This is Saint Brieuc!

In one of my forays into northern Bretagne, we came to Saint Brieuc. This is a historical town again of my lovely Bretagne and I like to update this older post for you and me. Hope you like the introduction to Saint Brieuc! And see my other posts on this city in my blog!

I like to bring you up well Brittany , my region/state is fairly divided into north central and south but most define it as north and south, so I live in South Brittany, but there is also, North Brittany. I like to tell you a bit more about Saint Brieuc.  The city is in departément 22 or Côte d’Armor . The founder is a monk name Brieuc, in about 580, from the current Wales, by 848 the first bishopry is founded. It seems that the Breton was spoken here for the most part of the population until about 1200. Afterward,the Gallo took over around the city, and finally French with the economic utility of it.

In 1592 the first battle for Brittany was done here in the place Saint Michel. Côtes-du-Nord was the old name until 1990 when it was changed to Côtes d’Armor. There was a big battle here after the French revolution with Republican forces and the local Chouan rebels. The city of Saint-Brieuc is located at the edge of the channel, at the bottom of a bay to which it gives its name (Baie de Saint-Brieuc). At 144 km from Brest and 99 from Rennes, the town is crossed by the  road N12, at km 416. It has a SNCF train station located on the Paris-Brest line as well as on the line to Dinan. The country of Saint-Brieuc is the country of upper Brittany where the use of the Gallo language is the most frequent (the region of Brittany is gallo in one half a descendent of Latin Romanesque and Breton from the Celtic lands of today Great Britain).

A bit of history I like

The town takes its name from the monk Brioc, its founder. Originally from the Ceredigion (present-day Wales), he settled on the heights around 480 and founded a monastery, near where is still the fountain Saint-Brieuc. The porch of the fountain was built in 1420 by Marguerite de Clisson, Countess of Penthièvre. Saint Brieuc is one of the seven founding Saints of Brittany. The city was a pilgrimage stage. In 848, Breton King Nominoë made a reshuffle of the bishoprics under his hold after the departure of the Normans. It was on this date that the bishopric of Saint-Brieuc was founded. The relics of Saint Brieuc, which had been put to safety at the time of the Norman invasion, returned to the city in 1210.  In 1220 is the elevation to the episcopate of Guillaume Pinchion, one of the greatest craftsmen in the construction of the Cathedral. He died in 1234 and was canonized as early as 1247 (Saint Guillaume) by Pope Innocent IV without seeing the completion of his work by his successor, Philippe, in 1248. It is the first Saint of Armorique (old name for Bretagne) canonized in Rome. The Cathedral was built from the 13C to the 18C.

In 1790, during the French revolution, Saint-Brieuc became the capital of the Department of Côtes du Nord (later rename Côtes-d’Armor in 1990) During this period, the town temporarily carried the name Port-Brieuc in 1793, during the terror, the war between the Chouans and the Republicans raged.  During WWII, the liberation of Saint-Brieuc was done by the American troops of General George Patton on August 6, 1944.

Things to see that I like

The Italian Theater, Place de La Poste, nice bas-reliefs on the facade of attic. Many houses in wooden pans, notably Rue Fang, place au Lin, rue Pohel, Rue Quinquaine and Rue de Gouët (Hotel aka of the Dukes of Brittany, 1572; Houses of the Barriére and Le Ribault 16C. Hôtel de Bellescize 17C, La Tour de l’Hôtel de Saint-Esprit 15C The dovecote of the Jardin du Colombier 15C-16C . The Notre-Dame Fountain from the 15C, the Basilica of Our Lady of Hope 1854-1877; Saint-Michel Church 1837-1841, the first historical parish of Saint-Brieu; The park of the Villa Rohannec’h. Also, on the old seminary taken over under the French revolution, it was grouped from different sources into the museum of art and history of the city of Saint Brieuc.


The main thing here is the Saint-Brieuc Cathedral (11C to 18C) see post. This Cathedral is one of the nine historic Cathedrals of Brittany. The North tower was built at the beginning of the 13C. After a fire, the choir and nave were rebuilt between 1354 and 1357. The vaults of the aisle date from 1735, and the upper vaults of 1879. The Cathedral is equipped with a Cavaillon-Coll organ, named after one of the most famous organ factors of the 19C. A similar organ is found in the Church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris. Several other Churches are spread all over town.

There are buildings of nice architectural lookup such as the Lycée Ernest Renan, offering even courses in tourism. It has a beautiful exterior architecture and a chapel with high belltower in the Saint Michel district. You have the college Anatole le Braz,another wonderful architecture building with a nice chapel and it was here that the local résidents were put in prison during the Nazy occupation. The complex of government buildings is impressive.  Around place Général de Gaulle, you have the préfecture or departamental government, then the Conseil Régional de Côte d’Armor which is the regional government, and then the Hôtel de Ville or mayor’s office (we were there while a wedding was going on!!).  Nice passing by the parc des Promenades, before heading to the main Church here, Cathédrale Saint Etienne  as above. You can see by the Cathedral the Halles covered and outdoor arcades and inside full of produce shoppers, and on market days the outside gets full. They are at place du Martray.

While doing all these walks, and indulging on Saint Brieuc we tried and ate all over

We had our treats at the caramels breton and cookies place of the Biscuiterie Saint Brieuc, next to the old Church of Saint François.rue Saint François and Saint Guillaume. exactly at 58 rue Saint Guillaume. We took some chocolates a ballotin and some assorted pastries such as equinox and paris-brest ones at La Duchesse de Rohan, 2 Rue Saint-Gouéno, an institution in town since 1936. We had a quick lunch a la baguette late at the nice institution of Maison Diener (founded in 1947) , boulangerie/pâtisserie by the boutique des champs 11 rue St François, formule of bacon goat cheese sandwich, nice pain au chocolat and coca cola for 5,50€ can’t beat on the run and eaten right on the corner of the shopping center Les Champs! people watching par excellence.

My boys got their game and mangas at Japanim, similar store in our area and they can’t missed it. Here at 15 rue de Rohan, some info on these stores and for lovers of Japanese mangas figurines, tapes etc is tops according to my 3 Young men! Of course, we went into the shopping center Les Champs, right in city center and near the the great bus depot of Les Champs, at Rue Sainte Barbe , here you find the leading stores in malls in France,and we got some stuff at New Yorker store, here is the webpage , nice and modern stuff, cool!   And while walking the inner streets the boys always on top in France got their stuff at Lacoste and Hugo Boss stores!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The city of Saint Brieuc on heritage:

The Bay of Saint Brieuc tourist office on St Brieuc

The Côtes d’Armor dept 22 tourist office on the Bay of Saint Brieuc:

The Bretagne region tourist board on Saint Brieuc

Now you have a comprehensive bunch of information to make your stay in Saint Brieuc worthwhile, it is worth a detour in the north of Bretagne.

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

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