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St Corentin Cathedral

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St Corentin Cathedral

The “Saint Corentin Cathedral” of Quimper, the jewel of Breton Gothic.

The Saint-Corentin cathedral, whose full name is “Basilique cathédrale Saint Corentin”, is considered as the major element of Quimper’s heritage. Attracting many tourists who come here to admire its spires rising more than 75 metres above the ground and framing the equestrian statue of the legendary Breton king: Gradlon.

A true jewel of Breton Gothic art, it is linked to the town history  and its inhabitants. A deep attachment to this beautiful building, begun in 1239 and spanning nearly six centuries, is still perceptible today. Saint Corentin, a hermit whom the legendary king of Armorique Gradlon appointed as the first bishop of the kingdom, gave his name to the building. The completion of its two towers with the construction of the spires, visible from almost all parts of the city, was financed by the Quimper’s residents themselves at the end of the 19th century.

The main architectural feature is the lack of alignment between the choir and the nave. Several legends are proposed for this architectural particularity. The first is that of representing as much as possible the position of Christ on the cross (head bent) and the second is a much more down-to-earth legend which would say that the body of the cathedral is in this position in order to follow the course of the Odet and thus to be built on more solid foundations.

Classified as a historical monument on the 1862 list, the cathedral was entirely restored in the 1990s and 2000s, when its structures were consolidated and its original polychromy was partially restored to a more vivid colour.

Opening: Low season: open from Monday to Saturday from 9.45 to 12.00 and from 13.30 to 18.30. High season: Monday to Saturday from 9.45 to 18.30; Sunday and holidays from 14.00 to 18.30.

For more info: https://www.quimper-tourisme.bzh/cathedrale-saint-corentin/

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