Guide Michelin 2012

QuimperSaint-Corentin, patron saint of Quimper capital city of French Cornwall (Cornouaille) in Brittany

Quimper capital city of French Cornwall (Cornouaille)

Cathedral Saint Corentin in Quimper

Located by the river Odet, Quimper has always been a sheltered place and a crossing point. As far back as the roman conquest a small urban centre settled round a port opened to the Mediterranean world, downstream from the actual town.

Later Breton immigrants chose to settle upstream, on the confluent (Kemper in Breton language). The choice of Quimper as an Episcopal town contributed to its development as it was already the residence of the powerful Count of Cornouaille (Cornwall). Since the XIIIth Century the building of the cathedral and the belt of walls have structured the town. The construction of the cathedral which lasted many centuries made it one of the major building in gothic art in Brittany.

In the XVIth century Brittany became part of France with a royal administration which led to the building of private hotels, and in the following century by the construction of many convents related to the catholic reform. Nevertheless the town remained a town of merchants and ship-owners who built timbered- or stoned- houses.