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Rade de Brest.jpg
Native nameL'Aulne (f)  (French)
Physical characteristics
 • locationBrittany
 • location
Atlantic Ocean
 • coordinates
48°18′22″N 4°20′4″W / 48.30611°N 4.33444°W / 48.30611; -4.33444 (Atlantic Ocean-Aulne)Coordinates: 48°18′22″N 4°20′4″W / 48.30611°N 4.33444°W / 48.30611; -4.33444 (Atlantic Ocean-Aulne)
Length144 km (89 mi)
Châteaulin and Aulne

The Aulne is a 144 km (89 mi) long river of Brittany in north-western France,[1] flowing down the hills and emptying into the roadstead of Brest, one of the many fjord-like bays just south of Brest. The river is part of the Canal de Nantes à Brest, the navigation canal that once connected the city of Nantes on the Loire with the port town of Brest on the Atlantic coast. This canal is still navigable over part of its length, but sea-going traffic is interrupted by the hydro-electric dam of Guerledan, which submerged a number of the original locks of the canal. The Aulne flows through Châteaulin.

The river was known to the Romans as the Alaunus. The Breton name of the river, Aon or Stêr Aon (stêr meaning river) became Aune and then Aulne in French . In modern French, aulne means "alder" but the name of the river has nothing to do with this meaning since it derives from the old Celtic name Avon (meaning river) that can also be found in Britain."Avon" derives from the British language abona, "river", which also survives as a number of other English and Scottish river names, and as modern Welsh afon [ˈavɔn] and Breton avon, "river".


  1. ^ Sandre. "Fiche cours d'eau - Aulne (J3--0180)".