Founded in the 17th century and situated in the south of Brittany, Lorient is rather a recent city, but a place with rich history. In Lorient, you can still see a lot of vestiges of past and learn about the conquest of India, the great fishing or even World War II. Even if the tourists neglect this city, in Lorient, you can visit the most interesting things such as the Keroman submarine base or have so much fun and learn about the Celtic culture during the Inter-Celtic festival, that take place every August.
Lorient was occupied by the Germans during the World War II, and they had built a submarine base between 1941 and 1943. This largest military fortress in Europe was later used by the French Navy as the headquarters squadron of Atlantic submarines until 1997, and today, this ancient fort is home to an interactive museum that is open all year round, except in January. Under the Allied bombing, 95 percent of the old city of Lorient was completely destroyed. The city was rebuilt in the 1950s, but you can still see and admire some elegant 18th-century and many Art deco and Art Nouveau houses constructed in the 1930s, miraculously spared from the bombings. In the center of the Lorient, you will also find a shelter from the World War II, which is open to the public and has been chosen as the site of the memorial.
Founded in 1971 and located in Lorient, the Inter-Celtic Festival of Lorient (or Gouelioù Etrekeltiek An Oriant in Breton) is an annual Celtic festival that takes place every August. This festival is dedicated to the cultural traditions of the Celtic nation and celebration of Celtic culture, in the first place, music and dance. The participants are mainly from Brittany but also from the entire Celtic diaspora, from Ireland to Acadia. The festival starts with a traditional Breton seafood supper, known as Cotriade, which takes place in the city harbour. After that, you can attend the spectacular Grand Parade of Celtic Nations with over 3,500 musicians, singers, pipe-bands and dancers from all over the Celtic world parading through the city streets in national costumes. During the festival, there is even a competition between the finest pipe-bands.
Lorient, a recent city with rich history, is a perfect place where you can taste a traditional – cotriade. What is cotriade? This real specialty of the Lorient region is fish soup made with different kinds of fish and potatoes. The longer the list of fish, the better the cotriade. The best moment to taste this soup is during the Inter-Celtic Festival in Lorient, but if you can't make to this festival, don't worry. You can still taste this traditional soup in some of the city restaurants, such as “Entre terre et mer” restaurant.
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