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Brest Travel Guide, France

Brest Travel-guide- Marine Culture

In 1631, Cardinal Richelieu decided to make the city a naval base and that has been the fate of the city ever since. The geographical position of Brest is very offering for a military harbor, as the landscape consists of a bay with steep hill slopes, many of them running directly into the water. The cliffs shelter many caves and allow the possibility of rock excavating, so some necessary installations and equipment are still in these natural or man made hidden spaces. Still there are a few sandy beaches to enjoy. Brest is not only suitable for ships, but also for submarines: first a U boat base for the Germans in World War II and then, in the 1970s, it became a place to manufacture nuclear submarines.

Most Brest travel guides recommend visiting Oceanopolis, a place to admire sea life in very large aquariums. The species are tropical, polar and local and pieces of information are given not only from the biological perspective, but suggestions for cooking the fish are also presented.

Brest Travel-guide - Economy and Development

Besides being an important strategic point located 147 miles from Rennes and 174 miles from Nantes,Brest also has a commercial harbor and it is the place for training future navy officers in the French Naval Academy. Engineering and oceanography can also be studied in the city. Besides the University, research regarding the environment of the ocean and the sustainable development of marine activities is carried on at Brest center of Ifremer Institute. Environmental issues are also important on land, as the city was awarded four flowers for the green spaces it provides, a real need to compensate the existence of polluting factories. Metallurgy is an important industrial activity as it is associated with ship building and repairing. One of the stars of this industry is the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, constructed in the city. Manufacturing paper, electronic equipment and production of fertilizers are also a source of income for the city. In Brest, many subsidiaries of Arkéa Bank can be found. There are also bed and breakfast hotels and the surf wear Kanabeach is an important local brand.

Brest Travel-guide - City Symbols

The city has its own coat of arms, half of it with three lilies on a blue background and half with symbols of black stoats on a white surface. The region has its own dialect and although the Breton language has lost in front of French, in 2007, 2.1% of children were attending bilingual classes in Brest. The local culture means also broadcasting institutions, such as: Télévision générale brestoise, Canal Ti Zef or Neptun Radio, Frequence Mutine, U Radio. Unfortunately, there aren’t many old buildings to be seen as the city was heavily bombed during World War II. There is a famous poem named Barbara, written by Jacques Prevert, weeping the destruction of the city. Sport is a domain much encoureged in the city, as there are incredibly many places to practice tennis, swimming, carting, golf, climbing (natural or artificial escalading walls), gymnastics, skating or other activities. There is even a regional footbal championship- Gaelic Football Bro Leon (Football Gaélique), Championnat de Bretagne. Depending on when you are visiting, every four years there is a huge event- Brest Boat Festival (next time in 2012) and each year there is a Short Film Festival.

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