Concarneau

is located in southern Brittany in the North-West of France.   In Breton ‘konk kerne’ means ‘Bay of Cornwall’, and the town is situated in this sheltered peaceful bay.

Concarneau has two distinct areas: the modern town on the mainland and the medieval Ville Close, a walled town on a long island in the centre of the harbour. Historically, the old town was a shipbuilding centre. The Ville Close is now devoted to tourism with many restaurants and shops, where you can spend at least one afternoon browsing through the narrow cobbled streets. The Ville Close is also home to the fishing museum (a great trip for children and adults alike). The Ville Close is connected to the main town by a drawbridge, and at the other end the ferry crosses to the village of Lanriec on the other side of the harbour.

In August the town holds the annual Fête des Filets Bleus (Festival of the blue nets). The festival is named after the traditional blue nets of Concarneau’s fishing fleet, and is a celebration of Breton and pan-Celtic culture. Such festivals often occur throughout Brittany but the Filets Bleus is one of the oldest and largest attracting in excess of a thousand costumed participants with many times the number of observers. In 2005, the 100th festival was celebrated.

Fishing, particularly for tuna, has long been the primary economic activity in Concarneau, and it is one of the biggest fishing ports in France. Since the 1980s, other industries have arisen, such as boat construction and summer tourism.

Concarneau was also the setting for Belgian mystery writer Georges Simenon’s novel Le Chien Jaune (The Yellow Dog), featuring his celebrated sleuth Maigret.

Concarneau is twinned with the following towns;

  Bielefeld, Germany, since 1969
  M’bour, Senegal, since 1974
  Penzance, Cornwall, since 1982 (Liz’s home town!!)
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Festivals during spring/summer 2013 include;

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Le Livre Mer (book fair specialised on the Sea) – 19-21.04. 2013
Le Festival du Chien Jaune – 19-21.07. 2013
Le Festival des Filets Bleus – 14-18.08. 2013

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