A map of the the French city of Brest, dated to around 1700. Located in the Finistère department of Brittany, Brest lies in a sheltered bay close to the western extremity of metropolitan France. Originally named Bresta, possibly derived from a Celtic word meaning hill, the city came under the rule of the duke of Brittany in 1240. From 1342 to 1397 the city was under English rule, and became part of France in 1491 when a marriage unified Brittany with the French crown. Cardinal Richelieu designated the city a major naval base in 1631, a status it retains today. The city centre was mostly rebuilt after heavy Allied bombing during World War II.Map: Unknown; Restoration: S. Déniel
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