Cover photo ©  credits to RolfSt
Cover photo ©  credits to RolfSt

Quimper: a city of art, history and faience

2 minutes to read

Quimper is listed as a city of art and history. And for a good reason! This city has an extraordinary architectural heritage. Here, you can visit the Cathedral of St-Corentin, many houses from the 16th and the 17th century, the ramparts, enjoy the picturesque quays of the river Odet and walk around the Locmaria district. Quimper is also famous as a Breton's capital of the faience, and this branch of industry is still very alive. This is a busy city with many commercial streets, markets and restaurants, that is absolutely worth visiting. 

Quimper, brittany's oldest city
Quimper, brittany's oldest city
29000 Quimper, France

The Cathedral of St-Corentin 

If you visit Quimper, you cannot miss a magnificent Cathedral of St-Corentin that dominates the city. It took three centuries to complete it. The construction started in 1239 on the remains of an ancient chapel containing the tomb of Alain Caniard, who conquered the Normans in the 11th century. The towers and nave were added in the 15th century, and the impressive stone spires that dominate Quimper were added much later in 1856. In spite of that, this cathedral presents an apparent architectural unity. St-Corentin was one of the earliest Gothic cathedrals, where you can see a magnificent altar from the 19th century as well as some fine 15th-century stained glass. Fully restored in the 1990s and 2000s, the Cathedral of St-Corentin is listed as a French historic monument since 1862.

Cathédrale Saint-Corentin de Quimper
Cathédrale Saint-Corentin de Quimper
Place Saint-Corentin, 29000 Quimper
Photo © credits to peresanz
Photo © credits to peresanz

Quimper - the capital of the faience

If you are looking for a perfect souvenir to get in Quimper, then you should know that this city is also known as a Breton's capital of the faience. It all started in 1690 when certain Jean-Baptist Bousquet settled at Quimper, in the suburb of Locmaria. He opened a faience workshop that soon became very prosperous. The faience of Quimper is decorated by hand, most often in the style known as “à la touche” with the tear-shaped brushes forming the flowers and leaves. The most famous decoration that you can find here is a Breton peasant in a traditional costume, and this decoration appeared for the first time in 1850. The faience industry is still very alive in Quimper, and there is even a museum dedicated to the faience. The Musée de la Faïence (Museum of the faience) shows three centuries of history and creations of faience in Quimper, and it is open to the public from mid-April to the end of September. 

Musée de la Faïence de Quimper
Musée de la Faïence de Quimper
14 rue Jean Baptiste Bousquet, 29000 Quimper

Gastronomy

Quimper is the city of art, history and faience, but also a perfect place to taste the traditional food from Brittany. Beautiful and colorful streets in the pedestrian area of Quimper are full of lovely shops and restaurants. Get yourself a traditional buckwheat pancake called gallete and glass of cold cider. Or you can treat yourself with fresh seafood in the restaurant Allium, that has got its very first Michelin star in 2018.

Restaurant-Allium-Quimper
Restaurant-Allium-Quimper
88, boulevard de Creac'h Gwen, 29000 Quimper

The author

Sladjana Perkovic

Sladjana Perkovic

Hello, my name is Sladjana, a journalist and writer living in Paris, France. I write about French well hidden places, gastronomy and cultural events.

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