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15/02/2011

Pointe du Raz (Beg ar Raz), Ile de Sein (Enez Sun), Brittany, France


This is a photo taken from the Pointe du Raz, a promontory that extends into the Atlantic from western Brittany, in France. It is named after the Raz de Sein, the dangerous stretch of water between it and the island of Sein (Enez Sun in Breton). It is a dramatic place of crashing waves and strong winds.

The island of Sein, lying on the sea routes going south from the English Channel, is well known for the dangers of its waters, the Chaussée de Sein, a vast zone of reefs stretching more than thirty miles from east to west, requiring numerous lighthouses, beacons, and buoys. In the past, it was also known for its wreckers.

During World War II, all the men of the island, a total of 124 between the age of fourteen and fifty-four, embarked on their fishing boats for England where they joined Charles de Gaulle's Free French in London after hearing de Gaulle's call to resistance in his appeal to the French on 18 June 1940. In 1946, the island as a whole was admitted into the extremely select Order of the Liberation for this feat and its residents were exempted from paying income tax, a privilege they enjoy to this day.

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