Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quimper historical walk

Thanks to Karen for this account of our outing
We began our walk around Quimper, one of the oldest Breton cities, at the junction of the rivers Steir and Odet, taking a leisurely stroll along the north bank of the Odet admiring the many Passerelles. We then entered the Cathedrale St Corentin, a beautiful and gothic building constructed between the 13th-16th centuries. The cathedral has wonderful stained glass windows, we also admired the painting of Pere Maunoir being kissed by an angel which enabled him to speak Breton, I am sure many of us were hoping for a similar miracle, but it wasn't to be!! We then walked north and came to part of the old city wall which encloses the 'Jardin de la Retraite', a small garden filled with palms, banana trees and other plants. It was very peaceful and worth a visit. After the tranquility of the garden, we strolled along the bustling streets in Quimper, enjoying the architecture of the old buildings. Many of the shops have wonderful window displays of antiques, gifts, gateaux and chocolate - definitely need to go back and enjoy (and sample!) them at a more leisurely pace! The city has been vulnerable to flooding and some of the buildings close to the river Odet have plaques to indicate the levels to which the water has risen, in the last flood on 13th December 2000. Those of a petit stature should beware as water levels reached over 1.5m in places! We finished our walk by heading West along the South bank of the Odet past the famous Quimper pottery factories (and Biscuiterie!) to the Eglise et Prieure de Locmaria. In contrast to the Catherdral, this earlier building was much plainer, but if anything, more beautiful and atmospheric, definitely, my favourite. (Photo above taken in the cloister there.) Then to the Jardin Medieval next to the church for refreshments. The garden is symbolic of 'Paradis', a series of beds of herbs, fruits canes, arches, rose pergolas, and a fountain, interspersed with benches where you can sit and contemplate. A cup of juice and a delicious slice of bananaless banana cake, and Paradis was complete!

Karen W

1 comment:

Yohann said...

Si ça se trouve, on s'y est croisé !