10 largest cities in France




Vannes (in Breton Gwened) is a French commune located in the west of France on the south coast of the Brittany region. The city, located in Lower Brittany, is the prefecture of the Morbihan department, and the seat of an agglomeration of 168,351 inhabitants. Economic center and tourist destination at the head of an urban area of ​​158,549 inhabitants on January 1, 2017, and a municipal population of 53,218 inhabitants on January 1, 2016, Vannes is the 4th largest agglomeration in the Brittany region in terms of number of inhabitants, and the 3rd university hub in Brittany.

The city is built in an amphitheater at the bottom of the Gulf of Morbihan; the old town is enclosed in its ramparts, grouped around the cathedral of Saint-Pierre; it has been converted into a pedestrian zone and offers shops installed in half-timbered houses, also known as half-timbered.

After the war between the Veneti and Caesar's legions, the Roman administration made Darioritum, the ancient name of the city, the civitas of the Veneti at the end of the 1st century BC during the reign of Augustus. The city welcomed the bishopric and the Catholic religious orders in 465 during the Council of Vannes. This council consecrates Patern, patron saint of the city, founding saint of Brittany and the first attested bishop of Vannes.

At the heart of a county which forms a border area, the city was conquered in 578 by King Waroch II, who organized Bro Waroch, a political space of which Vannes was the capital. Its central position in southern Brittany gives Vannes and its political and religious leaders a predominant role. The counts and bishops of Vannes are key figures in the balance between Brittany and France.

City of Missus Nominoe, royal city of Brittany at the end of the 1st millennium, Vannes became after the War of the Brittany Succession the seat of ducal power. Theater of the Union of Brittany in France in 1532, Vannes experienced an exceptional religious boom during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries before slipping into languor until the 1870s and the installation of regiments. The post World War I marked the time of change while the post World War II marked that of economic and demographic growth.

Vannes, the city of the Venetians, is a starting point for excursions to the famous “little sea”. As for the medieval old town, grouped around its Saint-Pierre cathedral and surrounded by ramparts, it is visited for its architectural heritage. This district has many pedestrian streets overlooked by very old half-timbered houses.