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The historic town of Quimper sits between the Odet and Steir Rivers and is the capital of Brittany's most traditional region, La Cornouaille. Renowned for its traditional pottery, this idyllic town retains an atmosphere of olden day France that is visible throughout the town.
A must see is the Cathédrale St-Corentin at place St-Corentin, built between the 13th and 15th centuries and characterised by two giant spires that were erected in the 19th century. Adjacent to the cathedral is the Musée des Beaux-Arts, 40 place St-Corentin, which has a fine collection of Renaissance paintings.
To view some of Quimper’s signature pottery, a walk through town to Departemental Breton, 1-3 rue Roi Gradlon is worthwhile. The Musée de Faïence Jules Verlinque, 14 rue Jean-Baptiste-Bosquet, also has a laudable collection of pottery, handicrafts and antiques.
An ideal place for indulging in first class French cuisine is L'Ambroisie, which is located a stone’s throw away from the cathedral. Its interior is lavishly decorated with contemporary art that is reminiscent of the visionary artist, Francis Bacon. At night, Les Naïades Discothèque, on boulevard Créac'h Gwen, comes alive and attracts many of Quimper’s young and hip crowd.
Further out of town is H. B.-Henriot Faïenceries de Quimper, rue Haute, Quartier Locmaria, Quimper’s main producer of pottery. It has comprehensive guided tours that are conducted in English or French. There is also a store on the premises that sells fine examples of Quimper porcelain. The rue du Parc is a good place to buy pottery, handicrafts and clothing.
There are plenty of trains to Quimper from Paris' Montparnasse. The journey takes 7 hours. There are also several TGVs which take only 4 and a half hours. If you're coming by car, the best route is from Rennes, taking E50/N12 west to just outside the town of Montauban and continuing west along N164 to Châteaulin. From Châteaulin, head south along N165 to Quimper.