Brittany, France

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  • Topic: Brittany, English Channel, France
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  • Published : May 25, 2013
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The beautiful country of Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Brittany occupies a large peninsula in the north west of France, lying between the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south. The historical province of Brittany is divided into five departments: Finistère in the west, Côtes-d'Armor in the north, Ille-et-Vilaine in the north east, the Loire-Atlantique in the south east and Morbihan in the south on the Bay of Biscay.

Brittany is home to many megalithic monuments which are scattered across the peninsula. The largest alignments are near Karnag. The purpose of these monuments is still unknown, and many local people are reluctant to entertain speculation on the subject. The words dolmen (meaning stone) and menhir ( meaning long) are Breton and commonly used by either Breton or French people. Brittany is also known for its calvary sculptures, elaborately carved crucifixion scenes found at crossroads in villages and small towns, especially in Western Brittany.

Besides its numerous intact manors, Brittany has several old fortified towns also. The walled city of Saint-Malo , a popular tourist attraction, is also an important port linking Brittany with England and the Channel Islands. It also was the birthplace of the historian Louis Duchesne, acclaimed author Chateaubriand, famous corsair Surcouf and explorer Jacques Cartier. The town of Roscoff is served by ferry links with England and Ireland.

There is a very old pilgrimage called the Tro Breizh (tour of Brittany), where the pilgrims walk around Brittany from the grave of one of the seven founder saints to another. Historically, the pilgrimage was made in one trip (about 600 km) for all seven saints. Nowadays, however, pilgrims complete the trip over the course of several years. In 2002, the Tro Breizh included a special pilgrimage to Wales, symbolically making the reverse journey of the Welshmen Sant Paol, Sant Brieg, and Sant Samzun....
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