Finistère

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Finistère (Breton: Penn-ar-Bed) is a département of France, in the extreme west of Brittany.

Contents

History

The name Finistère derives from the Latin Finis Terræ, meaning end of the earth, and may be compared with Land's End on the opposite side of the English Channel. Interestingly, the Breton Penn ar Bed translates as Head of the World.[2] Finistère is not to be confused with Cape Finisterre in Spain.

Geography

Finistère is the westernmost region of France (excluding the overseas departments).

The largest population center in Finistère is Brest. Other large towns in the département include Quimper (the prefecture or capital), Morlaix, Carhaix and Douarnenez. Finistère includes the island of Ushant (Eusa in Breton, Ouessant in French).

The abers, rugged fjord-like inlets on the north coast, are a notable feature of the landscape.

The westernmost point of continental France, known as the Pointe de Corsen, extends from the north-western tip of Finistère. A few miles to the south is the slightly less westerly, but rugged, & isolated, headland of Pointe du Raz.

Economy

Agriculture, food processing and various related industries occupy an important place in Finistère's economy.

The military presence in Finistère (Île Longue nuclear submarine base; Naval Air base of Lanvéoc-Poulmic), as well as military-related industries such as the Brest headquarters of DCNS employ a significant number of the département's population.

The port of Roscoff links Brittany by ferry with Ireland and Great Britain.

Culture

Finistère is the area where Breton survives most strongly as a spoken language. Breton-speaking schools are called Diwan, Divyezh and Dihun.

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