Cathedral of Saint Vincent of Saint Malo, part I

I did a wonderful post on the Cathedral Saint Vincent of Saint Malo as part II. However, part I was lacking me think, therefore, I am updating it with new text using same previous pictures.  Saint Malo is a popular place ,and one that even written before in my blog does not cover all of its things to see well. I feel the Cathedral is a must to visit in a city full of things to see! I like to bring you up to Saint Malo, in Ille et Vilaine dept 35 of my lovely Bretagne, and see ,visit, the Saint Vincent of Zaragoza Cathedral!

The Saint Vincent de Zaragoza Cathedral has a mix architecture of Romanesque and Gothic styles.  It has been the seat of the former bishopric of Saint-Malo since 1146. The latter was abolished by the Concordat of 1801 (agreement after the French revolution) , and its territory divided between the dioceses of Rennes, Saint-Brieuc and Vannes. The bishopric of Saint-Malo was created in 1146, when Jean de Châtillon, Bishop of Aleth since 1144, transferred his bishopric to Saint-Malo, a city in continuous growth at the time, which also constituted a much safer site. It was not until 1146 and the approval of Pope Eugene III that the transfer could be carried out. The monastery of Saint-Malo, founded in 1108, became the residence of the Bishop and his monastic church became a cathedral, replacing the Cathedral of Saint-Peter’s D’Aleth. The Church of Saint Vincent became the Cathedral of Saint Vincent until the abolition of the Episcopal seat in 1790 during the French revolution.

St Malo cat st Vincent main ent aug12

However, the history goes way back, I like to condense a bit more of the history of the Cathedral Saint Vincent as I like

From this 12C Romanesque building begun on the site of an older edifice itself raised in 816, the nave, the cross of the transept and a span of the north and south crosses, as well as part of the cloister, subsist. The choir was rebuilt in the 13C. The Tower started in the 12C was completed in 1422. The south collateral dates from the 15C. Between 1583 and 1607, the north collateral was rebuilt while the north transept was enlarged and the Bell tower’s turret was built. The south transept was only partly initiated between 1623 and 1631. In 1676, the ground of the sanctuary, the ambulatory and the choir were elevated to the same level as the nave. In the 18C, the south chapel was built in 1718, and the Bell Tower was elevated and topped with a slate dome. The façade was rebuilt shortly after, in neoclassical style in 1772-1773.

St Malo cat st vincent main altar aug12

In the 19C, Napoleon III was persuaded by Abbé Huchet to make the Bell Tower of a large arrow open work in Breton Caen stone style in 1858, which was surrounded by four open work pinnacles. This arrow replaced a small slate dome. The crowning cross, at the top of the arrow, is laid in 1860. In 1851 a new Renaissance-style door was created to the right of the main gate. In WWII, the Cathedral of Saint Vincent was damaged during the fighting in the summer of 1944. A major restoration work that began in 1944 and ended only in 1972. Indeed the reconstruction of the nave absorbed the budget foreseen for the arrow. The Spire of the Cathedral was finally rebuilt, although identical in height to the original. It houses four bells. The coronation Cross destroyed during the bombing of 1944 was rebuilt in 1987.

st malo cat st vincent rear aug12

A bit on the construction/architecture of the Cathedral of Saint Vincent from an amateur’s eye and brief:

The layout of the Cathedral of Saint Vincent is in the Latin Cross. The nave is made up of three naves. The naves retains interesting Romanesque capitals. In the ground, a mosaic commemorates the kneeling of Jacques Cartier before he left for Canada on May 16, 1535. The choir belongs to the ogive style in lance. It consists of four spans, three of which are in front of the altar and one in the back. The chapels dug into the wall that closes the apse of the altar are very original. In the chapel added to the north in the 16C, you can see the graves of Jacques Cartier buried in 1557 as well as that of the Corsair René Duguay-Trouin whose remains were brought back from Paris in 1973.


A new large rosette in 1968, replaced the three bays of the bedside and restores the face of the Cathedral of Saint Vincent as it was before the English destructions of 1695. In the north collateral, at the level of the third span, a stained glass window depicts Paul Aurélien, Tugdual, Corentin, Malo, Guillaume, Samson and Patern with nine pilgrims at their feet dated from 1970. The baptismal font dates from the 18C as well as three white marble statues. The large organs built in 1977 and inaugurated in 1980. This organ replaces the one built in 1893 in Romanesque style which was destroyed in 1944. The Pulpit is from the 18C. It was put back in its place in the nave. The Sanctuary’s furnishings include a high altar, a pulpit seat and a bronze baptistery. All very nice indeed.

ST Malo cat st vincent right architecture aug12

The official Cathedral of Saint Vincent

The Saint Malo tourist office on the cathedral

There you go folks, another jewel of my lovely Bretagne and my belle France. Of course, Saint Malo is awesome. Need to give it time when visiting the city from the ramparts and old town, this is a must indeed (see posts) see /visit the Saint Vincent of Zaragoza Cathedral its full name. Hope you enjoy as I.

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

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