A sea city that can trace its roots back to the 3rd century when the Romans built a stronghold, Brest has a lively nautical-themed character that has the immediate effect of relaxing all who visit. Its most impressive landmark is the Castle of Brest, which was built for the Earls of Leon and later purchased by the Duke of Brittany in the 13th century. It stands proudly where numerous battles have been fought throughout France's naval history. At one time there were around 80 warships in its waters. Later, during the First World War, Brest was used as a landing base for American soldiers, but the Second World War left the city in ruins through constant bombing. It has now been totally rebuilt. A naval museum inside the castle tells the story. Life today revolves around its waterfront where watersports enthusiasts and sailors flock. Just a few kilometers away are the pretty suburbs of Lambézellec, Saint-Marc and Saint-Pierre Quilbignon, which are all worth a visit for a relaxing excursion.