Pont-Aven is famous worldwide for having been a main source of inspiration for Paul Gauguin and the artistic trend known as “School of Pont-Aven”, but also for the charm of its little streets and the reputation of its famous butter cookies! Many artists have been and still are inspirated by the picturesque streets and surroundings of this village: nowadays, Pont-Aven remains the home of about 60 art galleries.
If the small Breton city now enjoys an international artistic reputation, it is because Pont-Aven has seduced many generations of artists. The history of the city is closely linked to the several generations of painters who came to capture the beauty and the charm of its streets. If the first artists who settled in Pont-Aven around 1860 were mostly academic , they were soon followed by the Impressionists and Synthetists: Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard or Paul Sérusier were the leaders of a pictorial renewal known as School of Pont-Aven.
The Xavier Grall promenade in the city center combines walkways and pedestrian paths dedicated to this famous poet, journalist and writer. This path goes along the river in the shades of the trees and is one of the most charming spots of Pont-Aven! This small walk is located right in the city centre, however you might feel like you are walking in a place out of the world, an enchanted path under the blooming trees.
In the old days, Pont-Aven was famous for its many water mills built along the Aven, and part of the economical prosperity of the town was relying on their production. Today, visitors can walk along the river in search of those 14 mills.
A walk in the Bois d’Amour is an invitation to peacefulness. Along the Aven, this quiet path in the shade of beech trees inspired Paul Sérusier for its notorious “Talisman”, first painting of the “Nabi” artistic movement.
The port of Pont-Aven used to be a source of prosperity for the region and one of the most important harbors of Cornouaille. Nowadays the place is the starting point for hikes or boat excursions with the Vedettes Aven Bélon. You can reach the harbor of Kerdruc and then continue to the harbor of Port Manec’h.
Pont-Aven is known for its paintings, for Gauguin but also for its famous “galettes”. This toothsome butter cookie, so simple and authentic became one of the most iconic specialities of Brittany! While visiting Pont-Aven, do not forget to have a sweet break…