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Vannes (vän) [key], town (1990 pop. 48,454), capital of Morbihan dept., NW France, in Brittany, on the Gulf of Morbihan. It is an important agricultural and tourist center that produces processed food, textiles, tires, metals, and construction materials. The surrounding region is noted for its pre-Christian megalithic monuments; Vannes has an archaeological museum (the former House of Parlement of Brittany) containing many prehistoric antiquities. Vannes was the capital of the kingdom (later duchy) of Brittany (9th–16th cent.). Points of interest include the Cathedral of St. Peter (13th–19th cent.), which contains the tomb of St. Vincent Ferrer, and ramparts built during the 13th cent. Francis I (reigned 1515–47) was born in Vannes.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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