Morbihan is a department in Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

, situated in the northwest of France. It is named after the Morbihan (small sea in Breton
Breton language
Breton is a Celtic language spoken in Brittany , France. Breton is a Brythonic language, descended from the Celtic British language brought from Great Britain to Armorica by migrating Britons during the Early Middle Ages. Like the other Brythonic languages, Welsh and Cornish, it is classified as...

), the enclosed sea that is the principal feature of the coastline.


Morbihan is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 on March 4, 1790. It was created from a part of the Duchy of Brittany. It is the only French department which has no French name; Morbihan is in Breton. It is also the only department in France which has kept its original name.


Morbihan is part of the current region
Régions of France
France is divided into 27 administrative regions , 22 of which are in Metropolitan France, and five of which are overseas. Corsica is a territorial collectivity , but is considered a region in mainstream usage, and is even shown as such on the INSEE website...

 of Brittany and is surrounded by the departments of Finistère
Finistère is a département of France, in the extreme west of Brittany.-History:The name Finistère derives from the Latin Finis Terræ, meaning end of the earth, and may be compared with Land's End on the opposite side of the English Channel...

, Côtes-d'Armor
Côtes-d'Armor is a department in the north of Brittany, in northwestern France.-History:Côtes-du-Nord was one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from part of the former province of Brittany. Its name was changed in 1990 to...

, Ille-et-Vilaine
Ille-et-Vilaine is a department of France, located in the region of Brittany in the northwest of the country.- History :Ille-et-Vilaine is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790...

, and Loire-Atlantique
Loire-Atlantique is a department on the west coast of France named after the Loire River and the Atlantic Ocean.-History:...

, and the Atlantic Ocean on the southwest.

The Gulf of Morbihan
Gulf of Morbihan
The Gulf of Morbihan is a natural harbour on the coast of the Département of Morbihan in the south of Brittany, France. This English name is taken from the French version: le golfe du Morbihan...

 has many islands: 365 according to legend, but, in reality, between 30 and 40, according to how they are counted. There are also many islets which are too small to be built on. Of these islands, all but two are private: l'Île aux Moines and l'Île D'Arz. The others are privately owned, some by movie stars or fashion designers.

In the department of Morbihan, but outside the Gulf, there are four inhabited islands:
  • Belle Île
    Belle Île
    Belle-Île or Belle-Île-en-Mer is a French island off the coast of Brittany in the département of Morbihan, and the largest of Brittany's islands. It is 14 km from the Quiberon peninsula.Administratively, the island forms a canton: the canton of Belle-Île...

  • Groix
    Groix is an island and a commune in the Morbihan department of the region of Brittany in north-western France.Groix lies a few kilometres of the coast off Lorient. Several ferries a day run from Lorient to Groix....

  • Houat
    Houat is a French island off the south coast of Brittany in the department of Morbihan. It is located, along with two other major islands, in the entrance to the Baie de Quiberon. Its "twin sister" island is Hoëdic....

  • Hoëdic
    Hoëdic is an island off the south coast of Brittany in north-western France. Its bigger "twin sister" island is Houat.Administratively, Hoëdic is a commune in the Morbihan department.-References:* * -External links:* *...

  • Meaban, just outside the Port du Crouesty is an ornithological reserve and it is forbidden to alight there.


  • The megalith
    A megalith is a large stone that has been used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. Megalithic describes structures made of such large stones, utilizing an interlocking system without the use of mortar or cement.The word 'megalith' comes from the Ancient...

    ic alignments of Carnac
    Carnac is a commune beside the Gulf of Morbihan on the south coast of Brittany in the Morbihan department in north-western France.Its inhabitants are called Carnacois...

     are situated in Morbihan.
  • Tourism office of Auray

See also

  • Cantons of the Morbihan department
  • Communes of the Morbihan department
  • Arrondissements of the Morbihan department
  • La Baule - Guérande Peninsula

External links

Prefecture website General Council website
Cultural Heritage Tourism website Hiking in Morbihan
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.