Saint-Nazaire is a commune in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France, in traditional Brittany.
The town has a major harbour on the right bank of the Loire estuary, near the Atlantic Ocean. The town is at the south of the second-largest swamp in France, called "la Brière". Given its location, Saint-Nazaire has a long tradition of fishing and shipbuilding. The Chantiers de l'Atlantique, one of the largest shipyards in the world, constructed notable ocean liners such as SS Normandie, SS France, RMS Queen Mary 2 and the cruise ship MS Symphony of the Seas, the largest passenger ship in the world as of 2018.
Saint-Nazaire was a small village until the Industrial Revolution but became a large town in the second half of the 19th century, thanks to the construction of railways and the growth of the seaport. Saint-Nazaire progressively replaced upstream Nantes as the main haven on the Loire estuary.
As a major submarine base for the Kriegsmarine, Saint-Nazaire was subject to a successful British raid in 1942 and it was heavily bombed by the Allies until 1945.
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