Reservations 877·97·CRAFT  (877·972·7238)

Brest, France

Brest, France is the administrative capital of West Brittany on the far western coast of France in an area known as Finestere (End of the Earth) from Roman days. Its natural sheltered harbor has drawn interest for centuries. The city's name derives from Breton, a Celtic language. Cardinal Richelieu designated the port of Brest a military port in 1631, and France's Naval Academy was established there in 1752. Hundreds of thousands of American troops landed here on their way to the front in World War I. The Germans made Brest an important submarine base in World War II, and the old city center sustained almost total destruction from Allied bombs in the Battle of Brest (1944). Today Brest is a rebuilt, modern city and university town.  It is home to important ocean research facilities, including the French Polar Institute.  


A few historical sites withstood the bombing in WWII, including Brest Castle (which houses the National Naval Museum) and 14th century Tanguy Tower (home to a small history museum). The two sites are located on opposite sides of the Penfeld River, which cuts through the city.  Close by, Saint-Malo Street, which also miraculously survived WWII largely intact, gives visitors a chance to glimpse Brest's rich architectural past. 


Brittany is recognized for its scenic beaches, rocky beachheads, and rolling hills.


Local cuisine features seafood, the Breton crepe, and the rich buttery shortbread-like Traou Mad.