Magical Quimper, Brittany
is only a 40 minute drive way from our property in France
and a prettier place would be hard to find. From all the fine towns to visit, I would place Quimper at the top of my list. It has a large, historic centre and plenty to explore on foot. Our visits always include the large square in front of the cathedral, 'Place Saint-Corentin'. This is at the eastern end of the old town and within easy reach of all the most important attractions and parking.
Place Saint-Corentin cathedral
This splendid cathedral, built in traditional Gothic style from 1239 A.D., is of rare beauty. There is one feature in particular that makes it stand out from all others - there is a ‘kink’, that is, as it rises, it seems to bend when seen from above. Though this is mainly so that the cathedral matches the contours of its location, worshippers say that it’s symbolic of Christ’s bent head as depicted in the Crucifixion. See wiki
St. Corentin has some exquisite stained glass windows and two soaring twin spires. On the west façade, you can find the equestrian statue of King Gradlon, the city's mythical 5th-century founder. The locals tell the story of the 1620s fire that devastated the bell tower. It’s said a green-eyed devil was seen in the flames. The cathedral is large so do give it some time to explore.
Les Macarons Philomenes
Walking on down the cobbled High Street, we stopped for coffee at Les Macarons Philomenes. (website: http://www.macaron-quimper.com/). This superb establishment has been around for a very long time, one that has received many awards and is known as “1er macaronier de france” - Why? Well I will tell you, it has an amazing choice of hand-made macarons in all the colours of the rainbow and in a variety of flavours. The coffee is superb. Ask for the menu and choose one of their specialities.
The River L'o'Det
Further down the High Street, we come to the river L'o'Det. It meanders through the old city like a silver snake, adorned with elegant bridges and gorgeous flower displays. It is flanked on both sides with restaurants, smart cafés and splendid shops. There is a Sunday morning flower market during the summer where locally grown flowers and shrubs are on display. Take time to visit.