Quimper is the capital of the Finistère department in Brittany in north-western France.The name Quimper comes from the Breton k emper “confluent” because the city was built on the confluence of the Steir, Odet and Jet rivers. It is at the intersection of Route National 165, D785, D765 and D783, 62 km (39 miles) northwest of Lorient, 181 km (112 mi) west of Rennes and 486 km (302 mi) west-southwest of Paris. Quimper is the ancient capital of La Cornouaille, Brittany’s most traditional region, and has a distinctive Breton character. Shops and flags celebrating the region’s Celtic heritage can be found throughout the city. Quimper was originally settled during Roman times. By AD 495, the town had become a Bishopric. It subsequently became the capital of the counts of Cornouailles. In the 11th century, it was united with the Duchy of Brittany. During the civil wars of the 14th century, the town suffered considerable ruin. In 1364, the duchy passed to the House of Montfort.
The town has a rustic atmosphere with footbridges spanning the rivers that flow through it. The Church of Locmaria, a Romanesque structure, dates from the eleventh century. The Cathedral of Saint-Corentin, with its Gothic-style façade, was constructed between the 13th and 16th centuries. It is the oldest Gothic structure in lower Brittany. Its two towers are 76 m (250 feet); its spires were added in the 19th century. The 15th century stained glass windows are exceptional. The cathedral is dedicated to Quimper’s first bishop, Corentin. To the cathedral’s west are the pedestrianized streets of Vieux Quimper with a wide array of crêperies, half-timbered houses and shops. Near the Episcopal palace, which now holds theMusée départemental Breton (devoted to regional history, archaeology, ethnology and economy) are the ruins of the town’s 15th century walls. Nearby is the Musée des Beaux-Arts. The museum has a nineteenth century façade and an entirely rebuilt interior. It houses a collection of 14th to 21st century paintings that includes works by Boucher, Corot, Oudry and Rubens along with canvases by such Pont-Aven School painters as Bernard, Denis, Lacombe, Maufra and Paul Sérusier. The town’s best known product is Quimper faïence pottery. It has been made here since 1690, using bold provincial designs of Jean-Baptiste Bousquet. The town’s eating establishments boast some of the best crêpes and cider in Brittany. The town has also been known for copper and bronze work, food items, galvanized ironware, hosiery, leather, paper and woollen goods.Most French festivals are held in the summer season, but Quimper has a Winter Festival: Les Hivernautes. In the summer, you can also find concerts on street corners, with pipers and accordion players.
Main Sights are:-
- the Roman Catholic cathedral of Saint-Corentin. This cathedral has a remarkable bend in its middle.
- churches (Locmaria, Saint-Mathieu, Kerfeunteun, Ergue-Armel…)
- an old town centre with mediaeval fortifications and houses
- Musée des Beaux-Arts (near the cathedral)
- Cornouaille Festival: traditional dance (last week of July)
- Faience museum
- Statue of Gradlon looking in the direction of Ys, in the Saint Corentin Cathedral
Quimper… 3 ancient towns :
The original site of Quimper : Locmaria’s quarter, the 12th century roman church (one of the oldest building in Finistère) the ancient priory and the medieval garden. The bishop’s town : The ancient bishop’s palace houses the Breton museum. –
The town defences : 40% left of the original walls. –
The cobble stoned streets of the Episcopal town with half timbered houses- with each street, a reminder of ancient trades : Rue des boucheries (butcher’s street) place au beurre (butter square), rue Kéréon (shoemaker’s street)…
The Ducal Town : The attractive houses of Place Terre Au Duc St Mathieu street and church with its beautiful stained windows, venelle du poivre (pepper alley), rue René Madec.
Office de Tourisme de Quimper Cornouaille Place de la Résistance 29000 Quimper Tél. : 02 98 53 04 05
Official website: www.quimper-tourisme.com
Quimper Cathedral – Cathédrale Saint-Corentin de Quimper, is a Roman Catholic cathedral, and national monument of Brittany (France), located in the town of Quimper. It is the seat of the Bishops of Quimper (now Bishops of Quimper-Leon), to the first of whom, Saint Corentin, it is dedicated. The cathedral is notable in that unlike other Gothic cathedrals it slightly bends in the middle to match the contours of its location, and avoid an area that was swampy at the time of the construction. The Cathedral was the site of a devastating fire in 1620 when the bell tower was burned and the populace saw a green devil in the flames
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