Bangor, Morbihan

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Bangor is located in France
Coordinates: 47°18′57″N 3°11′14″W / 47.3158°N 3.1872°W / 47.3158; -3.1872Coordinates: 47°18′57″N 3°11′14″W / 47.3158°N 3.1872°W / 47.3158; -3.1872
Country France
Region Brittany
Department Morbihan
Arrondissement Lorient
Canton Belle-Île
Intercommunality Belle-Île-en-Mer
 • Mayor (2014-2020) Annaïck Huchet
Area1 25.54 km2 (9.86 sq mi)
Population (2010)2 932
 • Density 36/km2 (95/sq mi)
Demonym Bangorins
INSEE/Postal code 56009 / 56360
Elevation 0–58 m (0–190 ft)
(avg. 44 m or 144 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.

Bangor is a commune in the Morbihan département in Brittany in northwestern France. It is one of the four communes on the island Belle-Île-en-Mer.

Situated in Bangor, the Goulphar lighthouse, also known as le Grand Phare, is one of the finest lighthouses on the coast of France. It was built in 1832-35. Its granite base rises to 47 m and the total height is some 87 m above the sea. The light is emitted every 3 seconds and every 7 seconds and can be seen up to 28 miles out to sea. It has been listed since 1995 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.[2]

Inhabitants of Bangor are called Bangorins.


Bangor is one of four communes in the Belle-Île-en-Mer area, whose territory extends itself along the west coast, which is exposed to strong winds. The village administrative center is situated almost in the geographic center of the island. Bangor contains the wildest areas of Belle-Île.


The commune takes its name from Bangor Abbey (Northern Ireland) which was one of the most famous abbeys in Western Christianity and is where the first monks came from who stayed on the island in the 6th century.

The Breton name of the commune is Bangor.


The commune of Bangor had inhabitants since prehistory as evidenced by a menhir: the Pierre Sainte Anne.

Bangor has been the administrative center of the island for 10 centuries. In fact, it was the name of a priory founded by Benedictine monks who came to colonize and populate the island starting in the 7th century; it is not known if the name references Bangor Abbey in Ireland where it is known that monks like Columbanus came to evangelize Armorica, or from the Monastery of Bangor-Fawr, founded in Wales around 545 on the Menai Strait.

Colonization had consisted of dividing the island into five parishes, with Bangor occupying the middle, and each parish was a small area given to residual families of the island or colonists who were asked by the monks to come to Brittany.

In the 6th century, the island was destroyed by the Vikings, and the priory was placed under the secular protection of the counts of Cornouaille (in Armorican Brittany). In 1029, the count of Cornouaille Alain Canhiart left the island to the recently founded Sainte-Croix de Quimperlé abbey. Being under the authority of the Pope, Belle Isle received the benefits of immunity, which freed it from being under the authority of both the bishopric of Vannes and the duchy of Brittany. The administration of the island was delegated to a provost of the abbey, who had temporal power (right of low, middle and high justice which was performed sometimes at Belle Isle and sometimes at Quimperlé), and later done only at Quimperlé starting in 1408.

The count of Cornouaille gave the island to the Order of Saint Benedict of Redon Abbey who were able to take possession of it after long protests from the abbot of Quimperlé. The priory stayed in the same spot as the predecessors (today at the municipal campground of Bangor) and at Palais a fort is constructed which later became the capital of the island instead of Bangor.

Belle-Île was governed by monks until the 16th century, a time when incessant attacks by pirates forced them to relinquish their fiefdom to the hands of the king, or rather to the regent Catherine de' Medici who pledged the island to the Gondi family, then holders of the Pays de Retz. But the land stayed under the regime until the land was sold at the end of the 18th century.

At Bangor, on the west coast of Belle Isle, the Goulphar lighthouse has been active since 1836.

The semaphore of Talut was put into service in 1862.[3]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to Bangor, Morbihan at Wikimedia Commons