Quimper (pronounced cam-pair) owes its strange name to its site at the confluence (kemper in Breton) of the Odet and Steir rivers. A traditional crowd-puller, its twisting streets and tottering medieval houses supply rich postcard material; lovers of decorative arts, however, head here because this is the home of Quimperware, one of the more famous variants of French hand-painted pottery. After learning about the prized collectibles at the Musée de la Faïence, you can stroll through the Vieille Ville, ogle its immense 15th-century cathedral, then wander the surrounding shop-lined streets. Keep your camera handy—the ancient capital of the Cornouaille province is very photogenic.
Climate change, industrial activity, poaching, and urban expansion are a few of the problems that plague the preservation of the world’s most important monuments andMore