Finistère department in Western Brittany.
Brest Bretagne Airport, formerly known as Brest Guipavas Airport, is an international airport serving Brest, France. It is located in the commune of Guipavas and 10.2 km northeast of Brest, within the département of Finistère.
Le Conquet is a commune in the Finistère department of Brittany in north-western France. This is the most westward town of mainland France. Only three insular towns—Ouessant, Île-Molène and Ile de Sein—are more westward.
The University of Western Brittany is a French university, located in Brest, in the Academy of Rennes. On a national scale, in terms of graduate employability, the university oscillates between 18th and 53rd out of 69 universities depending on fields of study. Overall, the University is ranked 12th out of 76 universities in France.
Guipavas is a commune in the Finistère department of Brittany in north-western France. The writer Maurice Polard is from Guipavas.
Plouénan is both a commune in the Finistère department of Brittany in north-western France and also a town within the commune.
Plouzané is a commune in the Finistère department of Brittany in north-western France.
The roadstead of Brest is a roadstead or bay located in the Finistère department in Brittany in northwestern France. The surface area is about 180 km². The port of Brest and one of the two French naval bases, Brest Arsenal, are located on its northern edge. It is linked to the Atlantic Ocean by the Goulet de Brest, a strait about 1.8 km wide. Three main rivers drain into the roadstead: the Penfeld, the Élorn and the Aulne.
The Penfeld, Penfell in Breton, is a 16 km (9.9 mi) long French coastal river. The town of Brest, in Finistère, has grown up on its left (east) bank.
The Tour Tanguy, Bastille de Quilbignon or Tour de la Motte Tanguy is a medieval tower on a rocky motte beside the Penfeld river in Brest, France. Probably built during the Breton War of Succession, it faces the château de Brest and is now accessed by a road off the square Pierre Péron, at one end of the pont de Recouvrance. It now houses the Museum of Old Brest, a museum with a collection of dioramas that depict the city of Brest on the eve of World War II.
École Supérieure de Commerce Bretagne Brest , also called The Graduate school of Management of Brittany, France, is a French business School in the city of Brest in northwestern France.
Brest Métropole is the métropole, an intercommunal structure, centred on the city of Brest. It is located in the Finistère department, in the Brittany region, western France. It was created in January 2015, replacing the previous Communauté urbaine de Brest. Its population was 212,998 in 2014, of which 143,027 in Brest proper.
Henri Bourde de La Rogerie was a French archivist and historian of Brittany.
The Brest tramway located in Brest, Brittany, France consists of a 28-stop, two-branch, 14.3-kilometre (8.9 mi) line connecting Porte de Plouzané in the west with Porte de Gouesnou and Porte de Guipavas northeast of the city centre. The end-to-end journey takes 38 minutes. The system began service on 23 June 2012. It is expected to serve 50,000 passengers per day.
The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Brest, France.
IMT Atlantique Bretagne Pays de la Loire is a leading french engineering school which was created on January 1, 2017 through the merger of the École nationale supérieure des mines de Nantes and Telecom Bretagne. It is one of the 210 French engineering schools authorized to award engineering diplomas.
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|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Brest .|