Île de Sein
Close-up of the island
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Dominique Salvert|
|Area1||0.58 km2 (0.22 sq mi)|
|• Density||370/km2 (960/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||29083 / 29990|
|Elevation||0–9 m (0–30 ft)|
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
The Île de Sein is a French island in the Atlantic Ocean, off Finistère, 8 kilometres from the Pointe du Raz (raz meaning "water current"), from which it is separated by the Raz de Sein. Its Breton name is Enez Sun. The island, with its neighbouring islets, forms the commune of Île-de-Sein in the Finistère department of Brittany in north-western France.
Lying on the sea routes going south from the English Channel, Sein is well known for the dangers of its waters, the Chaussée de Sein, a vast zone of reefs stretching more than thirty miles from east to west, requiring numerous lighthouses, beacons, and buoys. In the past, it was also known for its wreckers
It was the last place in Europe to be christianised (by Jesuits in the seventeenth century). The island women once wore the highest headdresses in Brittany, and had a reputation for enticing sailors onto the rocks by witchcraft. Robert Graves says that the island was once home to a conclave of nine virgin priestesses believed to hold magical powers, who might be approached by those who sailed to consult them.
After hearing General de Gaulle's call to resistance during World War II in his appeal to the French on 18 June 1940, every male inhabitant aged between fourteen and fifty-four (or sixty, according to the island's official website) (variously totalled as 114 to 128) set sail in their fishing boats for Britain to join the Free French forces. On 1 January 1946, the commune was for that awarded the high honour of the Order of the Liberation, and its residents exempted from paying income tax; a privilege they enjoy to this day.
Inhabitants of Île-de-Sein are called in French Sénans.
- Queffélec, Henri, Un recteur de l'île de Sein, Éditions Bartillat, Paris, 1999, ISBN 2841001210
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Île de Sein.|
- French Ministry of Culture list for Île-de-Sein (French)
- (French) State Lighthouse "la VIEILLE" dated April 19, 2009
- (French) State Lighthouse "Enez-Sun" dated April 19, 2009
- île de Sein's dolphins on YouTube
- Having defied the Nazis,Islanders take on the sea 23. July.2012 New York Times
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