Finistère

Finistère (/ˌfɪnɪˈstɛər/, French: [finistɛʁ] (listen); Breton: Penn-ar-Bed [ˌpɛnarˈbeːt]) is a department of France in the extreme west of Brittany.

Finistère

Penn-ar-Bed  (Breton)
Prefecture building of the Finistère department, in Quimper

Flag

Coat of arms
Location of Finistère in France
Coordinates: 48°15′N 04°00′W
CountryFrance
RegionBrittany
PrefectureQuimper
SubprefecturesBrest
Châteaulin
Morlaix
Government
  President of the General CouncilNathalie Sarrabezolles (PS)
Area
  Total6,733 km2 (2,600 sq mi)
Population
 (2016)
  Total908,249
  Rank24th
  Density130/km2 (350/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number29
Arrondissements4
Cantons27
Communes277
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

History

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1801439,046    
1821483,095+0.48%
1831524,396+0.82%
1841576,068+0.94%
1851617,710+0.70%
1861627,304+0.15%
1876666,106+0.40%
1881681,564+0.46%
1891727,012+0.65%
1901773,014+0.62%
1921752,514−0.13%
1936757,000+0.04%
1946724,735−0.43%
1954727,847+0.05%
1962749,558+0.37%
1968769,000+0.43%
1975804,088+0.64%
1982829,865+0.45%
1990838,366+0.13%
1999852,273+0.18%
2006879,497+0.45%
2016908,249+0.32%
source:[1]

The present department consists of the historical region of Léon and parts of Cornouaille and Trégor, both parts of pre-revolutionary Brittany.

The name Finistère derives from the Latin Finis Terræ, meaning end of the earth. In England, a similar area is called Land's End. The Breton name for Finistère, Penn ar Bed, translates as "Head/End of the World" and is similar to the Cornish name for Land's End, Pedn-an-Wlas (Head/End of the country). Finistère is not to be confused with Finisterre in Galicia, Spain, which shares the same etymology.

Geography

The largest population center in Finistère is Brest. Other large towns in the department include Quimper (the capital), Concarneau, Morlaix, Carhaix, Quimperlé and Douarnenez. Finistère includes the island of Ushant (Eusa in Breton, Ouessant in French).

Finistère is the westernmost department of Metropolitan France and can also claim to be the "most coastal" department in Metropolitan France. Of its 279 communes, 118 are located on the coast. Its total coastline of approximately 1,250 km (776.71 mi) accounts for almost a quarter of the entire Brittany coast-line.

The abers, rugged fjord-like inlets on the north coast, are a notable feature of the landscape.

The westernmost point of continental France, known as the Pointe de Corsen, extends from the northwestern tip of Finistère. About 40 kilometres to the south (as the crow flies) is the slightly less westerly, but rugged and isolated, headland of Pointe du Raz.

Economy

Agriculture, food processing and various related industries occupy an important place in Finistère's economy.

The military presence in Finistère (Île Longue nuclear submarine base and the Naval Air base of Lanvéoc-Poulmic), as well as military-related industries, such as the Brest headquarters of DCNS, employ a significant number of the département's population.

The port of Roscoff links Brittany by ferry with Ireland and Great Britain.

Politics

Current National Assembly Representatives

ConstituencyMember[2]Party
Finistère's 1st constituency Annaïg Le Meur La République En Marche!
Finistère's 2nd constituency Jean-Charles Larsonneur La République En Marche!
Finistère's 3rd constituency Didier Le Gac La République En Marche!
Finistère's 4th constituency Sandrine Le Feur La République En Marche!
Finistère's 5th constituency Graziella Melchior La République En Marche!
Finistère's 6th constituency Richard Ferrand La République En Marche!
Finistère's 7th constituency Liliane Tanguy La République En Marche!
Finistère's 8th constituency Erwan Balanant La République En Marche!

Culture

Finistère is the area where Breton survives most strongly as a spoken language. Breton-speaking schools are called Diwan, Divyezh and Dihun.

The Festival de Cornouaille, which takes place in Quimper, is a celebration of Breton music and traditions. One of the highlights of summer in Finistère is the "Festival des Vieilles Charrues" held in Carhaix-Plouguer. Major international stars attract tens of thousands of spectators.[3]

The painter Raymond Wintz (1884–1956) featured many locations around Finistère.

Roland Doré was a sculptor who executed many of the calvaries in Finistère.

Tourism

See also

References


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