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Morbihan
—  Department  —
Prefecture building of the Morbihan department, in Vannes

Coat of arms
Location of Morbihan in France
Country France
Region Brittany
Prefecture Vannes
Subprefectures Lorient
Pontivy
Government
 • President of the General Council François Goulard
Area1
 • Total 6,823 km2 (2,634 sq mi)
Population (2013)
 • Total 737,778
 • Rank 31st
 • Density 110/km2 (280/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 56
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 21
Communes 253
^1  French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Morbihan (French pronunciation: [mɔʁbi.ɑ̃]; Breton: Mor-Bihan, IPA: [morˈbiˑãn]) is a department in Brittany, situated in the northwest of France. It is named after the Morbihan (small sea in Breton), the enclosed sea that is the principal feature of the coastline. It is noted for its Carnac stones, which predate and are more extensive than the Stonehenge monument that is more familiar to English speakers.

History[edit | edit source]

Morbihan is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from a part of the Duchy of Brittany.

Geography[edit | edit source]

Morbihan is part of the current region of Brittany and is surrounded by the departments of Finistère, Côtes-d'Armor, Ille-et-Vilaine, and Loire-Atlantique, and the Atlantic Ocean on the southwest.

The Gulf of Morbihan has many islands: 365 according to legend, but, in reality, between 30 and 40, depending on how they are counted. There are also many islets which are too small to be built on. Of these islands, all but two are private: l'Île-aux-Moines and l'Île-d'Arz. The others are privately owned, some by movie stars or fashion designers.

In the department of Morbihan, but outside the Gulf, there are four inhabited islands:

  • Belle Île
  • Groix
  • Houat
  • Hoëdic
  • Meaban, just outside the Port du Crouesty is an ornithological reserve and it is forbidden to alight there.

The largest towns in Morbihan are Vannes and Lorient.

Art and culture[edit | edit source]

The Breton language is an important issue, with many advocating bilingual education.

The painter Raymond Wintz (1884–1956) depicted locations around the Gulf of Morbihan.

Governance[edit | edit source]

As of 2014, the préfet of Morbihan is Jean-François Savy, previously head of the Prefectures of Ardennes and of Hautes-Alpes.[1]

Tourism[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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