Brest is a city in the in Brittany in northwestern France. Located in a sheltered position not far from the western tip of the Breton peninsula.
The advantages of Brest's situation as a seaport town were first recognized by Cardinal Richelieu, who in 1631 constructed a harbor with wooden wharves. This soon became a base for the French Navy. Jean-Baptiste Colbert – the finance minister under Louis XIV – rebuilt the wharves in masonry and otherwise improved the base. Fortifications by Vauban (1633–1707) followed in 1680–1688. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brest,_France