1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers
> 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river
2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes
(e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Vannes (French pronunciation: [van]; Breton: Gwened) is a
commune in the
Morbihan department in Brittany in north-western
France. It was founded over 2,000 years ago.
3.1 Breton language
5 Monuments and sights
7 In fiction
8 Notable people
10 International relations
10.1 Twin towns – Sister cities
11 See also
14 External links
Vannes is located on the Gulf of
Morbihan at the mouth of two rivers,
the Marle and the Vincin. It is around 100 kilometres (62 miles)
Nantes and 450 km (280 mi) south west of Paris.
Vannes is a market town and often linked to the sea.
See also: Veneti and Bro Gwened.
Vannes comes from the Veneti, a seafaring Celtic people who
lived in the south-western part of
Gaul before the Roman
invasions. The region seems to have been involved in a cross channel
trade for thousands of years, probably using hide boats and perhaps
Ferriby Boats. Wheat that apparently was grown in the Middle East
was part of this trade. At about 150 BC the evidence of trade (such
as Gallo-Belgic coins) with the
Thames estuary area of Great Britain
The Veneti were defeated by Julius Caesar's fleet in 56 BC in
front of Locmariaquer; many of the Veneti were then either slaughtered
or sold into slavery. The Romans settled a town called Darioritum in a
location previously belonging to the Veneti. From the 5th to the 7th
century, the remaining
Gauls were displaced or assimilated by waves of
immigrant Britons fleeing the Saxon invasions of Britain. Under the
Breton name Gwened (also derived from the Veneti), the town was the
center of an independent principality or kingdom variously called
Bro-Wened ("Vannes") or
Bro-Ereg ("land of Gwereg"), the latter for a
prominent member of its dynasty, which claimed descent from Caradog
Strongarm. The diocese of
Vannes was erected in the 5th century. The
Vannes was held there in 461. The realm annexed Cornouaille
for a time in the early 6th century but was permanently joined with
Domnonia under its king and saint Judicaël around 635.
Vannes was besieged four times between forces from both sides
of the Breton War of Succession. The city's defending commander,
Olivier de Clisson
Olivier de Clisson IV was captured by the English, but finally
released. The French eventually executed him on suspicion that the
ransom was unusually low and therefore he may have been a traitor.
Vannes was used as the staging point for a planned French
invasion of Britain. A large army was assembled there, but it was
never able to sail following the French naval defeat at the Battle of
Quiberon Bay in November 1759.
In 1795, during the French Revolution, French forces based in Vannes
successfully repelled a planned British-Royalist invasion.
Vannes are called Vannetais.
Historical population of Vannes
The municipality launched a linguistic plan through Ya d'ar brezhoneg
on 12 October 2007.
In 2008, 7.71% of the children attended the bilingual schools in
Gare de Vannes
Gare de Vannes railway station offers connections to Quimper,
Paris and several regional destinations.
With the fast train TGV, the journey takes:
– 30 minutes to Lorient,
– 1 hour to
Nantes or Rennes,
– 3.5 to 4 hours to Paris.
Transport express régional
Transport express régional or TER is a slower train to join
railway stations in the close neighborhood, as
Auray or Questembert.
There is no direct railway from
Saint-Brieuc (118 km
away in the north of Brittany), so the train from
Vannes to Saint
Brieuc goes via Rennes, which doubles the travel time and cost: it
takes 2 to 3 hours to go from
Vannes to Saint Brieuc by train.
Two highways, in the north of Vannes, provide fast connections by car:
– N165: drive west to
Lorient (58 km) and Quimper
(122 km), south east to
Nantes (111 km)
– N166: drive north east to
Rennes (113 km)
+ a network of small roads connects
Vannes to smaller cities. There is
no highway from
Vannes to Saint-Brieuc, so the way to northern
Brittany consists of small roads. The lack of highway or railway
Saint-Brieuc (118 km north) cuts the
communications between northern and southern Brittany, and limits
Brittany economic performance.
Vannes has a small airfield in the village of Monterblanc, called
Meucon airport, or "
Vannes – Golfe du
Morbihan airport". It
used to be a military airport, but it is now dedicated to general
aviation aircraft. It belongs to
Vannes Agglomeration community, the
group of cities gathered around Vannes, and the main users of this
Vannes flying club, the local ultralight aviation club,
Vannes school of skydiving.
There are 2 bus networks in Vannes: – Kicéo, proposes short travels
Vannes Place de la Republique on behalf of Vannes
– CAT, propose longer travel starting from the railway station on
behalf of Morbihan.
So there are 2 central bus stations in Vannes: one on Place de la
Libération, the other at the railway station.
Vannes city had a public bicycle rental program, called Velocea based
on the same idea as the
Paris Vélib'. Hundreds of bicycles are
available in 20 automated rental stations each with 10 to fifteen
bikes/spaces. Each Velocea service station is equipped with an
automatic rental terminal and stands for bicycles. The bicycles were
robust and heavy 18 kilograms (40 lb), and the user could take a
bike in any station, and let it in any station, for a cost as: free
the first 4 hours, 1 euro the next 30 minutes,
2 euros per hour. Unfortunatelly, the service was discontinued by
Monuments and sights
City walls of Vannes
Vannes and his wife"
Cathedral of St Peter, gothic cathedral
Church of St Patern, classic church
Chapel of Saint-Yves, baroque church
Château Gaillard (medieval house now used as an archaeological
Musée de la Cohue (fine arts museum)
Hôtel de Ville
Old city walls, which include :
Tour du Connétable (a large medieval tower part of the old city
Château de l'Hermine (former castle, transformed into a palace in the
17th century, and a residence of the Dukes of Brittany between the
13th and 16th centuries)
Porte Calmont, medieval city gate
Porte Prison, medieval city gate
Porte Poterne, medieval city gate
Porte Saint-Jean, medieval city gate
Porte Saint-Vincent, 18th century city gate
Many timber-framed houses in the old town
Vannes and his wife", a funny painted granite sculpture from the 15th
century in front of Château Gaillard
Institut catholique d'arts et métiers
In the last of the Three Musketeers novels of Alexandre Dumas, The
Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later, published in 1847, the
Aramis appears as bishop of
Vannes before becoming General
of the Society of Jesus.
In Sébastien Roch, a novel by
Octave Mirbeau published in 1890,
Sebastien is sent to a school in Vannes, Saint-François-Xavier, where
he is a victim of sexual abuse.
In Sir Nigel, a novel by Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle
Arthur Conan Doyle published in 1906,
Nigel is made seneschal of the Castle of
Vannes after a battle in
Brittany. He doesn't remain in Vannes, since after winning in another
battle, the Black Prince dubs him a knight and Nigel returns to
England to wed the Lady Mary.
Jean-François Parot has written a series of crime fictions printed up
to 2010 taking place in the 18th century, whose main character is
Nicolas Le Floch, a Police Commissioner who was also educated in the
school of Saint François-Xavier in Vannes, but he didn't share
Sebastien Roch's misfortune. The Nicolas Le Floch novels have been
adapted as a television series.
In The Secret Of The Missing Boat, a children's book by Paul Berna
published in 1966 as La Voile Rouge.
In "Charlemagne and Florent," a short story by Ranylt Richildis
published in 2014 by Myths Inscribed.
Vannes is a major location in C.J. Adrien's novel The Oath of the
Father, published in 2015, about the Viking raids in Brittany.
Vannes was the birthplace of:
Albinus of Angers
Albinus of Angers (born 469), Roman Catholic saint
Saint Emilion (Emilianus) (?-767), monk and Roman Catholic saint, he
gave his name to one of the main red wine areas of Bordeaux
Duke François I (1414–1450) of Brittany
Louis-Marie Autissier (1772–1830), painter
Louise Bourgoin (born 1981), actress
Gabriel Fabre (1774–1858), general of the First French Empire
Pierre de La Gorce
Pierre de La Gorce (1846–1934), historian
Paul César Helleu
Paul César Helleu (1859–1927), painter
Émile Jourdan (1860–1931), painter of Pont-Aven School
Delly (alias Frédéric Petitjean de la Rosière) (1876–1949), novel
writer with his sister Jeanne-Marie
Alain de Goué (1879–1918), historian
Alphonse Barbé (1885–1983), journalist and anarchist
Louis Martin-Chauffier (1894–1980), writer, journalist and member of
the French Resistance
Yves Rocard (1903–1992), physicist
Colonel Remy (alias Gilbert Renault) (1904–1984), secret agent of
the French Resistance
Alain Resnais (1922-2014), film director
Jean Vezin (1933–), palaeographer
Yves Coppens (born 1934), paleontologist
Serge Latouche (born 1940), economist
Jacques Ramouillet (born 1941), mountaineer
Cédric Morgan (born 1943), writer, winner of the
Prix Breizh in 2015
Claude-Michel Schönberg, (born 1944), singer and songwriter
Bernard Poignant (born 1945), French politician
Hélène de Fougerolles
Hélène de Fougerolles (born 1973), actress
Mathieu Berson (born 1980), footballer
Joris Marveaux footballer
Sylvain Marveaux footballer
Yann Kermorgant footballer
The local football team is
Vannes OC, members of the Championnat de
Ligue 2 for the 2009-10 season.
Rugby Club Vannes is the rugby union team and competed in Pro D2
for the 2015-16 season.
Both teams play at the
Stade de la Rabine
Stade de la Rabine built in 2001.
The town was the start line for stage 9 of the 2015 Tour de France
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France
Twin towns – Sister cities
Vannes is twinned with:
Vannes also has partnerships (‘partenariats’) with:
Saint-Vincent Gate (Vannes)
Communes of the
Pierre Marie François Ogé Sculpture in
Vannes town hall.
Nile Crocodile resident of the Aquarium du Vannes.
Panorama of the old town
In the old town centre
Place des Lices
Château de l'Hermine
Port de Vannes
Garden of the Château de l'Hermine
Street in town center
St. Patern church
The port, at the foot of St. Vincent gate
^ History of
Vannes Official website of the city
^ Cunliffe, Barry (2008). Britain and the continent: networks of
interaction. A Companion to Roman Britain. John Wiley & Sons.
^ Balter, Michael. "DNA recovered from underwater British site may
rewrite history of farming in Europe". Science News. Science.
Retrieved 16 March 2015.
^ Cunliffe, Barry (2008). Britain and the continent: networks of
interaction." A Companion to Roman Britain. John Wiley & Sons.
p. 528. ISBN 9780470998854. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
^ (in French) Ofis ar Brezhoneg: Enseignement bilingue
^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media
Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vannes.
(in French) Official web site of the city
Vannes travel guide from Wikivoyage
(in French) French Ministry of Culture list for Vannes
Prefectures of departments of France
La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime)
Le Puy-en-Velay (Haute-Loire)
Le Mans (Sarthe)
La Roche-sur-Yon (Vendée)
Belfort (Territoire de Belfort)
Cayenne (French Guiana)
Communes of the