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Quiberon

Quiberon

[keebuh-rawn]
Quiberon, peninsula, Morbihan dept., NW France, in Brittany, projecting into the Bay of Biscay. The town of Quiberon (1993 est. pop. 4,647), a fishing port and resort, is at the tip of the peninsula and is linked with the mainland by a thin stretch of sand. Sardine canning is the major industry. A force of some 3,000 French royalists was landed at Quiberon by British ships in 1795 in the hope of reviving the Vendée movement, an anti-Revolution peasant uprising. The local population failed to rally, and bad weather prevented the British ships from giving assistance. Thus, the invaders were forced to capitulate; but, contrary to the capitulation terms, the French government ordered all prisoners executed. Some 750 were shot, and the rest were allowed to escape. Quiberon Bay was also the scene (1759) of a victory by the British under Lord Hawke over a French fleet in the Seven Years War (1756-63).

Quiberon or Kiberen in Breton is a commune of the Morbihan département, in the région of Bretagne. It is situated on a peninsula, the Presqu'île de Quiberon. It is primarily known as a seaside resort for the French during summer, and for its history of sardine production.

History

During the Seven Years War the bay was the site of the Battle of Quiberon Bay between the French and British fleets. In the French Revolution, in July 1795 Quiberon was used by French Royalist exiles, with assistance from the British, as the base for a failed invasion of Brittany (traditionally a royalist area). The invasion was defeated by the Revolutionaries under general Lazare Hoche.

In the 19th century, Nicolas Appert, a chemist, tuned a technique that permitted the sterilization of food. Thanks to this process, Quiberon became the leading harbour for sardine fishing and the production of canned sardines in France. Many families from the Finistère département migrated to Quiberon for the fishing season (May to October). When the men put out to sea, the women worked in the sardine can factories.

The railway between Auray and Quiberon was inaugurated in 1882. It deeply changed Quiberon's inhabitants' way of life. Fishing, canning and the exploitation of seaweed has been replaced by tourism. At that time, some famous people went to Quiberon for a stay, including the writer Gustave Flaubert, Anatole France and Sarah Bernhardt. The year 1924 was important for the peninsula because it was classified as health resort. Now, the main resources for Quiberon come from tourism.

Monuments

  • Église Notre-Dame de Locmaria, 19th century chapel
  • Chapelle Fort Penthièvre, 19th century
  • Prehistoric site
  • Musée de la mer (Museum of the sea)
  • Monument to the Battle of Quiberon between the Revolutionaries and Royalists

Demographics

Inhabitants of Quiberon are called Quiberonnais.

As of the census of 1999, the town has a population of .

See also

Sources

Mayors of Morbihan Association ; INSEE ; IGN

External links

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