Portal:Brittany

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Brittany (French: Bretagne [bʁətaɲ] ( ); Breton: Breizh, pronounced [brɛjs]; Gallo: Bertaèyn) is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously as a kingdom and then as a duchy, Brittany was a fief of the Kingdom of France. Brittany occupies a large peninsula in the north west of France, lying between the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south. Its land area is 34,023 km² (13,136 sq mi). The historical province of Brittany is divided into five departments: Finistère in the west, Côtes-d'Armor in the north, Ille-et-Vilaine in the north east, the Loire-Atlantique in the south east and Morbihan in the south on the Bay of Biscay. In January 2007 the population of historic Brittany was estimated to be 4,365,500. At the 1999 census, the largest metropolitan areas were Nantes (711,120 inhabitants), Rennes (521,188 inhabitants), and Brest (303,484 inhabitants).

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The peninsula that became "Brittany" was a centre of ancient megalithic constructions in the Neolithic era. It has been called the "core area" of megalithic culture. It later became the territory of several Celtic tribes, of which the most powerful was the Veneti. After Caesar's conquest of Gaul, the area became known to the Romans as Armorica, from the Celtic term for "coastal area". Its transformation into "Brittany" occurred in the late Roman period, with the establishment of Brythonic settlement in the area. The history behind such an establishment is unclear, but medieval Breton and Welsh sources connect it to a figure known as Conan Meriadoc. Welsh literary sources assert that Conan came to Armorica with the Roman usurper Magnus Maximus, who took his British troops to Gaul to enforce his claims and settled them in Armorica. Regardless of the truth of this story, Brythonic settlement probably increased during the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain in the 5th century. Scholars such as Léon Fleuriot have suggested a two-wave model of migration from Britain which saw the emergence of an independent Breton people and established the dominance of the Brythonic (British Celtic) Breton language in Armorica.

In the mid-9th century Nominoe and his successors won a series of victories over the Franks which secured an independent Duchy of Brittany. In the High Middle Ages the Duchy was sometimes allied to England and sometimes to France. The pro-English faction was victorious in 1364 in the Breton War of Succession, but the independent Breton army was eventually defeated by the French in 1488, leading to dynastic union with France following the marriage of Duchess Anne of Brittany to two kings of France in succession. In 1532 the Duchy was incorporated into France.

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Anne of Brittany, by Jean Bourdichon.
Anne, Duchess of Brittany (25 January 1477 – 9 January 1514), also known as Anna of Brittany (French: Anne de Bretagne; Breton: Anna Vreizh), was a Breton ruler, who was to become queen to two successive French kings. She was born in Nantes, Brittany, and was the daughter of Francis II, Duke of Brittany and Margaret of Foix. Her maternal grandparents were Queen Eleanor of Navarre and Gaston IV, Count of Foix.

Upon her father's death, she became sovereign Duchess of Brittany, Countess of Nantes, Montfort and Richmont and Viscountess of Limoges. In her time, she was the richest European woman.

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http://www.frenchentree.com › Brittany News in English
http://www.brittany-internet.com/BrittanyNews/tabid/.../Default.aspx

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Saint Gildas church in Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys

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Jacques Cartier, who was born Saint-Malo, set sail from that port in 1534, the year the Duchy of Brittany was formally united with France in the Edict of Union. Cartier reached Newfoundland, and then traveled to Chaleur Bay, and then to Gaspé Bay, where on July 24th, 1534, he planted a 10 meter cross bearing the words "Long Live the King of France". He called the land Canada, from the Iroquois word Kanata meaning my home.

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Saint-Malo, Brittany

Saint-Malo, Brittany

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