Fine harbour, base of France’s Atlantic fleet
www.brest-tourisme.uk A key maritime centre from its earliest days, present-day Brest is the home base of the French Atlantic Fleet. The city was pulverized by the Allies during the Second World War, and its charmless reconstruction is a drawback from the visitor’s point of view. However, the natural harbour setting of the Rade de Brest is still very fine, protected from the south by the out-flung arm of the Crozon peninsula.
For a stimulating view, head for the 15th-18thC Château on the left bank of the River Penfeld where it runs into the bay. In addition to views, the castle houses the Musée National de la Marine; Oceanopolis, by the Port de Plaisance du Moulin Blanc, plumbs the depths with around 2,600 square metres of exhibits, aquariums and a model ship navigation basin; also a handy on-site restaurant.
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