Place:Bretagne, France


Located inFrance
Contained Places
General region
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Brittany is the westernmost region of Metropolitan France. It covers about four fifths of the territory of the historic province of Brittany. Its capital is Rennes. It is one of the two Regions in Metropolitan France that does not contain any landlocked departments, the other being Corsica.

Brittany is a peninsular region bordered by the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south, and its neighboring regions are Normandy to the northeast and Pays de la Loire to the southeast. "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 2021.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The region of Brittany was created in 1941 from four of the five departments constituting the territory of traditional Brittany. The other is Loire-Atlantique, which is included in the region of Pays de la Loire, whose capital, Nantes, was a historical capital of the Duchy of Brittany.

Part of the reason Brittany was split between two present-day regions was to avoid the rivalry between Rennes and Nantes. Although Nantes was the principal capital of the Duchy of Brittany until the sixteenth century, Rennes had been the seat of the Duchy's supreme court of justice between 1560 and 1789. Rennes had also been the administrative capital of the Intendant of Brittany between 1689 and 1789, and Intendances were the most important administrative units of the kingdom of France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As for the provincial States of Brittany, a legislative body which had originally met every two years in a different city of Brittany, that had met in Rennes only between 1728 and 1789, although not in the years 1730, 1758, and 1760. Despite that, the Chambre des comptes had remained in Nantes until 1789. However, from 1381 until the end of the fifteenth century Vannes (Gwened in Breton) had served as the administrative capital of the Duchy, remaining the seat of its Chambre des comptes until the 1490s, and also the seat of its Parlement until 1553 and then again between 1675 and 1689.

Although there were previous plans to create regions out of the departments, like the Clémentel plan (1919) or the Vichy regionalisation programme (1941), these plans had no effect or else were abolished in 1945. The current French regions date from 1956 and were created by gathering departments together. In Brittany, this led to the creation of the new region of Brittany, which included only four out of the five historical Breton departments. The term région was officially created by the Law of Decentralisation (2 March 1982), which also gave regions their legal status. The first direct elections for regional representatives took place on 16 March 1986.

A majority of the tradicionally in administrative Brittany and in Nantes continue to protest against the division of the traditional territory of Brittany, hoping to see the department of Loire-Atlantique reunited with the administrative region of Brittany. However, such a reunification raises other questions: first, what to do with the remainder of the present region of Pays de la Loire, and second, which city should be chosen as the capital of such a reunified Brittany.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The name of Brittany derives from settlers from Great Britain, who fled the island in the wake of the Anglo-Saxon conquest of England between the fifth and seventh centuries. Unlike the rest of France and Brittany, Lower Brittany (roughly, west of a boundary from Saint Brieuc to Vannes) has maintained a distinctly Celtic language, Breton, which is related to Cornish and Welsh. It was the dominant language in Lower, or western, Brittany until the mid-20th century. It has been granted regional language status and revival efforts are underway. In Upper, or eastern, Brittany, the traditional language is Gallo, an Oïl language, which has also received regional recognition and is in the process of being revived.

The French administration now allows for some Breton or Gallo to be used by the region and its communes, in road signs and names of towns and cities, alongside the official French language version. The two regional languages are also taught in some schools, and many folklore associations and clubs are trying to revive them.

Brittany has historically been a stronghold of the Roman Catholic Church, and its rates of church attendance have tended to be considerably higher than the national average. However, in recent years the influence of the church has declined.

Research Tips

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Bretagne. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.