Memorial des Finistériens - Fort Montbarey

DSC_4585And10more_tonemapped reduced
DSC_5720And12churchill reduced

Why take advantage?

From its construction to the present day, Fort Montbarey has lived many lives ...

The fort was built at the end of the 18th century to protect Brest and its arsenal from English forces. The fort could accommodate a total of 500 to 600 soldiers.

During the Second World War, German forces used the site as a logistical barracks for some 300 soldiers. Montbarey also became a labor camp for the Todt organization. Thousands of Spanish Republicans, who had taken refuge in France during the Spanish Civil War, were placed at the disposal of the occupying forces by the Pétain government and kept in the fort's moat. Forced to work, they participated in the construction of the Atlantic Wall and, in particular, the submarine bases.

In August-September 1944, fighting raged for the liberation of Brest. 70 German soldiers - seasoned paratroopers - were entrenched in the fort and proved impregnable for several days, forming a fierce pocket of fighting resistance. The fort became a key location in the reconquest of Brest. The enemy would not surrender until the British Churchill flamethrower tanks were brought into action. Brest fell 2 days after the surrender of Montbarey.

After the end of the war, the world entered the era of the Cold War. Montbarey became the air defense post for western France. The bunkers were built in 1953 and housed the DCA command center, air surveillance radar facilities and a communications station.

Finally, the fort's fourth life began in 1984. The "Mémorial des Finistériens" association was created on the site at the initiative of Charles Le Goasguen, a Free Frenchman and Companion of the Liberation.

The association does not seek to celebrate the war. Its vocation is to keep alive the memory of the 10,000 Finistériens who died for France, and of the Allied combatants who died during the conflict. It contributes to a better understanding of the issues at stake in this major conflict of the 20th century.

By reservation, other time arrangements can be made for groups.

Last entry time for the public is 5pm.

Contemporary monument to the American Revolutionary War. Late 18th century, late Vauban type

Theme(s) : Fort - History - War memories

Main services

  • Accessible PMR
  • Groups of 10 to 50 people
Show all services

Main services

  • Accessible PMR
  • Groups of 10 to 50 people


  • Projection room
  • Fully equipped meeting room


  • Store
  • Toilets

On-site activities

  • Conferences
  • Temporary exhibitions

Spoken language(s)

  • French
  • English

We like

The situation:
  • On the outskirts of the city
Ideal for : Rainy weather
(in €)
Base rate - Adult Full rate6€
Reduced rate

Veterans, children aged 9 - 18 and students


- 9 years old

Group rate

Adult group (over or equal to 10 pers) / pers

Group rate

school groups for a class of 25-30 pupils

Means of payment

  • Payment cards
  • Bank and postal cheques
  • Vacation vouchers
  • Species
  • Transfer



Memorial des Finistériens - Fort Montbarey

Allée de Bir-Hakeim
29200 Brest
Getting there with Google Maps