Archive for February 17th, 2013

February 17, 2013

Quimper or Kemper in nice Finistére!!

Time to be back to this wonderful historical city of Quimper in dept 29 Finistére just about 100kms or 62 miles from my home. I have written before on it then July 1 2012 entitled “Finistére or end of the land or why not nice Quimper

Now its time for a revisit ,and what a visit, the day was gorgeous, the city vibrant ,with market days ,singing troubaudors, and dwarf horse rides, and oh the wonderful museums. Quimper is could be the city where my oldest son will have a first job….All excited.

A bit of history I like

From writings dating from 1235AD ,the life of Saint Corentin gives credit to the foundation of the city to a Gradlon around the 5 to 6C. king of the city of d’Ys, Gradlon would have it donated his castle in the confluents of the river Odet to the hermit Corentin to have built his Cathedral. This story or leyend appears again in the second book of the life of Saint Guénolé written by 880AD. Gradlon is the central personage in the leyend of the city of d’Ys,sort of an Atlantis Breton, whereby its origins are lost in the oral celtique tradition. During the centuries that followed many writers have taken this myths to enrich the many variants of the story. A statue in horse of Gradlon is at the local museum of Breton arts or Musée Départemental Breton.

The city even on a saturday is full of public bus transport zig zagging the town, even if it is in French its easy to use, I have it on QUB the city transport site itineraries section, . Of course, we come by car and park at our special parking Tour d’Auvergne where for 2,40€ you can park for 6 hours! Right where a monument to the fallen was erected in 1908!  This monument was melted down by the nazis during the occupation of 1942; after the liberation, France gave the city a new monument that was put in place in 1958, the one now there. More in French here

The city is cut thru by a river, (sounds familiar!) the ODET, and it has its history too; L’Odet (Oded in breton) is a river on the coastal breton of 62 kms long that takes its source in the black mountains or montagnes Noires at Saint-Goazec, in the area known as Yeun-ar-Vouster, and ends on the Atlantic ocean between Sainte-Marine and Bénodet (in breton Ben” = «river mouth » and therefore « river mouth of the Odet ». It is wonderful to walk its quais along the river bank a local tradition.

We had our lunch at the taverne de maitre kanter, right at quai de Steir, next attached to the covered market, and we had the works, with plenty of beers grimbergen blondes, 9 pints for the five of us a killer; then the tavernier steak and fries, and two choucroute paysanne with plenty of Alsacien flair. and mussels with cider, then créme brulée,banana split, poire belle hélene, two coffees,and three capucchinos all for 173€ for five. lol! great views over the marché plaza in front and on the second floor that we were today, you have a back glass wall where you can see the covered market and the vendors and public below ,nice, wonderful ambiance. This is in my blogroll here where I write critics on restaurants,

We went again to some favorites and a new, one, such as the théatre de Cornouaille, to see a show of circonova, This is THE theater of the city, with full activities in a wonderful location, next to parking tour d’Auvergne (our spot) and at the entrance to rue St mathieu to inner city center. The theater front door is at Esplanade François Mitterrand, 29000 Quimper
It ,also, has an underground parking on it. The opening acts is usually by 20h,and admission is 25€ then it depends on the event,see site for details of what is going on each time.
open Mondays to Fridays from 13h30 > 19h00
the days of spectacles from 13:30 > 20:30
Saturdays of spectacle 17:30 > 20:30
Saturdays of September 14:00 > 19:00
You have a special bus service on the days of spectacles coming for sure from the train station, but never taken, I come here by car.
There is resto service at the bar du Théâtre offering soups, tartines cakes, small dishes and desserts before and after the spectacles. Open from 18:00 every evening of events. We saw De Nos Jours (,notes on the circus) with cabaret humor, artists from Ivan Mosjoukine with knife throwing, magic,balance beams, walk on the cord, etc about 80 different acts, wonderful! just back from it. webpage in French,

The usual ones were the Cathedral de St Corentin, and the church of St Mathieu, plus the musée departemental Breton,and the musée des Beaux-Arts.  The Cathedral I have written, and you can see more of it in this video from dailymotion site,  or this city of Quimper tourist office

The parrish church of Saint Mathieu is seldom written on it, but its beautiful and right off a nice quaint quartier of Saint Mathieu ,our favorite as we come off the parking always here. The church of Saint-Mathieu dates from the 15C and it has gorgeous stained glass inside. At the north tower you will see the chapel of  Notre-Dame du Paradis. It is something to see from the not touristic point of view visit. There is a great créperie de Saint Mathieu just at the rue St Mathieu before crossing the street. 44, Rue Saint Mathieu that we have try before and its good too.

The Musée departemental Breton is a museum o thet history and tradition of Bretons in the area of Finistére;and region. The opening hours are 9h to 12h30 and then 13h30 to 17h from January to may and then october. Also open Sundays from 14 to 17h. Open June, September every day from 9h to 18h, admission is 4€ free for those under 26 yrs old. and reduce to 2,50€ for those over 60 yrs old. A new thing that we took advantage of is that on weekends from october to may is free admission for all.It has wonderful treasures of Brittany inside, with a beautiful stairs and ceilings in neo gothic style. All is divided in themes, from pre history and antiquity, to popular Breton arts, furniture, ceramics, as faience of Quimper!! Many tables have hand touch exhibits whre you can actually touch the ancient vase ,pots, utensil etc. A magnificent room of Breton fashion , a must to see alone. Many temporary exhibitions like the Japan Bretagne going on still now. webpage

You have the wonderful Musée des Beaux-Arts or fine arts museum, small but can rival with any. open september to october, than april may and june every day from 9h to 12h then 14h to 18h except tuesdays. from november to march, every day except tuesdays, from 9h30 to 12h and 14h to 17h30; july and august open every day from 10h to 19h, close jan 1, may 1,Nov 11, and Dec 25
admission is 5€ per adult. students and those under 26 pay 3€ with a wonderful boutique shop for gifts and books ,paintings etc You get a map of the museum and booklet, the map show you in sequence all the rooms to visit. and they are panels upon entering the room telling you what is showing. The entrance on ground level here (1 FL USA) you have the Breton paintings, the history of the museum, and a room on local hero poet Max Jacob who died in 1944 after been taken to a nazy concentration camp (he was of jewish beliefs), also, a selection of work by his friends such as Picasso,Modigliani, Cocteau, De Belay, Wood, and Jean Moulin(the French resistance hero of WWII).  The first floor (2nd FL USA) you continue the sequence to the Flemish artists and Dutch from the end of the 16C to early 18C (Rubens, Jordaens etc); You visit Rodin and the sculptures, then the Italian paintings from end 14C to the 18C(Reni,Solimena,Bartolo di Fredi,etc); go on to the French paintings from end of 17C to the early 19C ( Mignard, Fragonard, Meynier, etc), you go thru a rooms of drawings 16-19C, then French Paintings from the 19C (Chasseriau, Corot, Boudin, etc), you visit the Pont Aven school and the Nabis (Bernard,Sérusier, Maufra, Gauguin, de Haan, Moret, Denis etc); then after pont aven (delaunay,Gruber, Gromaire, etc); Breton paintings of the 29C (Tal Coat,Bazaine, Manessier, Le Moal etc); the room of Lemordant recreating the mansion of the L’épée in Quimper created between 1906 and 1909 by Lemordant. webpage

In all a wonderful city to visit, put it down in your map of the world soon ok. Have a great Sunday. Cheers!

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