Visit Quimper (Brittany, France)
Quimper is located in south-west Brittany and is a popular, attractive town. It is the capital of the Finistere department. The town is in an attractive setting in a pretty valley at the confluence of the Odet and Steir rivers.
Although the history of Quimper dates back to roman times, it was in medieval times that the town became an important regional centre, and the growth of pottery making that helped the town became wealthy from the 17th century onwards. This long tradition of pottery making can be seen with lots of 'Quimper faience pottery' for sale with its trademark pattern as you explore the streets. (We found a lovely plate, but the shop said it was 300 years old and cost £750. We didn't buy it!)
The cobbled streets in the old town along the River Odet are the highlight of a visit, lined with medieval half-timbered buildings, and with little bridges crossing the river, along with the impressive Saint-Corentin cathedral to the east of old Quimper.
The best street to see these medieval houses is Rue Kéréon (straight down from the front of the cathedral) and on the Place Terre au Duc (take the Rue de la Herse off Rue Kéréon), with others also to be found in the streets in the historic centre around the cathedral.
The Cathedral of Saint-Corentin is in the gothic style and dates from the 13th - 16th centuries. It is both the oldest and the largest building of its type in Brittany. The facade and the stained glass windows are among partiicular highlights. Note that the stained glass windows and the two spires that dominate the front of the cathedral were only added in the 19th century when substantial renovations were carried out.
There are lots of pleasant small restaurants and creperies in the old town, which is largely closed to cars, where you can take a welcome pause from exploring. You can also see parts of the original fortifications / ramparts of Quimper.
Quimper Museum of Fine Arts (Musee des Beaux Arts) has some interesting paintings by local artists (including those from the so-called Pont-Aven school of painting); and the Museum of Breton History also has some interesting exhibits about the history of the town and region.
There is a covered market in the centre of Quimper which is lively and popular, and open every day except Sunday.
To discover more local pottery follow the Odet downstream a little way to Locmaria. The church in Locmaria, built in roman style in the 12th century, is the oldest church in the Quimper region. Then if you have time it is worth following the footpath up Mont Frugy for a birds eye view of the town.
Also nearby don't miss the beautiful village at Locronan to the south-east of Quimper.
Photos taken within 10 km
Tourist classifications for Quimper
Quimper has received the following tourist classifications: listed town of Art and History ; village in bloom (ville fleurie) 4*
Address: Quimper, Finistere, Brittany, 29000 || GPS: latitude 47.995, longitude -4.099
Map of Quimper & places nearby
Highlights close by
Pont l'Abbe 17km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Quimper, France
- Jardin du prieuré de Locmaria - remarkable garden
- Jardin du château de Lanniron - remarkable garden
- Parc botanique de Cornouaille - remarkable garden (13km)
- Locronan - most beautiful village (14km)
- Marais de Mousterlin - site of natural beauty (17km)
- Concarneau - town of art and history (20km)
- Menez-Hom - site of natural beauty (27km)
- Pleyben - enclos-paroissial (28km)
- Parc du château de Trévarez - remarkable garden (28km)
- Archipel des Glénan - site of natural beauty (32km)
Market days in Quimper: Regular market(s) are held in Quimper each Wednesday all day & Sunday & Saturday all day. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Quimper (Francais)