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Cruising Article – 2011-02-24

Learn about Celtic history in Quimper, France

The ancient Celtic people are typically associated with Ireland or Scotland, and it's true that they did once reside there. However, not many people realize that they also occupied much of northern France during their peak. If you're lucky enough to book a European cruise that stops in Brest, France, you can learn all about this historic culture.

While there are remnants of the Celts all round Brest and the surrounding region of Brittany, the best place for those seeking a history lesson would be the small town of Quimper. This town was originally settled by the Celts in ancient Roman times, and while the town doesn't look exactly as it did back then, it is a quaint and charming place to spend a day.

If you decide to book the excursion to Quimper, you'll have the added benefit of a knowledgeable guide, who will explain all about the history of the town, from the Celts through medieval times to the present day. The architecture alone makes the town worth a visit, as many of the buildings feature the old medieval style of an overhanging second story - a rare sight, even in Europe.

The highlight is a trip to St. Corentin's Cathedral, a massive Gothic structure that was reportedly undergoing some type of construction from the 13th century all the way until the 19th. It's been restored in recent years, so travelers can marvel at the building the way it was meant to be seen.