More of the Abbey Church Sainte Croix of Quimperlé !!

We have come here often and always glad to be back. I like to give you a bit of new text and new older pictures not yet in my blog,and they should, me think. I have done several posts on the city but feel some monuments deserves an additional post . Therefore, let me tell you more of the Abbey Church of the Holy Cross (Sainte Croix). Hope you enjoy it as I.



It alone is worth the trip to Quimperlé , the Abbey Church of the Holy Cross or Eglise Abbatiale de Sainte Croix.  It’s a  jewel and in  splendid conditions. It is here that all started… It the most prestigious monument of the city of  Quimperlé, an abbey founded in the 11C by the Count de Cornouaille, Alain Canhiart following a miraculous cure.  From the 11C it has preserved its interior a wonderful museum of works of arts. The choir of monks is a one of the best realizations of Roman art, the crypt from the 11C is still preserved, a entombment of Christ sculpture in about 1500 ,oldest in Brittany,a grand retable a major work of the Renaissance from 1541, a  Christ en robe (dressed Christ)  ,and a pulpit from the 17C are ,also, remarkable , A must to see indeed !!

One of the most remarkable in Brittany with the only circular plan, a central rotunda 30 meters in diameter, 17 meters high, to which 3 apses are attached in a trefoil plan whose rectangular leg shows an 18C facade under a 19C bell tower. Its choir of monks opens onto a raised platform of 1.30 meters. Below a crypt with an entombment. At the top, you can admire a Dressed Christ donated by Claude Lancelot to the 17C. There are only 3 in Brittany. The carved wooden pulpit from the early 18C and its crypt are summits of Romanesque Art, It comprises two floors, an 11C crypt divided into three naves, covered with groin vaults falling on engaged columns and containing ancient tombs and containing two recumbent figures from the 15C. Upstairs is the monks’ choir with low arcades, lit by eleven largely splayed windows with small columns, rosette scrolls and interlacing, rolled leaves, back-to-back birds and a few animals and rare human figures.The sculpted centerpiece is a Renaissance altarpiece dating from 1531 of Taillebourg stone, sculpted on the theme of the teaching church around Christ, with prophets, evangelists and apostles, Mary, the virtues, the doctors or some profane heroes.




The painting “The Adoration of the Shepherds of Bizien dates from 1635 and is in the apsidiole. The neo-Romanesque high altar is a gift from Empress Eugénie. And a rich statuary especially in the 2 apsidioles…The Entombment ,curiously the head of Jesus appears on the right, supported by Nicodemus. Inspired by the publication of the golden legend of the Dominican Jacques de Voragine, we note the extremely rare presence among the disciples, of the Pharisee Gamaliel, the master of Saint Paul, and of his son Abibon. It is to this providential saint that will often be assimilated, for sounding reasons, the highly suspect Saint Diboan, invoked mainly in Cornouaille and Vannetais areas.The altarpiece is done by artists who have perfectly mastered the art of the Italian Renaissance and are perhaps natives of Italy. The theme developed is that of the teaching church gathered around Jesus. Five registers are superimposed from bottom to top: the busts of characters from the Old Testament, including the great prophets, the four evangelists, the statuettes of the twelve apostles, those of the virtues ,and of the Virgin who constitutes the sum of them), and the busts doctors of antiquity associated with the great doctors of the West. The decoration unites, with great virtuosity, a profusion of motifs in a symmetry that is only apparent.


The Abbey Church of the Holy Cross houses a good fifteen polychrome wooden statues, from the 15C to the 18C. Several of them belong to the heritage of the old trevial church of Saint-David. Some are visible in the church. The statue of Sainte Marguerite extricating herself from the dragon and not slaying it can date back to the end of the 16C. Deposited at the bishopric of Quimper for a long time, it returned to its original setting in July 1998. Notre Dame de Vérité is a large 18C statue very similar to those made by the sculptors of the Léon navy, and which are similar to figureheads. Saint Jacques the major is a beautiful work of the 16C, unfortunately mutilated of an arm and its staff. Dressed as a pilgrim, the saint may have come from the nearby Dominican or Jacobin convent.


quimperle abbaye ch ste Croix chapel of saints oct12

The abbey was sold as national property in 1790 during the French revolution. The church became the capital of the parish of the lower town and the old convent buildings were assigned, successively or simultaneously, to different administrations (district headquarters, court, town hall , school and sub-prefecture). The old convent buildings, property of the department of Finistère, remodeled several times since the beginning of the 19C with the exception of the cloister and the stairs , now house the magistrate’s court as well as offices and staff accommodation of the national gendarmerie (police) The south-east corner pavilion was transformed in the first half of the 19C into a district court, then demolished in the 1970s to be replaced by the current building housing the Post Office. The former abbey house became, at the end of the 19C, a hotel for travelers (Hôtel du Lion d´Or), then was disfigured in the 20C by the addition of a floor. The bodies of buildings surrounding the cloister house a square floor and an attic floor; only the west wing, including the south pavilion, has a basement. A limestone sundial, stamped with a hammered coat of arms, is placed in the break of the southern attic.

The Parish of Quimperlé on the abbey church and others

 The Local Quimperlé Terre Océane tourist office on Quimperlé

The All starts in Finistére dept 29 tourist office on Quimperlé

The Bretagne region tourist board on Quimperlé:

There you go folks another gem of my lovely Bretagne on quant nice Quimperlé , a must to visit while in the area ! This is the Abbey Church of the Holy Cross or Sainte Croix. See my other posts on the church and Quimperlé in my blog, Hope you enjoy the post as I,

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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