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Morbihan
Coat of Arms of Morbihan
Location
Location of Morbihan in France
Administration
Department number: 56
Region: Bretagne
Prefecture: Vannes
Subprefectures: Lorient
Pontivy
Arrondissements: 3
Cantons: 42
Communes: 261
President of the General Council: Joseph-François Kergueris
Statistics
Population Ranked 32nd
 -1999 643,873
Population density: 94/km2
Land area¹: 6823 km2
¹ French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2.

Morbihan (Breton: Mor-Bihan) is a department in the northwest of France named after the Morbihan (small sea in Breton), the enclosed sea that is the principal feature of the coastline.

Contents

History

Morbihan is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from part of the Duchy of Brittany. This is the only one french department which has no french name, Morbihan is in breton. It is also the only one department in France which kept its original name.

Geography

Morbihan is part of the current region of Bretagne and is surrounded by the departments of Finistère, Côte-d'Armor, Ille-et-Vilaine, and Loire-Atlantique, and the Atlantic Ocean on the southwest.

The Gulf of Morbihan has many islands: 365 according to legend, but, in reality, between 30 and 40, according to how they are counted. There are also many islets which are too small to be built on. Of these islands, all but two are private: l'Île aux Moines and l'Île D'Arz. The others are privately owned, some by movie stars or fashion designers.

In the department of Morbihan, but outside the Gulf, there are four inhabited islands:

  • Meaban, just outside the Port du Crouesty is an ornithological reserve and it is forbidden to alight there.

Culture

The Breton language is an important issue, with many advocating bilingual education.

Art

The painter Raymond Wintz (1884-1956) depicted locations around the Gulf of Morbihan.

Tourism

See also

External links

Coordinates: 47°50′N 02°50′W / 47.833°N 2.833°W / 47.833; -2.833

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : France : Brittany : Morbihan

Morbihan is in the Brittany region of France.

  • Pays de Lorient
  • Pays d'Auray
  • Pays de la Baie Rhuys-Vilaine
  • Pays de Vannes-Lanvaux
  • Pays de Redon
  • Pays de l'Oust a Broceliande
  • Pays de Pontivy
  • Pays du Roi Morvan
  • Pays de la Vallee du Blavet
  • Rohan
  • Josselin
  • Pontivy

Understand

Morbihan is a region of Brittany rich in history and culture. The name mor bihan comes from the Breton "little sea" which is a reference to the inland sea of the Golfe du Morbihan, where an abundance of wildlife thrives, together with yachts and small boats meandering between its lovely islands. Just outside the gulf is the Atlantic Ocean, "mor braz" (big sea or ocean), where sailors once started their long voyages to the Orient.

Talk

French is the main language of use in the area, though those involved with the tourism industry will usually speak at least some English.

Get in

Ferry, St Malo or Roscoff: [1]

Fly, Dinard, Brest or Lorient: [2] [3] [4]

Get around

Josselin - The chateau des Rohan

Pontivy - Napoleonic heritage trail

Vannes and Le Golfe du Morbihan

  • Menhirs and Dolmens- ancient standing stones and stone tables.

Itineraries

Chateaux

Museums

Nantes-Brest Canal

Brittany Beaches

  • Walk
  • Cycle
  • Swim
  • Seafood, oysters, mussels.
  • Buckwheat pancakes, crepes and desserts.
  • Ham and pork products.
  • Buttermilk
  • Artichokes and cauliflowers.
  • Breton cider
  • Wine

Stay safe

Swim at the safe beaches of Morbihan.

Beware of dangerous undercurrents in the Golf du Morbihan.

Sleep

Morbihan lies in the middle of the five departments that form the region of Brittany and can offer accommodation beside the sea, or deep in the Breton countryside. This department has a wide variety of hotels, pensions, bed and breakfast establishments, gites or holiday cottages, and campsites to offer the "vacancier".

  • Holiday Cottage in Morbihan: [5]
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MORBIHAN, a department of western France on the Atlantic seaboard, formed of part of Lower Brittany, and bounded S.E. by the department of Loire-Inferieure, E. by that of Ille-etVilaine, N. by Cotes-du-Nord, and W. by Finistere. Area, 2738 sq. m. Pop. (1906), 573,152. From the Montagnes Noires on the northern frontier the western portion of Morbihan slopes southward towards the Atlantic, being watered by the Elle, the Blavet with its affluent the Scorff, and the Auray; the eastern portion, on the other hand, dips towards the south-east in the direction of the course of the Oust and its feeders, which fall into the Vilaine. Though the Montagnes Noires contain the highest point (974 ft.) in the department, the most striking orographic feature of Morbihan is the dreary, treeless, streamless tract of moorland and marsh known as the Landes of Lanvaux, which extends (W.N.W. to E.S.E.) with a width of from 1 to 3 miles for a distance of 31 miles between the valley of the Claie and that of the Arz (affluents of the Oust). A striking contrast to this district is afforded by the various inlets of the sea, whose shores are clothed with vegetation of exceptional richness, large fig-trees, rose-laurels, and aloes growing as if in Algeria. The coast-line is exceedingly irregular: the mouth of the Vilaine, the peninsular of Ruis, the great gulf of Morbihan (Inner Sea), from which the department takes its name, and the mouth of the Auray, the long Quiberon peninsula attached to the mainland by the narrow isthmus of Fort Penthievre, the deepbranching estuary of Etel, the mouths of the Blavet and the Scorff uniting to form the port of Lorient, and, finally, on the borders of Finistere the mouth of the Laita, follow each other in rapid succession. Off the coast lie the islands of Groix, Belle-Ile (q.v.), Houat and Hoedik. Vessels drawing 13 ft. can ascend the Vilaine as far as Redon; the Blavet is canalized throughout its course through the department; and the Oust, as part of the canal from Nantes to Brest, forms a great waterway by Redon, Josselin, Rohan and Pontivy. The climate of Morbihan is characterized by great moisture and mildness. Unproductive heath occupies more than a quarter of the department, about a third of which is arable land. Rye, buckwheat and wheat, potatoes and mangels are the chief crops; hemp and flax are also grown. Horned cattle are the chief livestock and beekeeping is extensively practised. The sea-ware gathered along the coast helps greatly to improve the soil of the region bordering thereon. Outside of Lorient (q.v.), a centre for naval construction, there is little industrial activity in Morbihan. The catching and curing of sardines and the breeding of oysters (Auray, St Armel, &c.) form the business of many of the inhabitants of the coast, who also fish for anchovies, lobsters, &c., for tinning.

The forges of Hennebont are of some importance for the production of sheet-tin.

The department is served by the Orleans railway. It is divided into four arrondissements - Vannes, Lorient, Ploermel and Pontivy - with 37 cantons and 256 communes. The capital Vannes is the seat of a bishopric of the province of Rennes. The department belongs to the region of the XIth army corps and to the academic (educational division) of Rennes, where also is its court of appeal. The principal places are Vannes, Lorient, Ploermel, Pontivy, Auray, Hennebont, Carnac and Locmariaquer, the last two famous for the megalithic monuments in their vicinity. Other places of interest are Erdeven and Plouharnel, also well known for their megalithic remains; Elven, with two towers of the 15th century, remains of an old stronghold; Josselin which has the fine château of the Rohan family and a church containing the tomb (15th century) of Olivier de Clisson and his wife; Guern with a chapel of the 15th and 16th centuries and le Faouet with a chapel of the 15th century; Quiberon, which is associated with the disaster of the French émigrés in 1795; Sarzeau, near which is the fortress of Sucinio (13th and 15th centuries); Ste Barbe with a chapel, dating from about the end of the 15th century, finely situated, overlooking the Elie; St Gildas-de-Ruis, with a ruined Romanesque church and other remains of a Benedictine abbey of which Abelard was for a time abbot. The principal pardons (religious festivals) of the department arc those of Ste Anne-d'Auray and St Nicolas-des-Eaux.


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

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Wikipedia

Proper noun

Morbihan

  1. One of the départements of Brittany, France

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