The lower portion of the wall on the right hand side of the picture, above the cars, and which goes around about one-half of today's walls, was laid by the Romans around the year 290, to fend off barbarian Saxon or Frank pirate attacks. The Roman castle held 1,000 soldiers under a Praefectus, and they called the settlement Gesocribate. We now call it Brest.
Following the last Praefectus, the castle was occupied by the barbarians, the counts of Léon, the dukes of Brittany, the English (for 55 years), the French, and the Germans.
Today, the Préfet Maritime responsible for Atlantic France sits in a modern palace built on the castle's inner yard. Separately, the staff offices of the French ballistic nuclear submarine command, FOST, sit in bunkers built by the Germans underneath the castle.
The Musée National de la Marine occupies the higher spaces of the east wall, above the Roman opus mixtum, and is well worth visiting.