WHAT TO SEE AT CONCARNEAU IN BRITTANY ?
Concarneau is illustrated by its walled city and its ramparts. Real fortified ship anchored in the port sheltered from the tumult of the ocean, it is really something to see a Concarneau, the city was however at the beginning only a fishing village before attracting the attention of the soldiers.
It will be the theater of many fights, bargains and was also the refuge of warships or trading ships, so many facts that have shaped and reshaped it over the centuries. Enjoy family vacations by the beaches of fine sand of this seaside resort of South Brittany in Pays Bigouden.
Accessing by the drawbridge or by the ferry behind the ramparts, you will stroll in the picturesque paved streets lined with stores, crêperies, bars or you will be tempted by a boat ride on the baie de Concarneau… In the evening, shows and concerts animate the Vauban fort at the Carré des Larons !
Mid-August, the traditional Festival des Filets Bleus is a moment not to be missed during your vacations in South Finistère. Practice water sports activities in the Glénan archipelago during vacation in Brittany with your feet in the water just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean and the creeks of south Finistère.
Intra-muros, don’t forget to visit the castle of Kériolet or the museum of the fishing to see in Concarneau, the first floating museum in France! Center of information and documentation, it exhibits various collections on the sea, fishing and its industry, the profession of fisherman, shipbuilding and sailmaking.
Concarneau is also one of the 10 first French fishing ports and a pole of fish trading, which constitutes one of the essential activities for the city. You can also visit the Concarneau sail factory. You can visit the fish auction and you can watch the landing of fish on the quays and then the auction sale.
Facing the marina, the Marinarium is a museum entirely dedicated to the ocean. A real showcase of the sea, marine fauna and flora, you will find there, in addition to permanent exhibitions, aquariums and video projections.
Today, Concarneau is famous for its shipbuilding. Passing through the port you will be surprised by the shipyards where tuna boats, military boats or catamarans are born. All these boats at quay, the marina, the lively beaches make Concarneau a living city, a real seaside town.
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DISCOVER THE WALLED CITY
Built on an island, the Walled City is a fortified city of the 15th and 16th centuries. It is the historical heart of Concarneau. At the entrance, visitors discover the belfry built in the early 1900s and which has become the emblem of the ” blue city “. The Governor’s house is protected by the walls. Part of the two half-timbered houses, this 16th century building houses the workshop and the temporary exhibition room of the Heritage House.
The walls that protect the Closed City are made of granite from 2.50 to 3 meters thick. They consist of nine towers and are pierced by three spans. In another era, drawbridges and drawbridges reinforced the protection of the city. Inside, the narrow cellars are occupied mainly by houses. This is the reason why some of them are built with a granite gable facade. Several half-timbered dwellings had been destroyed by fire; others were deliberately razed to align the facades.
In the 19th century, the Army undertook renovation work on the fortifications, raising the parapet, but also adding barracks and powder magazine. The Walled City is classified historical monument since 1899.
CONCARNEAU CULTURE AND HERITAGE
- The House of Heritage : dating from the 16th century, it is located in the former house of the Governor of Concarneau, at the entrance of the town. Today, it retraces the history and heritage of the city through several temporary exhibitions.
- The Fishing Museum : a pioneer in the collection of maritime heritage, this museum is renowned for its large collection of boats, models and everyday objects.
- The Marinarium : for more than 160 years the Marine Station of Concarneau has been reserved for scientific works. Inside, the Marinarium is a space dedicated to the general public. It houses an aquarium, touch pools for children, exhibitions and films. Young and old alike will immerse themselves in the heart of the local marine biodiversity.
- The Castle of Keriolet: built in the 13th century it is identifiable thanks to its neo-gothic architecture. Following the wishes of Princess Zenaide Narischkine, aunt of Tsar Nicholas II, the architect Joseph Bigot resumed work in the 19th century. During the 20th century, the owners will succeed one another, including Felix Yusupov, known for having murdered Rasputin.
THE PORT OF CONCARNEAU
Growing mostly thanks to fishing, Concarneau or “the blue city” is a city oriented towards fishing. Over the years, its identity has asserted itself through the fish markets, construction sites, pontoons hosting boats including racing yachts.
Several tens of rowboats practice during centuries sardine fishing while at the beginning of the 20th century, tuna fishing armed more than one hundred dundees. The arrival of motor boats or boats with iron hulls at the end of the Second World War brought about important changes, in particular the specialization of the Concarneau fleet in trawl fishing. The port of Concarneau can soon compete with those of Boulogne and Lorient. It is today the first home port in France for about fifteen oceanic tuna vessels working on the African coasts and in Indian Ocean.
These very lucrative maritime activities have favored the development of canneries since the 19th century – there were about thirty of them in the 1930s – which contributed to the economic and cultural influence of the city.
Today, the local economy is more marked by the “yachting” sector, with the port offering a safe shelter for sailing boats and motorboats. The quays on the left bank are home to various fishing and yachting shipbuilding companies.
CONCARNEAU AND ITS BEACHES
- White Sands : It’s a family beach of fine sand where are proposed several playful and sporting activities: volleyball, ultimate, fitness, aquagym, beach games…
- The beaches of the Corniche: The Rödel, des Dames, du Minez and Cornouaille beaches are the closest to the city center, and are easily accessible by foot or by bike.
- The beaches of Cabellou: These fine sandy beaches are perfect places to enjoy beautiful sunny days with children.
WHERE TO EAT CONCARNEAU?
- Le Belem Restaurant : The establishment serves seafood caught in Brittany in the dining room and on the terrace.
- Restaurant La Coquille : The establishment is known for its seasonal seafood cuisine, in restaurant or brasserie formula.
- Le Penfret : Le Penfret is a restaurant and crêperie incontournable de la Ville Close.
- Taj Mahal Concarneau : This is one of the best places to eat Indian food.
- Le Flaveur : Located a stone’s throw from the marina and the Ville Close, Le Flaveur offers shellfish and fish at the daily fish auction, but also vegetables and other tasty products.