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Quimper

Quimper
Kemper
The Odet River in the centre of Quimper
The Odet River in the centre of Quimper
Coat of arms of Quimper
Coat of arms
Quimper is located in France
Quimper
Coordinates:
Country France
Region Brittany
Department Finistère
Arrondissement Quimper
Intercommunality Quimper
Government
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Ludovic Jolivet
Area1 84.45 km2 (32.61 sq mi)
Population (2008)2 63,929
 • Density 760/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 29232 / 29000
Elevation −5–151 m (−16–495 ft)
(avg. 6 m or 20 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Quimper (French pronunciation: ​; Breton: Kemper, Latin: Civitas Aquilonia or Corisopitum) is a commune and capital of the Finistère department of Brittany in northwestern France.

Contents

  • Administration 1
  • Geography 2
  • History 3
  • Population 4
  • Breton language 5
  • Education 6
  • Winter Festival 7
  • Sights 8
  • Transport 9
  • Personalities 10
  • International relations 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14

Administration

Quimper is the prefecture (capital) of the Finistère department.

Geography

The name Quimper comes from the Breton kemper "confluent" because the city was built on the confluence of the Steir, Odet and Jet rivers. It is at the intersection of Route National 165, D785, D765 and D783, 62 km (39 miles) northwest of Lorient, 181 km (112 mi) west of Rennes and 486 km (302 mi) west-southwest of Paris.

History

Quimper, with its vernacular architecture, is a popular tourist destination

Quimper is the ancient capital of Cornouaille, Brittany’s most traditional region, and has a distinctive Breton character. The Breton origin of the name is "Kemper", which means "confluence" (the modern Welsh equivalent being "cymer"); the town is on the confluence of the rivers Le Steir and L'Odet. 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 eleventh century, it was united with the Duchy of Brittany. During the civil wars of the fourteenth 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 eleventh century. The Cathedral of Saint-Corentin, with its Gothic-style façade, was constructed between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. It is the oldest Gothic structure in lower Brittany. Its two towers are 76 m (250 feet); its spires were added in the nineteenth century. The fifteenth 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 fifteenth-century walls. Nearby is the Musée des Beaux-Arts. The museum has a nineteenth-century façade and an entirely rebuilt interior. It houses a collection of fourteenth to twenty-first century paintings that includes works by Boucher, Corot, Oudry and Rubens along with canvases by such Pont-Aven School painters as Bernard, Denis, Lacombe, Maufra and Paul Sérusier.

The town's best known product is Quimper faïence pottery. 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.

Population

Its inhabitants are called Quimpérois.

Breton language

The municipality launched a linguistic plan through Ya d'ar brezhoneg on 6 February 2008.

In 2008, 4.61% of primary-school children attended bilingual schools.[1]

Education

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.[2]

Winter Festival

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.[3]

Sights

Quimper Cathedral
River Odet
  • Roman Catholic cathedral of 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)
  • Faience museum
  • Statue of Gradlon looking in the direction of Ys, in the Saint Corentin Cathedral

Transport

Public transport in Quimper is provided by 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.

The Gare de Quimper is the terminus of a TGV high-speed train line from Paris, which passes through Le Mans, Rennes and 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 – Cornouaille Airport has flights to Paris and London City.

Personalities

Quimper was the birthplace of:

International relations

Quimper is twinned with:

See also

References

  • INSEE
  1. ^ (French) Ofis ar Brezhoneg: Enseignement bilingue
  2. ^ (French) Diwan en chiffres
  3. ^ Quimper Property Guide
  4. ^ Hervé Gourmelon, Le chevalier de Kerlérec, 1704–1770: L'affaire de la louisiane, second edition, Paris: Les Portes du large, 2004.), 14.
  5. ^ http://www.limerickcity.ie/VisitingLimerick/SisterCities/QUIMPER-BrittanyFrance/25thAnniversary-TwinningofLimerickandQuimper/

External links

  • Official city council's website
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