A capital of art, history and legends
Kemper (confluent) flourished at the crossroads of the Steir and the Odet rivers. King Gradlon, fleeing the town of Ys, which was engulfed by water, is said to have made it the capital of Cornouaille. The Romans developed the city’s trading vocation. In the 13th century, corporations set up at the foot of the cathedral, which was being built. Rich emissaries of the king of France confirmed the growth of the city and built mansion houses there. Since then, the city has grown nobly along its floral quays.
At the heart of the Middle Ages
It took three centuries to build Saint-Corentin cathedral. As a result, it is one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic art. Two superbly restored spires rise up to 76 metres. You’ll have to go inside to see the stained-glass windows in all their glory.
Facing the apostles, cobbled streets take you to the Middle Ages. Corbelled houses line Rue Kereon (meaning shoemakers), creating a charming view of Saint-Corentin. One of the most beautiful houses is at the corner of Rue des Boucheries. The house at number 10, Rue du Sallé, features remarkable décor. In Rue du Guéodet, the curious Maison des Cariatides attracts attention. Place au Beurre and Rue Elie-Freron also compete in terms of beauty. Follow your intuition at every crossroads!
If you continue along the Odet river, you will reach the Locmaria district, the birthplace of earthenware. Quimper earthenware features naive and vivid touches. The bowls made the Breton couple in costume famous. Watch the different steps of production, in particular the delicate work of the “peinteuses” at HB-Henriot.
Welcome to the museums
The Fine Arts Museum is one of the richest in France. The walls of the Italian-style palace exhibit the works of Boudin, from the Pont-Aven School, Tal-Coat, Max Jacob, and others. In what was once a bishops’ palace, the Musée Breton offers a pleasant introduction to regional heritage.