Known to the Romans as Armorica, ancient Bretagne consisted of numerous small Celtic tribes which banded together on the coming of Caesar. It’s said that Britons were invited into Bretagne by the Romans, whom they served as allies in the wars against the Visigoths, and that from this alliance rose the counts of Bretagne. The counts – later dukes, then kings – of Bretagne ruled until passing by marriage to the French king Charles VII. On Charles’ death, Bretagne again reverted to its independence, but a subsequent marriage brought the kingdom into the royal domain after 1532.

The commerce and industry of Bretagne is focused on the sea. The province is home to the largest trading fleets in France, even larger than those of La Rochelle, primarily from the ports of Nantes and Saint Malo. The fishing fleet of the province travels across the ocean to the coastal waters of New France, making two voyages a year and remaining at sea for three to four months at a time, returning with holds filled with cod. The ports trade extensively with the whole of Europe, shipping French goods such as wine, brandy, salt, paper, and linens in exchange for Dutch spices, iron goods, tallow, whalebone, oil, and wire; English woolens, lead, tin, and copper; Irish butter, beef, herring, and hides; Spanish oranges, citrons, and specie; and Danish and Swedish steel, masts, cordage and iron goods.

Bretagne is bordered by La Manche to the north, Normandie and Anjou to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south and west. The ancient language of the Britons is widely spoken throughout the province.

Cities, Towns, and Villages

The Landscape

Haute-Bretagne, the mountainous eastern region of the province -

  • Monts d’Arrée
  • Forêt du Gavre
  • Forêt de Rennes
  • Forêt de Fougères
  • Forêt de Loudéac
  • Brocéliande

Basse-Bretagne, the coastal western region of the prvince


Le Ballet de l'Acier Black_Vulmea