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Douarnenez

Trip Planner Europe  /  France  /  Brittany  /  Finistere  /  Douarnenez
(3.2/5 based on 550+ reviews for 8 attractions)
Things to do: museums, spas, beaches
Douarnenez, is a commune in the Finistère department of Brittany in north-western France.It lies at the mouth of the Pouldavid estuary on the southern shore of Douarnenez Bay in the Atlantic Ocean, 25km(15 miles) north-west of Quimper. The population in 1999 was 15,827, a decrease over previous counts. It still has fish canning facilities (sardines and mackerel) although sardine fishing, for which the town became famous, has fallen off in recent years. Increasingly, Douarnenez has become an attraction for tourists, not only in view of its pleasant location and warm climate but because of its marinas, its maritime museum, its regattas and its sandy beaches. The island of Tristan off Douarnenez has a mysterious past, linked as it is to the legend of Tristan and Iseult.HistoryThe legendary city of Ys, of Breton folklore, is believed to lie beneath Douarnenez Bay. The port is also associated with the medieval story of Tristan, lover of Iseult, for whom Tristan Island is named. The island was originally named St Tutuarn Island after the priory founded there in the 12th century. Douarnenez has several 16th and 17th-century churches, including the Church of Ploaré, which has a Gothic steeple (1548–86), and the chapels of Sainte-Croix, Sainte-Hélène, and Saint-Michel.
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