A long time ago one could cross Penfeld River thanks to small, flimsy and sea-unworthy boats - that crossing was quite dangerous

"C'était bien autre chose, jadis, avant qu'existât le grand pont. Brest et Recouvrance étaient deux villes distinctes. On passait la Penfeld sur un bac à péage qui reliait la cale de la Rose au débouché de la rue Neuve. Nombreux étaient ceux qui ne traversaient la rivière que deux ou trois fois l'an : pour la fête de l'Empereur, la Fête-Dieu ou autres occasions solennelles."
François Ménez



First comes the idea of a floating bridge, but in the end, the one of building a real bridge was accepted. Amongst the various plans proposed to the Civil Engineering Minister, Cadiat and Oudry's was accepeted on the 1rst may 1854. Building works began 2 years later, because the 2 metal and moving "arms" of 52 meters and 750 tons each - had to be produced by Schneider's workshop in Creusot. On the 23rd of June 1861, day of the opening, both riversides were linked


During the battle for Brest in 1944, the bridge was destroyed


It was only on the 17th of July 1954 that the National Bridge (swing bridge) was replaced by the Recouvrance Bridge. It's the biggest movable bridge in Europe

History of Brest
Map of Brest

National Bridge