Quimper, a city of culture, art and history
Approximately 35 minutes from Crozon:
Quimper is the capital of Finistère. The name originates from the Breton "Kemper"and means "confluent", as the city was built at the convergance of the Rivers Frout, Steir and Odet.
According to legend, the city was founded at the beginning of the 6th Century next to a hill, in close proximity to a Roman settlement. It was the era of the legendary King Gradlon, who appointed the monk Corentin as the first bishop of Quimper, and as a consequence, the city became the capital of Cornouaille.
Quimper is renowned for its porcelain industry. For four centuries, the pottery workshops have produced “Quimper faience” in the old tradition, beautifully shaped and decorated by hand.
There is also a museum with exhibits from the past four centuries.
Located in the wonderfully picturesque old town quarter of Quimper, the Cathedral of St. Corentin stands s a jewel of gothic Breton architecture. Visible from far and wide, the high rising spires dominate the city landscape. Construction of the cathedral began in 1240 on the foundations of a former Romanesque cathedral, and wasn’t completed in its entirety until 1856. The particularity of this cathedral is, unlike any other, that it curves to the left in the middle to match the contours and properties of its location.
The beginning of the old town quarter is directly opposite the cathedral in the Rue Kéréon. The view of the cathedral from this perspective must be one of the most photographed scenes in Brittany.
The medieval streets and squares, with their half-timbered houses around the "Placeau Beurre" in the Rue St-Mathieu Fréron, provide a most perfect picturesque setting.
Along the banks of the river Ode, the character and appearance of the city alters. The elegant houses adorning the waterfront date from the 18th and 19 centuries. Here too, there are nice shops which extend an invitation to go in and browse around. In the old town one can purchase antiques, books and Breton music CDs. The Musée des Beaux-Arts, opposite the Cathedral, is also worth a visit to take in its current exhibitions.
Another pleasant excursion:
The grounds and gardens of Castle Lanniron.The "Domaine de Lanniron" lies on the banks of the river Odet, approximately 2.5 km from Quimper. For over 6 centuries the castle served as summer residence for the bishops of Quimper. During the 19th century, the castle was rebuilt in Palladian style, and overlooks the beautiful 17th century French terraced gardens, which descend gently down to the banks of the River Odet.