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Vannes

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  • ©Morbihan-Tourisme-Marc-Schaffner
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  • ©CRTB -BERTHIER Emmanuel
  • ©CRTB -yannick-legal

The town was founded by the Romans after their victory over the Veneti in 56BC.  Julius Caesar’s victorious armies conquered all of Armorique.
Darioritum (the town’s first name) developed on a hill (today the St Patern district). From the 3rd century, a castrum (fortified site) was built, to protect the inhabitants from threats by the Barbarians.

After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, Venetis replaced Darioritum, the ancient town was abandoned and became a suburb.  The medieval town developed little by little within the fortifications.  It was at this time that Vannes became a bishop’s see (diocese) – one of the first in Brittany.

In 1532, François I stayed in Vannes to prepare the treaty of union between Brittany and France.

At the end of the 17th century, the exile of the Breton parliamentarians by order of Louis XIV gave the town a real boost.  Numerous town houses were constructed and the town extended beyond the walls.

In the second half of the 19th century, Vannes took on another image.  Further urban development was driven by the arrival of the railway in 1862 and the stationing of two artillery regiments after the defeat of 1870. During this time the town hall, the prefecture and the law court were all opened. Vannes was not badly damaged during the Second World War. Today, this town of 64,000 inhabitants makes the most of its renowned tourist assets, including its old districts and its proximity to the Golfe du Morbihan.

Translation : Emma Paulo

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