The cultural heart of Brittany, Quimper, has many attractions to offer to its visitors. With its excellent museums, faience history, and picturesque half-timbered houses by Odet River’s banks, Quimper is one of the most delightful places to visit in Brittany. At the heart of the city lies the Place Saint-Corentin that’s famous for its distinctive dip in the middle. Built in 1239, Place Saint-Corentin is a Roman Catholic cathedral which also serves as a national monument of the region of Brittany. Besides its eye-catching twin spires, one of the most notable features of the church is its richly decorated west doorway. The statue of King Gradlon in between the church’s tower is also something to look out for. In front of Place Saint-Corentin is the Musée des Beaux-Arts wherein artworks by French, Italian, Flemish and Dutch painters are housed in an Italian-style palace. Regional folk artworks, on the other hand, are displayed on the Musée Départemental Breton, which is located nearby the Place Saint-Corentin. In addition to the cultural attractions of the region, there are also beautiful seaside resorts in Quimper, some of which includes Tréboul and the fishing port of Douarnenez.
One of Brittany’s attractions that exhibits its history is the walled port city wherein numerous ancient structures are still erected—Saint-Malo. One of the major tourist destinations of the region, Saint-Malo houses several attractions within its walled city. Once owned by the Dukes of Brittany, Château de St-Malo has a lookout tower than you may climb for a breathtaking view of the city. Inside the Château de St-Malo is the Musée d'Histoire de St-Malo wherein the life and history of Saint-Malo are permanently exhibited. The museum houses an impressive collection of paintings and model ships and numerous Saint-Malo historical exhibits. One of the bunkers of Fort de la Cité d'Alet—an 18th-century German base during the World War II—is now home to the Memorial 39-45 wherein guided tours are offered to give you context. A few meters away from the walled city is the Fort National which stands on top of a rocky outcrop. The fort is only accessible when it’s low tide from June to September, and can only be visited when it's flying the French flag.
On the Southwest coast of Brittany lies the 17-kilometer long and 10-kilometer wide island called Belle-Île-en-Mer. With its cliffs, rock-lined west coast, and pastel ports, Belle-Île-en-Mer directly translates as “beautiful island in the sea”, and, true enough, the place lives up to its name. This beautiful island has four villages, namely: Bangor, a quaint village founded by British monks; Locmaria, the farmland-surrounded village located on the highest part of the island; Sauzon, a fishing village; and Le Palais, the hub of and the most important village in the island. Belle-Île has numerous beaches for sunbathers, one of which includes Plage des Grands Sables, Belle-Île’s most beautiful beach.
Located in the Baie de Saint-Michael is a tiny fishing village called Cancale. Famous for its oysters, Cancale farmers produce about 15,000 tons of oysters per year. Tourists may taste the locally produced shellfish in Cancale’s restaurants, especially those around the La Houle port wherein you can enjoy your meals while having a great view of the harbor. An attraction of the village is the church designed by Alfred-Louis Frangeul—the Église St. Méen. The church houses the Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires wherein popular art and traditions of the 19th-century Brittany are presented.
Located on the left bank of the Vilaine Rives is the magical town called Vitré. There’s a magical ambiance in this town that goes well with the ancient town walls and towers that dot the place. Awarded with the title “Town of Art and History” in 1999, Vitré is one of the few remaining medieval towns in Europe and it has numerous points of interest that visitors can check out. Rye de la Baudelaire, a quarter that once housed saddlers, is the town’s most picturesque street. Eglise Notre-Dame, located at Ille-et-Vilaine, is a remarkable gothic church that has been in existence since the 15th century. Inside, the triptych with 32 panels of Limoges enamel is worth checking out. Another gothic architecture can be seen seven kilometers southeast of Vitré—the Château des Rochers. It is the former residence of Madame de Sevigne, a great 17th-century letter-writer. Château de Vitré, a castle built in the 11th-century, is one of the most beautiful fortresses in the region. At its foot the is town wherein half-timbered houses line its streets.
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