Vilaine

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Vilaine
La Vilaine à Rennes.JPG
The Vilaine in Rennes.
Native name La Vilaine
Country France
Physical characteristics
Main source Juvigné, Mayenne
175 m (574 ft)
48°13′46″N 01°03′11″W / 48.22944°N 1.05306°W / 48.22944; -1.05306
River mouth Atlantic Ocean
47°30′20″N 2°29′57″W / 47.50556°N 2.49917°W / 47.50556; -2.49917 (Atlantic Ocean-Vilaine)Coordinates: 47°30′20″N 2°29′57″W / 47.50556°N 2.49917°W / 47.50556; -2.49917 (Atlantic Ocean-Vilaine)
Length 218.1 km (135.5 mi)
Discharge
  • Average rate:
    80 m3/s (2,800 cu ft/s)
Basin features
Basin size 10,882 km2 (4,202 sq mi)
The Vilaine in Bruz

The Vilaine (Breton: Gwilen) is a river in Brittany, in the west of France. The river's source is in the Mayenne département (53), and it flows out into the Atlantic Ocean at Pénestin in the Morbihan département (56). It is 218 km long.[1]

Course of the river[edit]

The river passes through 4 départements (Mayenne, Ille-et-Vilaine, Loire-Atlantique and Morbihan) and 4 main towns (Rennes, Vitré, Redon and La Roche-Bernard).

Three barrages were built around Vitré, Ille-et-Vilaine to alleviate flooding, while securing potable water supplies. They are also amenities for recreational activities.

  • 1978 Valière barrage
  • 1982 Haute-Vilaine barrage
  • 1995 Villaumur barrage

Hydrology[edit]

The river has a flow ranging between 2 and 1500 m3/s

Navigation[edit]

The Vilaine is part of Brittany's canal system, built mainly in the 19th century for relatively small barges (130 tonnes). The entire system was transferred to the Brittany Region in 2011. In Rennes the river connects to the Canal d'Ille et Rance hence the Rance estuary, which enters the English Channel at Saint-Malo. In Redon it crosses the Canal de Nantes à Brest, giving access to Pontivy and the Blavet (west) and Nantes (east).

Main tributaries[edit]

Vilaine catchment area

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • River Vilaine navigation guide; places, ports and moorings on the river, by the author of Inland Waterways of France, Imray