Fareham & Vannes


Where is Fareham ?

Fareham is a town of c. 100,00 at the top of the north western arm of Portsmouth Harbour.

Fareham Creek

It is famous for its iron and steel forger Henry Cort, and its artificer support of the 18th and 19th century British Navy.

Ironworks art, West Street

Fareham Borough stretches from the River Hamble to Portchester. It has a Mayor chosen by his Councillor colleagues.

Learn more about Fareham.


Vannes is a beautiful medieval fortified town of c. 50,000 inhabitants at the head of the Golfe de Morbihan on the coast of south Brittany in France. It has various light industries, both high-tech and traditional : boat building, agriculture, shell fisheries.

Medieval wash houses in Vannes

In the first century BC the Romans founded the new town of Darioritum (this was its name at that epoque) in the region of the Venetians.  Interestingly this tribe of Indo-European people had settled both in northern Italy around  Venice and in Britanny in the  region around Vannes.  To meet the threat of the Saxons at the end of the 3rd century, a castle was built.  The Romans thus laid the base of a fortified town which, at the end of the middle ages, covered an area of 25 acres .  From the end of the middle ages, the city became the favourite residence of the Dukes of Brittany who stayed at the Chateau de l’Hermine (now destroyed).  In 1675, the Breton parliament was exiled from Rennes and came to Vannes.  A number of Breton princes made Vannes their capital and it was here that Francis I, King of France  met the representatives of the Breton parliament in August 1532 to conclude the treaty which made Brittany a part of France.

Vannes hold a Breton festival with traditional music and danse each August 15th – the Fêtes d’Arvor  – part of which involves choosing a queen and maids of honour.  Traditional costume with embroidered dress and linen head dress are important in this choice.

Traditional dress

Vannes is now a thriving, growing town with a university – Université de Bretagne-Sud and many industries.  Among these are Multiplast – well known for huge catamaran racing yachts and many IT companies

The Golfe du Morbihan is now a member of an association: “The Most  Beautiful Bays in the World”

There are several museums, frequent exhibitions and a top rate concert hall “Palais des Arts”.

Here is a map of Vannes and its historical sites.

Learn more about Vannes from Wikipedia, from the Vannes Mairie (in English), and from the Vannes Mag (Magazine about Vannes, in French).