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Center of Roscoff from Sainte Barbe chapel
Center of Roscoff from Sainte Barbe chapel
Flag of Roscoff
Coat of arms of Roscoff
Coat of arms
Roscoff is located in France
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Country France
Region Brittany
Department Finistère
Arrondissement Morlaix
Canton Saint-Pol-de-Léon
Intercommunality Pays Léonard
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Joseph Séïté
Area1 6.19 km2 (2.39 sq mi)
Population (2008)2 3,648
 • Density 590/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 29239 / 29680
Elevation 0–58 m (0–190 ft)
(avg. 6 m or 20 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Roscoff (Breton: Rosko) is a commune in the Finistère département of Brittany in northwestern France.

Roscoff is renowned for its picturesque architecture, labeled "petite cité de caractère de Bretagne" (small town of character)[1] since 2009. Roscoff is also a traditional departure point for Onion Johnnies.

After lobbying by local economic leaders headed by Alexis Gourvennec, the French government agreed in 1968 to provide a deep water port at Roscoff. Existing ferry operators were reluctant to take on the relatively long Plymouth/Roscoff crossing, so Gourvennec and colleagues founded Brittany Ferries. Since the early 1970s, Roscoff has been developed as a ferry port for the transport of Breton agricultural produce, and for car-based tourism. Brittany Ferries and Irish Ferries link Roscoff with both Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The nearby Île de Batz, called Enez Vaz in Breton, is a small island that can be reached by launch from the harbour.



Inhabitants of Roscoff are called in French Roscovites.

Breton language

The municipality launched a linguistic plan through Ya d'ar brezhoneg on 14 November 2008.

In 2008, 18.44% of primary-school children attended bilingual schools.[2]


Brittany Ferries operate ferry services from Roscoff to Plymouth daily from February to November and to Cork once weekly (Saturday service) from March to November.

Irish Ferries operate ferry services from Roscoff to Rosslare from May to September.

Historic events

  • In 1375, the harbour was destroyed by the Earl of Arundel. It would later be rebuilt at its current location, at Kroas Batz.
  • From 1522 to 1545–1550, construction the Church of Our Lady of Kroas Batz (see Monuments above).
  • In 1548, the six-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, having been betrothed to the Dauphin François, disembarks at Roscoff.
  • In 1790, Roscoff was raised to independent commune. Until this time, the town had effectively depended on Saint-Pol-de-Léon.
  • The illustrator Henry Gerbault and his wife moved to Roscoff in 1919 and lived there the rest of their lives.

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Roscoff is twinned with:

Image gallery

See also


  1. City of Roscoff: Roscoff awarded "Petite cité de caractère de Bretagne" (small town of character) (in French)
  2. (French) Ofis ar Brezhoneg: Enseignement bilingue
  3. "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 2013-07-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links