Lorient is a town of Morbihan, a department in the so beautiful Brittany region. Brittany's fourth largest commune, Lorient lies on a huge natural harbour secured from the ocean’s wrath thanks to the Île de Groix and situated at the junction of three different rivers.
Founded in the middle of the 17th century for trading operations, the harbour of Lorient was formerly a key location for the colonialism activities of France. Nowadays, the town has an important fishing port and the docks area welcomes large cargo and passenger ships. Several large yachting marinas can be found around the bay, as tourism is very important for the economy of the town.
Many people know the town for its Interceltique music festival which was founded in 1971 and attracts many tourists to the area every summer. This Festival Interceltique de Lorient takes place in the heart of the town every August and presents around 4,500 Celtic traditional musicians, dancers, craftsmen, painters or artists of all kinds, coming from Brittany, Cornwall, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Galicia and elsewhere. During the 10 days of the festival, not less than 600,000 visitors are expected.
The festival is a good way to attract people and to generate money. For a long time, the economy of Lorient passed through the harbour activity, which is over now. That is why the town received some European subsidies, in order to develop new economical projects.
Lorient accounts for a population of about 58,000 inhabitants. In order to destroy the German submarines headquarters established in Lorient in 1941, the Allied bombing destroyed most of the town during World War II. After the war, the town was rebuilt gradually and to rapidly provide accommodation to its inhabitants, buildings were constructed.
The Brittany region and the Morbihan department are very popular amongst those who want to invest in a second home. Even if this department is the most expensive of the four of Brittany, Lorient is a cheap town in comparison to some other towns of the Morbihan. For a property in Lorient, plan to spend €1,500/ s qm, while it is €2,300/ s qm in the prefecture of Vannes and €4,000/ s qm for the Quiberon sea resort.
The local property market has lived a slowdown in the constant increase of prices since 2005, and it is above all clearly visible since 2007.
90% of all the properties are main houses and 3% are second houses. Because of the second war and the partial destruction of the town, lots of buildings were built. Thus, 70% of the properties are apartments. The size of these properties varies a lot, and you can find small apartments or big apartments distributed in the same proportions.
To get updated info about housing prices in the Dordogne, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Lorient is the biggest town of the Morbihan department, even if it is Vannes which is the prefecture. Having suffered during the war, the town tried to develop itself to put a new life into itself, and now have several assets to attract people there.
Celtic roots: above all, Lorient is famous for its Festival Interceltique which takes place every year in August for a period of 10 days. 4,500 artists come from different places to celebrate the Celtic culture. With its lively music and dances, the atmosphere in the area is really festal. Within the crowd of the 600,000 visitors which attend this event every year, you will feel immediately and completely soaked in the Celtic culture. All year round, associations and clubs offer you to learn more about this culture or to prepare this huge festival (music, dances, traditional costumes, etc…).
Location & culture: situated along the Atlantic coast, it is a calm town which however affords you all the facilities you can need (shops, restaurants, hospital and even an University!). Being destroyed and having lost a part of its identity, it seems that Lorient now bets on culture. Thus, the town offers facilities such as theatres, auditorium and cinemas. Visits are also available to discover the area, as it has received the label for being an history and patrimony town.
Transport: almost only separated from the UK by the English channel, Lorient can be easily reachable by boat, train or plane. Only 9 km of Lorient, the airport offers daily flights to the big cities of Lyon and Paris, but also several flights per week to the United Kingdom and Ireland (London Luton, Cardiff, Galway, Waterford, Cork and Kerry).
As exposed previously, Lorient was almost completely destroyed during World War II by the Allied bombing. Thus, the majority of properties were destroyed, and almost no sign of the regional architecture remains in Lorient. However, you will find a specific architecture of the reconstruction dating from the 1950s. Two different types of buildings can be seen:
Construction of regional inspiration: those buildings are characterised by the use of the symmetry for the layout of the building and a two-slopes roof made of slate. In the roof, you can see several skylights, which are usually higher than wider. Decorations adorn windows and sills, while traditional ironworks give charm to the building.
Construction of modern inspiration: those buildings are characterised by the use of cantilevers like balconies and canopies. The buildings don’t have these two-slopes roofs as it is the case for the « regional inspiration’s » ones. Here, you will find terrace-roofs or garden-roofs. The windows are also made in lentgh, while they are made in height for the regional buildings.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Brittany.
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