Cathedral St Etienne , Saint Brieuc

So I am back in my beloved Brittany,and why not keep you in the north of the peninsula! We have visited Saint Brieuc, can be considered an off the beaten path here, but worth the visit for its Cathedral at least me think.

Therefore, other than my general posts on Saint Brieuc, decided worth it to tell you a bit more on the St Stephen’s Cathedral of Saint Brieuc (Cathédrale St Etienne).

The Cathedral St Stephen of Saint-Brieuc (St Etienne) is in the Côtes-d’Armor dept 22 of my beloved Brittany.  It is one of the nine historic cathedrals of Brittany. It is currently the seat of the Diocese of Saint-Brieuc and Tréguier, known by this name since 1852.

Saint Brieuc

Saint Brieuc

A bit of history I like

The Gothic-style contemporary Cathedral St Etienne was built from the 13C to the 18C. Some relics of Saint Brieuc itself, dating from the 6C, are preserved there. It was built on a swamp with wooden pillars. It is one of the few fortified churches in Brittany. The “Grande Dame de Pierre” or the Big Lady of Stone, thus reflects the history of the city. Besieged, burned, the Cathedral will experience many avatars during the 14C, during the wars of succession that hit Brittany. Its restoration and extension spread throughout the 15C. The Cathedral was looted again during the Wars of Religions, and the League from 1589 to 1598.

 Saint Brieuc

A bit of chronological history is as follows: 1220, the planning of the western pediment of the Cathedral after the Cathedral of Noyon, in the Oise. Construction of the North tower. It becomes the Episcopal dungeon. By 1431-1436, construction of the South tower following the generous gift of Duke Jean V. In the 17C construction of corbelets supporting the balustrade, and completion of the nave rosette in 1728. By the time of the French revolution 1789-1794, the Cathedral serves as a warehouse and shed. In 1853, construction of a wooden hourd topped by a pyramidion. The corbelets are transformed into machicolations consoles.  The six portraits of the north side door known as the Gate of the Martray were made around 1860. Four of these portraits were sawn to allow the opening of two small doors.  in 1889, construction of the central porch.

Saint Brieuc

Some of the wonderful description of this Cathedral of St Stephen (St Etienne) to follow.

From its two towers, both with deadly features, the Brieuc tower is the lowest and the highest is the Marie tower. A century separates the construction of the two towers, 14C and 15C.  The Brieuc tower is the lowest and the Marie tower the highest. The towers are equipped with slits for archers.

Inside, do not miss the baptismal font Basin ,15C, as well as the altarpiece of the Annunciation, in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, masterpiece of Baroque Art ,18C. The Chapel of the Annunciation, this altarpiece is considered a masterpiece of rock aesthetics in Brittany. It is one of the most beautiful wooden retables of the Côtes d’Armor, it is surmounted by a glory illustrating God the Father and the Holy Spirit. The central table of the altarpiece represents Christ alongside the angel Gabriel making the announcement to Mary.

Saint Brieuc

The great organ of the Cathedral St Etienne is a great Cavaillon of 1848, takes place in a magnificent buffet dating back to 1540. Several recumbents and tombs of the 17C and 18C are spread around. A few stations of the contemporary Way of the Cross made by the school of Fine Arts of Rennes are shown around the walls.

Saint Brieuc

Since 2009, the Cathedral St Etienne has enjoyed an important programme of works, which must be completed running 2019 with the nave. The stones are cleaned to restore their whiteness and the cement joints are replaced by traditional lime joints. The axial chapel was restored as it was in the nineteenth century: very colorful. The starry blue vaults are surrounded by repainted pillars of flowering or spiral motifs. Like the choir, it is certainly accessible to the public.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Tourist office of the Bay of St Brieuc on the Cathedral

Official dept 22 Côte d’Armor tourism on the Cathedral

City of Saint Brieuc on heritage

There you go another nice stop in my lovely Brittany and up north in the sea coast as Côte d’Armor means  côtes as coasts and ar mor is “the sea” in the Breton language. And of course, the wonderful fortified Cathedral of St Stephen is a must stop while in town. Enjoy it

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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