Bretagne, Brittany my region!!!

So this is it, Bretagne, my region and home for the last almost 7 years. It has been a wonderful rollercoaster ride, smooth out into a dolmen tranquility and splashes of seawater. Bretagne or Brittany but even better Breizh is heavens. Before moving here , I have to admit, only had visited Rennes for a company trip of one day!!! When I came in 2011 did not thought would be this long to tell you the truth, but gladly I am still here, a lovely area of France that needs to be visit more. I have two old friends from my previous life in travel forums and they have admit to me the area is indeed pretty ,nice and should be visited more. I agree ::) Degemer mat !!!

The region official page of course ,can be translated into Breton on top middle front page. And the webpage is written with the bzh and not fr designation ::) Here it is in French: http://www.bretagne.bzh/

And even in Paris there is welcome of Brittany by the gare Montparnasse as the Maison de la Bretagne open to the public from 9h to 18H. Located at 8 rue de l’Arrivée ,15éme, more here: http://parisbreton.org/pbr/

The regional official tourism page is here http://www.bretagne.bzh/jcms/TF071112_5061/fr/tourisme
And the office of tourism is here: http://www.brittanytourism.com/

Now let’s get into the details ok;
Something about mon Bretagne. The region is a peninsula on the extreme west of France located between the Manche to the north, the Celtic sea and sea of Iroise to the west and the Gulf of Gascony to the south. The insular Breton came from the old Gaullist Armorique and created a kingdom in the 9C that eventually become a Duchy depending of the kingdom of France. Finally reunited by marriage to the French crown in 1532. In 1790 during the rule of the French revolution , it was divided into five departments such as Côtes-du-Nord, Finistère, Ille-et-Vilaine, Loire-Inférieure, and Morbihan. The old department of Loire Inférieur becomes the Loire-Atlantique is attach to the region of Pays de la Loire. The question of the unification to the current region of Brittany is the object of heated debates.

A bit of history I like; tell us that Brittany rarely written as Britannia means literally the country of the Bretons. Or in Breton, Breizh.

By the 5C BC, Brittany is touch by the second wave of expansion of the Celts, and they impose their language, costumes, made discovery of iron to the local populations and the agriculture is advance. The territory is occupied by five groups such as the Coriosolites (territory east of current department of Côtes-d’Armor, in the west of Ille-et-Vilaine , and north of the Morbihan) ; the Namnètes occupying the current department of the Loire-Atlantique, north of the Loire river, given name to the current city of Nantes) ; the Osismes ( occupying the current department of the Finistère, and the west parts of the Côtes-d’Armor and the Morbihan) ; the Riedones (occupying the east of current department of Ille-et-Vilaine ,given the name to the city of Rennes) ; The Vénètes occupying the current department of the Morbihan,cousins of the Vénétie and Gwynedd.Given the name to the city of Vannes or Gwened in Breton).My current department 56 and capital city where I work !!! We,then add the Ambilatres, occupying the south of the current department of the Loire-Atlantique and the north of the Vendée. The territory of Brittany was conquered by the Romans led by Jules Cesar in the war of Gaullia or Gauls in 56 BC.

At the high Middle Ages, Brittany was divided in two ,then three kingdoms, such as the Domnonée, Cornouaille, Broërec (initially called the Bro Waroch) that were under the authority of the dukes and kings of Brittany in the 9C . King Nominoë, 845 to 851, was the one credited with the origins of Brittany unified and independent and given the name of father of the fatherland or Tad ar Vro in Breton. The region grew in the 9C under king Erispoê into a kingdom of Brittany. The treaty of Angers of 851AD defines the limits but encouraged king Salomon to go to war vs Charles the bold or taken by the Vikings ; thanks to the conquest of king Salomon and the treaty of Entrammes of 863, and that of Compiègne in 867,Brittany reached it maximum area which included the Avranchin, Cotentin,the anglo normand islands, a good part of the Maine and Anjou. The kingdom is constantly attacked and occupied by invasion of Vikings early in the 10C.

Rebuilt by Duke Alain II of Brittany aka twistedbeard after the battle of Trans in 939AD, the politics of the Duchy of Brittany is carried out independent but sometimes dominated by the kings of England or France. With the these alliances the region reached again the old limits of the Treaty of Angers. Following the uprisings against the Royal power in the crazy war or Guerre Folle, Duke François II of Brittany encounter important military defeats in 1488 such as the battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier. The treaty of Sablé aka as treaty of the Verger signed by king Charles VIII of France and Duke François II of Brittany in this year 1488 stipulating that the Duke cannot married his daughters without the consent of the king of France, the war continue for three years under the pretext that the treaty was not respected from the first marriage of Anne de Bretagne until 1491, when king Charles VIII married Duchess Anne de Bretagne; therefore the king enforcing his authority on Brittany. Following Anne’s death and the marriage of her daughter Claude the duchy and the kingdom of France were finally united in 1532.

What happened at Vannes where the Estates general of Brittany were held under the duke François Ier given quickly ruling an edit signed at Plessis-Macé guaranteeing the province of certain rights such as legislation and specific taxes. These privileges existed until the French revolution, cancelled in August of 1789 as well as the eradication of titles of City, corporations, nobility, clergy as well as the rest of France. The Brittany stop fonctioning as such and is divided into six departments which were Finistère Nord (Brest, Lannion, Lézardrieux, Plounévez-Quintin, Carhaix) ; Finistère Sud (Plougastel-Daoulas, Rostrenen, Guidel, Pointe du Raz) ; Côtes-du-Nord and Ille-et-Vilaine Nord ( Saint-Malo, Dol, Les Forges, Corlay,etc) ;Ille-et-Vilaine ( Fougères, Vitré, Rennes, Redon, Châteaubriant, Sainte-Anne-sur-Vilaine, Ploërmel, Lanouée) ; Morbihan ( Langon, Pontivy, Lorient, Vannes) ; Loire-Inférieure( current limits except Châteaubriant). They were divided further in February 1790 as five departments such as Côtes-du-Nord ( which became Côtes-d’Armor in 1990), Finistère, Ille-et-Vilaine, Loire-Inférieure ( attached in 1956 to Pays de la Loire, and becoming Loire-Atlantique in 1957),and the Morbihan.

In 1956 the program regions had reborn the region of Brittany , but on technical, economic, and political considerations and nothing to do with history the creation was done with four departments and the Loire-Atlantique attached to the region of Pays de la Loire in 1973. Even thus, the general council of Loire-Atlantique asked in 1973 to be attach to Brittany, and the regional council of Brittany asked for the unification or a re examen of the limits was adopted . Even against these transactions and the new referendum asked to be done in 1982 and 2001 for a popular consultation with the authorities of France, these have never agreed to their request, even if the request came from the elected officials of Brittany. After, the analysis of 13 survey results in 25 years suggesting that 65% of the population wishes to be reunited, Brittany and Loire-Atlantique with only the other departments of the Pays de la Loire against it ,the authorities have never had an ear to these requests. Still a matter of regional debate and argumentation as of today.

The region was difficult to pinpoint a capital city as the Estates general of Brittany reunited in different cities in their history with Dinan, Nantes (17 times), Ploërmel, Redon, Rennes, Vitré, Vannes (19 times), and Guérande. The same for the bishops’s seat being at Dol until 1199AD the metropole de Brittany and were the maximum leader in the absent of the Dukes and later governors and commanders of the region with later Dol united with the diocese of Rennes in 1790 . Eventually the bishop of Rennes obtains from emperor Napoléon III the confirmation of the seat in Rennes. While in 1532 the parliament of Brittany needed to be together in both cities , however, the interdiction of the Court of France ,starting with Catherine de Médicis with Nantes and its old privileges in Brittany was overtaken by Rennes the seat of Parliament from 1560-1675, and again from 1689-1790), the faculty of justice, residence of the commander in chief and later intendant, and with this the prefecture or regional government was given to it by the French republic as well.

Brittany has two historical areas on language. The lower Brittany or Basse-Bretagne or Breizh izel in the west (grouping Finistére, Morbihan, west of Côtes-d’Armor and on the south the peninsula of Guérande with the towns of Bourg-de-Batz in the Loire-Atlantique speaking the language of origin bretonnic (close to the gallois and Cornish) known as the Breton or Brezhoneg ; the other is the high Brittany or Haute-Bretagne or Breizh Uhel in the east of Ille-et-Vilaine, Côtes-d’Armor east, Morbihan east, Loire-Atlantique where the dialect of the oil are spoken such as the Gallo,same as the Poitevin in the Pays de Retz and some Breton in the region of Rennes.. The Celtic league considered Brittany as one of it’s six countries as far as language more here: https://www.celticleague.net/

Some of the particulars of the region of Brittany is the stones, well before the Celts the population neolithique erected stones or menhirs, cairns and tumuli that still we have the Dolmen and covered alleys of which the latter had a funeral and cultural significance. Their function still is a mistery but many think that it is a territory mark associated with religious activities. The Christians of Brittany are mostly Catholic, and the patron Saint of Brittany is Sainte Anne or « Mamm gozh ar Vretoned », in Breton. Also known as the grandmother of the Bretons. According to the Bible she is the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus. IN many parishes once a year the believers gathered for a « pardon », the feast of the town’s saint. It starts with a procession follow or preceeded by a Mass. This feast has a pagan side with offering of food or souvenirs . The most popular is that dedicated to Saint Ronan at Locronan,in the Finistére with a procession of 12 km, known as the « troménie » from the Breton tro minic’hi,or the sacred exil tower of the monastery, done with several people dressed in period costumes ; is the biggest procession that of Sainte Anne at near me Saint-Anne d’Auray in the Morbihan. More, the flag of Brittany in its modern version (1923) is the Gwenn ha Du ( or the white and black). The superior left square takes the armors of Brittany a Ermine. In heraldic it says franc quarter of the plain ermine, meaning without precise number. The flag has 11 stripes and the bands of white and black are the explication the most popular representing the region or country and its nine parishes of Brittany; four for the part of the Breton language, and five for the part of the Gallo language. It is the Bro gozh ma zadoù ( old country of my parents), even if not officially recognized by France. There, is also, an hymn or national anthem of Brittany with words of François Taldir-Jaffrenou at the end of the 19C ; it is sang with the lyrics music of the anthem of the British Cornouailles under the name of Bro goth agan tasow en cornique.

Transports are still a bit behind to the rest of France even if big investments by the Government is coming along. This is a peninsula you know… There is a network of good roads and free of tolls pushed by De Gaulle in 1962. The main ones in () and corridors are Nantes – Saint-Nazaire (RN171) ; Brest – Morlaix – Guingamp – Saint-Brieuc – Rennes (RN12); Saint-Malo – Rennes – Nantes (RN137); Brest – Quimper – Lorient – Vannes – Nantes (RN165) Rennes – Lorient (RN24) ; Ploërmel – Vannes (RN166) ;Châteaulin – Loudéac – Montauban (RN164) ; Rennes – Vitré (Le Mans) (RN157) : Rennes – Fougères (Caen) (autoroute des Estuaires – A84) ; Nantes – Saint-Nazaire (RN171) ; Brest – Morlaix – Guingamp – Saint-Brieuc – Rennes (RN12) ; Saint-Malo – Rennes – Nantes (RN137) ; Brest – Quimper – Lorient – Vannes – Nantes (RN165) ; Rennes – Lorient (RN24) ; Ploërmel – Vannes (RN166) ; Châteaulin – Loudéac – Montauban (RN164) : Rennes – Vitré (Le Mans) (RN157) ; and Rennes – Fougères (Caen) (autoroute des Estuaires – A84). As you can imagine if reading my posts I have tried them all :J
Now we have GPS but still the paper trail is good to compare , best around here is viamichelin here : https://www.viamichelin.fr/

The train network is improving with faster service to Paris. However, the network is done around Rennes (sort of Paris for France) linking to Paris on the TGV Atlantique and last year started the line LGV line Bretagne-Pays de la Loire, or the classic route Paris – Chartres – Le Mans – Laval – Rennes. The main routes are Nantes – Saint-Nazaire ;;Rennes – Saint-Malo via Dol ;Rennes – Brest via Saint-Brieuc ;Rennes – Redon – Quimper ;;Rennes – Redon – Nantes ;Rennes – Chateaubriant. §Here taken most on the Rennes, Nantes, Redon lines. Some secondary TER lines are Saint-Nazaire – Le Croisic via La Baule-Escoublac ;Dol – Lamballe via Dinan ;Dol – Folligny – Saint-Lô – Lison – Caen ;Saint-Brieuc – Loudéac; Guingamp – Paimpol; Guingamp – Carhaix; Plouaret – Lannion; Morlaix – Roscoff ; Brest – Landerneau ; the most used line in Brittany; Brest – Quimper (via Landerneau); and for summer only the tire bouchon or corkscrew line of the beaches Auray – Quiberon.
Some of the link that will be useful are the local regional TER site here: https://www.ter.sncf.com/bretagne

And a total site for all kinds of transport in Brittany, very useful to try different combinations of modes of transport here:
http://www.breizhgo.com/fr/

Now that is a lot info to swallow but you can always ask me ::)

Unesco sites here are for the Vauban fortifications at Camaret-sur-mer; while the megaliths stones of Carnac are still in the process. Also, the Breton festival of Fez Noz are under consideration. As far as cities of Art and History designation in France we have my old home Auray, then Châteaubriant, Concarneau,Dinan, Fougéres, Guingamp, Hennebont,Lamballe, Landerneau,Lannion, Morlaix, Nantes, Pont l’Abbé, Pontivy, Port Louis,Quimper, Quimperlé, Rennes, St Malo, Saint Pol de Léon, Vannes, and Vitré. All of these in my blog.

Well, we come to the part where I post my posts on Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh but there are sooo many. I rather tell you to look up these towns in my blog and see the history of Brittany before you. Well just a couple; my first town Auray and the tradition of Sainte Anne.
https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/06/26/pays-dauray-my-new-place-in-france/

And the first encounter with Brec’h my first home in Brittany all in the Morbihan 56 department here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2012/01/28/a-walk-on-the-train-station-of-auray-and-historical-walk-at-the-village-of-brech/

And we move rather quickly to my current home Pluvigner here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2013/09/08/my-new-home-of-pluvigner-in-the-morbihan-breton/

And my work and capital city of Vannes here :https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/09/17/vannes-versailles-both-v-and-both-victory-for-me/

You get an idea ook. One picture to showcase this region, and my Morbihan deparment? well I am a believer to our lady Sainte Anne at Sainte-Anne d’Auray; enjoy it. See you soon in other areas of France. Cheers!

Sainte Anne d'Auray

2 Comments to “Bretagne, Brittany my region!!!”

  1. I studied at the University of Rennes but I think I have learned more about Brittany from your post!

    Liked by 1 person

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