The name Finistère derives from the Latin Finis Terræ, meaning end of the earth. In England, a similar area is called Land's End. The Breton name for Finistère, Penn ar Bed, translates as "Head/End of the World" and is similar to the Cornish name for Land's End, Pedn-an-Wlas (Head/End of the country). Finistère is not to be confused with Finisterre in Galicia, Spain, which shares the same etymology.
The largest population center in Finistère is Brest. Other large towns in the department include Quimper (the capital), Concarneau, Morlaix, Carhaix, Quimperlé and Douarnenez. Finistère includes the island of Ushant (Eusa in Breton, Ouessant in French).
Finistère is the westernmost department of Metropolitan France and can also claim to be the "most coastal" department in Metropolitan France. Of its 279 communes, 118 are located on the coast. Its total coastline of approximately 1,250 km (776.71 mi) accounts for almost a quarter of the entire Brittany coast-line.
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 northwestern tip of Finistère. A few miles to the south is the slightly less westerly, but rugged and isolated, headland of Pointe du Raz.
The military presence in Finistère (Île Longue nuclear submarine base and the 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 Festival de Cornouaille, which takes place in Quimper, is a celebration of Breton music and traditions. One of the highlights of summer in Finistère is the "Festival des Vieilles Charrues" held in Carhaix-Plouguer. Major international stars attract tens of thousands of spectators.
The painter Raymond Wintz (1884–1956) featured many locations around Finistère.
Roland Doré was a sculptor who executed many of the calvaries in Finistère.
Granite rocks in Ouessant
Pontusval lighthouse near Brignogan-Plages
Pointe du Chateau, Plougrescant
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