- Quimper, Finistère
caption=The Odet River in the centre of Quimper
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Its inhabitants are called "Quimpérois".
The name "Quimper" comes from the Breton "kemper" "confluent" because the city was built on the confluence of the
Steir, Odetand Jet rivers. It is at the intersection of Route National 165, D785, D765 and D783, 34 miles northwest of Lorient, 111 miles west of Rennesand 303 miles 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 11th 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 250 feet tall; 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 the Musée 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 19th 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 Rubensalong with canvases by such Pont-Aven Schoolpainters as Bernard, Denis, Lacombe, Maufra and Paul Sérusier.
The town's best known product is
Quimper faïencepottery. 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.
Quimper has several schools, under which two Diwan preschools, two Diwan primary schools and one Diwan
collège. In total, 287 students attended here a Diwan school in 2003-2004. [fr icon [http://www.diwanbreizh.org/sections.php4?op=viewarticle&artid=25 Diwan en chiffres] ]
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. [ [http://www.frenchpropertylinks.com/brittany/finistere/quimper.htm Quimper Property Guide] ]
* the Roman Catholic
cathedralof 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)
* Statue of Gradlon looking in the direction of
Ys, in the Saint Corentin Cathedral
Public transport in Quimper is provided by [http://www.qub.fr QUB] . The network consists of 7 urban bus routes, and 16 suburban bus routes. During the summer months of July and August, an additional "beach" bus route is open to service.
Quimper is the terminus of the
TGVhigh-speed train line from Paris, which passes through Le Mans, Rennesand Vannes. Journey duration is approximately 04h25. In addition, the following destinations are served by the TER Bretagne (the regional train network) :
* Quimper - Brest (01h09)
* Quimper - Rennes (02h15)
Quimper was the birthplace of:
Élie Catherine Fréron(1719-1776), critic and controversialist
Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen-Trémarec(1734-1797), explorer, admiral, discoverer of the Kerguelen archipelago
Rene-Marie Madec(1736-1784), adventurer, Nawabof India. See also René Madec
René Laënnec(1781-1826), physician, inventor of the stethoscope
Max Jacob(1876-1944), poet, painter, writer and critic
Philippe Poupon, sailor
William Stanger, footballer
Jean Failler, writer (The Adventures of Mary Lester)
Louis Billouart de Kervaségan, chevalier de Kerlérec(1704–1770), last French governor of Louisiana [Hervé Gourmelon, "Le chevalier de Kerlérec, 1704–1770: L'affaire de la louisiane", second edition, Paris: Les Portes du large, 2004.), 14.]
Quimper is twinned with:
* [http://www.mairie-quimper.fr Municipal website]
* [http://www.placeopedia.com/?12653 PlaceOpedia]
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