Brittany forms a region in north-western France that is situated alongside the Atlantic Ocean and bounded to the east by the Pays de la Loire and Normandy regions. You will be able to find various property for sale in Brittany.
The Brittany region consists of 4 departements: the Finistere (departement 29), the Cotes-d’Armor (departement 22), the Morbihan (departement 56) and the Ille-et-Vilaine (departement 35).
Brittany’s population is 3.00 million and its surface area is 27,200 km².
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An exceptional historical and artistic heritage
The Neolithic period has left a legacy of menhirs, dolmens and cromlechs of such quantity and quality that Brittany is the major site for megaliths in Europe and possibly the world. Under Plantagenet and Capetian rule numerous fortified towns and châteaux appeared. A little later, Duchess Anne and her daughter Claude contributed to Brittany’s golden age, bequeathing an extraordinary artistic and architectural heritage to the region. Small stone-built houses gave way to imposing military architecture, also in granite, testifying to the determination of the people to inhabit a historically “hostile” land. The landscapes in Brittany remain forever imprinted on the canvasses of the Impressionists of the Pont-Aven School, led by Paul Gauguin, one of many artists who travelled to the region in search of new inspiration.
The Brittany of Chateaux
Brittany has 4000 chateaux, manors and stately homes built in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and subsequent centuries. Feudal struggles throughout the Middle Ages in particular, made Brittany the site of many bloody battles for English and French invaders and as a result a defensive ring of castles was constructed. These fortresses, built in granite, are now a witness to this era and are famous for their architectural diversity.
Along the entire coastline, old maritime fortresses are witness to the eventful centuries when Brittany was forced to protect itself from attacks by the English Navy. Most constitute part of the Breton coastal defences established by Vauban under the reign of Louis XIV. From the Fort National at Saint-Malo to the Château du Taureau at Morlaix, via Fort la Latte at Frehel, the fortifications are arranged along the coast, covering every strategic point. On the southern coast , the citadel of Port Louis protects the entrance to the Lorient roadways, and the Vauban citadel at Belle Île controls entry to the port of Palais. The latter has all the traditional features of coastal fortifications with its bastions and demilunes.
The Residences and Chateaux of the Dukes of Brittany are marked by the history of the Duchy. At the time of the Renaissance, rich Breton aristocrats had luxurious residences built such as the Chateau de Kerjean in Finistère. A few other great families also constructed defensive edifices on their land, but frequently they preferred small fortified manor houses, the fiefs of local lords who protected their modest estates.
Many Breton chateaux are proud to have been owned or occupied by famous writers. The French writer François-Rene de Chateaubriand, for example, spent some of his childhood at the Chateau of Combourg, bought by his father in 1761. This Chateau, now known as “ The Cradle of Romanticism”, is still owned by the family. The Chateau of Rochers-Sevigne at Vitre is the place where the Marquise de Sevigne retired following the death of her husband. From there she wrote 267 letters to her daughter, Mme de Grigan, which can be read in the famous “Lettres de Madame de Sevigne .”
The Mystery of the Megaliths
Humans have occupied Armorica since the Palaeolithic era. Living originally as hunter gatherers, the population became settled in the Neolithic period (around 4500 BC), gradually mastering the techniques of raising livestock, cultivating crops and building. This was the civilisation that created the tradition of standing stones. Most of the megaliths (dolmens, tumulus, and menhirs) were constructed between 4500 and 200 BC. With almost 3000 standing stones spread over several sites, Carnac displays some of the greatest vestiges of megalithic art.
The Breton Legends
Brittany is well known for it’s numerous legends; Merlin the Enchanter and Tristan and Iseult are among the most famous.
Merlin the Enchanter
Broceliande is the mythical name for the existing Forest of Paimpont, located to the South West of Rennes. The remains of a vast forest covering the centre of the peninsula during the Middle Ages, it is the source of many Celtic legends. The Knights of the Round Table found the Forest a worthy setting for their destiny and mission. King Arthur summoned them to find the Holy Grail, hidden in the Brittany woods. Merlin the Enchanter, friend and advisor to the young Arthur, was a privileged guest in Broceliande. The Fountain of Barenton marks his first encounter with the Fairy, Viviane. Merlin loved Viviane so much that he built for her, under the pool reflecting the Chateau de Comper at Concoret, a crystal citadel. The one also known as the Lady of the Lake brought up Lancelot, future member of Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. Despite the great difference in their ages, the love of Viviane for the Enchanter was deep and loyal. But finally unable to bear the ravages of time, and using the magic she had learned from Merlin, Viviane bewitched him at the Fountain of Youth, restoring the youthful features of the old Druid. She then imprisoned him in perpetuity in nine magic circles, as solid as rock.
Tristan and Iseult
Tristan, Prince of Leon was sent by his Uncle Marc, King of Cornouailles, to bring Iseult back from Ireland to marry Marc. On board the ship, Tristan and Iseult mistakenly drink a love potion intended to bind Iseult to her betrothed for ever. A passionate love develops between the pair. Endings to the story vary; in some versions Tristan is killed by Marc, enraged by his betrayal; in others Tristan marries and dies at his Chateau in Brittany. Whatever the outcome, Iseult invariably follows Tristan to the grave. Wagner’s opera and the book by Joseph Bedier both celebrate this great love drama.
Brittany ’s Knights and Korrigans
Some of the most famous legends include the tale of the gentle giant Gargantua, Morgan La Fee, who imprisoned hapless lovers in the Valley of No Return and the Ankou, who gathered up the dead in his creaking cart… Along the jagged coastline and as far as the Monts d’Arree hillsides, every part of Brittany has a legend to tell. The strange rocks and misty lakes in the age-old forest of Broceliande provide a marvellous setting for the tales of the Knights of the Round Table and their Quest for the Holy Grail. Here, Merlin the Magician built the Château de Comper for his beloved Vivian. The castle now houses the Centre de L’Imaginaire Arthurien, with exhibitions and events based around King Arthur’s legendary knights. Visitors flock to storytelling walks through the forest to the Valley of No Return, the Fountain of Barenton or Merlin’s Tomb. The centre’s annual highlight is the Arthurian week festivities held in late July.
In contrast, the hilly Monts d’Arree boast heathlands dotted with eroded rocky peaks. This wild and mysterious country is the birthplace of Breton witchcraft, and, according to Celtic folklore, the gate to Cold Hell. Themed walks take visitors in search of the mischievous korrigans around Brennilis Lake and the Yeun-Elez peat bogs. And there are also moonlit and musical walks to the sound of the biniou bagpipes and clarinet. Alternatively, for the ultimate nature experience, head for the Monts d’Arree peaks at daybreak and watch the sun rise.
The birth place of thalassotherapy, Brittany has an invigorating marine climate with bracing sea air, excellent for restoring fitness. Breton thalassotherapy centres, acknowledged for the quality of their facilities, offer all advanced treatment techniques using the benefits of the ocean.
The seafood platter
The seafood platter is highly placed on the menu of classiscal Breton dishes. Varying greatly according to the coast, the season and the nature of fishing, one example is a combination of shellfish and crustaceans served on a bed of seaweed.
Brittany is synonymous with relaxation, freedom and tradition and continues to make a name for itself in gastronomy, following in the footsteps of well-known chefs such as Paineau and Kerever.
“Crepes” and “galettes”…Such an institution!
“Crepes” and “galettes” are indisputably part of Breton culinary heritage. The main difference between “crêpes” and “galettes” lies in the making of the batter. The batter for “galettes” is salty whereas the batter for “crêpes” is sweet.
“Galettes” are made from buckwheat flour and can be served with ham, cheese and eggs (the typical “complète”).
Wheat flour is used to make “crêpes”. The butter and sugar “crêpe” is the most classic of all.
Brittany is also very famous for its apples and cider production
Brittany property market:
A property for sale in Brittany can vary from 45,000 euros for a stone house to renovate in the centre of Brittany up to 500,000 euros for a very nice breton house with swimming pool on the seaside. Finding a property in Brittany requires time and advice that you can get for free from our consultants in charge of this area.
Tourism office in Brittany
Ryanair flies to Dinard and Nantes
Flybe flies to Rennes and Brest
British Airways flies to Nantes
Air France flies to Nantes
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property for sale in Brittany. We have a large network of estate agents in Brittany. All of them are registered estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Brittany matching your requirements. We offers properties for sale in Cote d’Armor, Morbihan, Ille et Vilaine and Finistere. To find out more about our properties for sale in Brittany do not hesitate to contact us.