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Brittany Province of France

Facts on Bretagne

Land area: 27,208 km²
Population: estimated at 3,081,000
Area: 113/km² (2006)
Capital City: Rennes

Bretagne is also known to many as Brittany.

Brittany Province

- Travel Guide
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Facts on Brittany Province of France

Bretagne is one of the 26 regions of France and it occupies a large peninsula in the northwest of the country.  It lies between the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south.

The region of Bretagne is made up of 80% of the former duchy and province of Brittany and includes its well known capital city of Rennes. The remaining 20% of Brittany is the Loire-Atlantique department, which lies inside the Pays-de-la-Loire region, and its capital is Nantes, which was the historical capital of the duchy of Brittany.

Although Nantes had been the main capital of the duchy of Brittany until the 16th century, Rennes had been the seat of the supreme court of justice of Brittany between 1560 and 1789 and therefore part of the reason why Brittany was split between these two modern day regions was to avoid the ongoing rivalry between Rennes and Nantes.

When the French regions were created, it was decided when the majority of France was under Nazi German occupation and the remainder under the puppet Vichy regime in 1941, to create a region of Bretagne with Rennes as its capital, and another region created specifically for Nantes, which was called Pays-de-la-Loire.  Pays-de-la-Loire is made up of a part of Brittany, but also several other historical provinces.

There are two regional languages which are recognised by the region - Breton, a Celtic language that is spoken in the western part of Brittany and Gallo that is in the process of being revived in the parts of Brittany that never spoke Breton.

The region is divided into five departments.  To the west is Finistere and to the north is Côtes-d'Armor.  Morbihan lies in the middle, Ille-et-Vilaine is in the north-east and Loire-Atlantique is to the south-east.

Approximately 72 percent of residents live in the Bretagne region, whilst the other 28 percent of people live in the Pays-de-la-Loire region.

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