The character of this region is probably shaped by long jagged coastline. Beautiful beaches, bathed by the enormous tides line up along the north coast with its fishing ports and oyster beds. The southern coastline is more gentle, the climate milder, the landscape is crossed by river valleys while the west coast by its opening to the Atlantic reveals a sight which explains its name Finistère – the End of the World. In the inland you can find farmland, woodland and moorland.
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Culture & Sights
In the interior region of the Finistère the Breton culture is still alive. In Quimper as well as in the PaysBigouden everyday life is dominated by Celtic music and traditional costumes. Eastern Brittany is somewhat less capricious. Vannes, Dinan and Rennes, Brittany’s capital, can boast with well-preserved half-timber houses. As all over Brittany prehistoric sites can be found, Vannes houses the famous Musée d’Archéologie du Morbihan, a rich collection of treasure from ancient times. In Rennes the Cathédrale St-Pierre with its Flemish altar-piece is remarkable, as well as the Église St-Sauveur. A symbol of Brittany are especially the enclosparoissiaux, fortified parsonages built starting from the 15th century as a sign of religious worship of the Bretons. In smaller villages such impressive sacred edifices sometimes were built over than 200 years. Some of the most beautiful parsonages lie in the Elron Valley. The fortified port of St-Malo on the Côte d’Émeraude remind of the old seafaring tradition of Brittany.
From the point of view of cuisine, Brittany means a simple, opulent and exquisite exploration, reaching from the rich seafood to the sweet realms of Cidre and pastry. The salted butter whipped, washed and shaped from fresh raw milk has since the Middle Ages been an indispensable side-dish to all Breton specialities. In Brittany glasses will not be filled with wine but with cidre, beer and chouchen (a type of mead).
The Country and its People
The Bretons are aware of their traditions.Both their language, Breton, and their national costumes have revived during the last years. To the Bretons music is also of great importance when they celebrate their festivals.