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Morbihan (French pronunciation: ​[mɔʁbi.ɑ̃]; Breton: Mor-Bihan, Breton pronunciation: [morˈbiˑãn]) is a department in Brittany, situated in the northwest of France. It is named after the Morbihan (small sea in Breton), the enclosed sea that is the principal feature of the coastline. It is noted for its Carnac stones. These predate and are more extensive than the ancient Stonehenge monument in Wiltshire, England that is more familiar to English speakers.

Morbihan
Department
Prefecture building of the Morbihan department, in Vannes
Prefecture building of the Morbihan department, in Vannes
Flag of Morbihan
Flag
Coat of arms of Morbihan
Coat of arms
Location of Morbihan in France
Location of Morbihan in France
Coordinates: 47°50′N 02°50′W / 47.833°N 2.833°W / 47.833; -2.833Coordinates: 47°50′N 02°50′W / 47.833°N 2.833°W / 47.833; -2.833
CountryFrance
RegionBrittany
PrefectureVannes
SubprefecturesLorient
Pontivy
Government
 • President of the General CouncilFrançois Goulard
Area1
 • Total6,823 km2 (2,634 sq mi)
Population (2013)
 • Total737,778
 • Rank31st
 • Density110/km2 (280/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number56
Arrondissements3
Cantons21
Communes253
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Three major military educational facilities are located in Guer, including École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, the national military academy for officers.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Morbihan is one of the original 83 departments created on March 4, 1790 during the French Revolution. It was created from a part of the Duchy of Brittany.

In 1945 cadets from École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, France's foremost military academy for officers, were relocated to Camp Coëtquidan (Camp de Coëtquidan) in Guer. This has been developed to include also the École militaire interarmes (inter-services military school), for non-commissioned officers; and École Militaire du Corps Technique et Administratif (military school of the technical and administrative corps).

GeographyEdit

Morbihan is part of the region of Brittany; it is surrounded by the departments of Finistère, Côtes-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. There are actually between 30 and 40, depending on how they are counted. There are also many islets that are too small for any development. Of these islands, all but two are privately owned: l'Île-aux-Moines and l'Île-d'Arz. Owners of the others include movie stars, fashion designers, and other wealthy "glitterati".

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

Meaban, an island just outside the Port du Crouesty, is an ornithological reserve. Visitors are forbidden there.

The largest towns in Morbihan are Vannes and Lorient.

Art and cultureEdit

Many residents support maintenance and use of the Breton language, and there are numerous advocates of bilingual education.

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

GovernanceEdit

As of 2014, the préfet of Morbihan is Jean-François Savy, previously head of the Prefectures of Ardennes and of Hautes-Alpes.[1]

TourismEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Le préfet du Morbihan". Morbihan Prefecture website.

External linksEdit