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Brest Castle

The only surviving reminder of Old Brest’s history, the castle was built in the 11th century on a site previously fortified by the Romans. Towers and fortifications were added from the 12th to the 17th century. Richelieu, Colbert, Duquesne and then Vauban starting in 1683 all played a part in fortifying the castle. The outer wall was restored after the last war.  

Thanks to its strategic location at the centre of town, on a rocky outcrop, the castle towers over the Penfeld River, the roadstead and its narrow entrance or “goulet”. 

The Maritime Museum

In the exceptional setting of the castle you will find the National Maritime Museum. This museum houses a wonderful collection of model boats, paintings and sculptures. The collection of model boats is one of its kind. Illustrating the art of the royal shipbuilders, the collection in Brest is a reminder of the history of Richelieu’s arsenal and the great ocean-going fleets in the heyday of sailing. 

It shares the privilege of being one of the world’s two oldest maritime museums with the Central Naval Museum in Saint Petersburg thanks to the scale and diversity of its collections.

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