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Quiberon (Municipality, Morbihan, France)


Last modified: 2023-11-04 by olivier touzeau
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Flag of Quiberon - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 5 January 2022

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Presentation of Quiberon

Quiberon (4,659 inhabitants in 2020; 883 ha) is a commune in the department of Morbihan. It is situated on the southern part of the Quiberon peninsula, connected to the mainland by a tombolo, the northern part being the commune of Saint-Pierre-Quiberon.
Quiberon was an island until the 11th century. Over time and due to massive deforestation, the sand gradually moved towards the bay, creating a tombolo between the island of Quiberon and the mainland. Quiberon is known as a seaside resort for French tourists during summer, and for its history of sardine production.

The first human burials and skeletons found on the Peninsula (and more precisely on the islet of Théviec) date from the Mesolithic, around 5000 BC. During the Armorican Neolithic period, between 4500 and 2000 BC. AD, men erected megaliths: menhirs, dolmens and covered alleys are built on Quiberon and its surroundings.
The site of the Saint-Clément chapel (initially dedicated to Saint Columban, but the name was subsequently Frenchized), built in an environment of dunes, is the oldest witness to the Christian establishment in the peninsula from the 4th century. The first monastic church was destroyed by the Normans in the 9th century. In 1027, the Duke of Brittany Alain III established the priory of Queberoen (Quiberon) in favor of the Benedictine monks of the abbey of Redon.
During the Seven Years' War the bay was the site of the Battle of Quiberon Bay (1759) between the French and British fleets. Then later in July 1795 during the period of the French Revolution, Quiberon was also 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.
At the beginning of the XIXth century, the city becomes the first sardine port in France by creating "sardine factories". Many Bigouden families settled there, mainly from Guilvinec, in order to take advantage of a port closer to the sardine banks which had moved to the south.
The railway between Auray and Quiberon was inaugurated in 1882. It deeply changed Quiberon's 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 writers Gustave Flaubert and Anatole France, and the actress Sarah Bernhardt. In February 1893, the first casino in Quiberon was built.
During the Second World War, Penthièvre Fort at the narrow isthmus was occupied by the Germans and incorporated into the Atlantic Wall. It housed various blockhouses, but was mainly used by the infantry. In July 1944, 59 resistance fighters were tortured and buried alive there. A Cross of Lorraine mounted on a stone pillar, with a plaque listing the names of the fighters stands there in memory of them.

Olivier Touzeau, 5 January 2022

Flag of Quiberon

The flag of Quiberon (photo, 2018; photo, 2011) is white with the logo, inspired by the golden sail of the coat of arms.

The Arms of Quiberon, created by Loïc Ermoy and adopted in 1974, are blazoned: Azure an anchor Or whose rod holds a yard of the same, flagged Argent at dexter, holding a triangular sail Or charge with three fleurs-de-lis Gules; the chief Gules, an ermine passant with a scarf ermine lined with or.

Olivier Touzeau, 5 January 2022