And I reach Saint Pol de Léon !!!

This is another first by yours truly the road warrior. Well Bretagne has a bunch and I am working on it. We had time so we continue our ride into Saint-Pol-de-Léon , another beauty of the Finistère department,29 in my lovely Bretagne, in my belle France. The town of Saint Pol de Léon takes its current name from one of the legendary founder saints of Brittany in the 6C: Saint Pol Aurélien. Therefore, let me give you an introduction to Saint Pol de Léon !

A small city of character and seaside resort on the edge of the English Channel, Saint-Pol-de-Léon is a former episcopal city, historic capital of the bishopric of Léon. It is located on the northern coast of Brittany, bordering the English Channel, at the entrance to the bay of Morlaix facing Île Callot (see post), a little south of Roscoff. It has 13 km of coastline. After the N12 road Morlaix-Brest, the road D58 (expressway) connects Morlaix to the Pont de la Corde (Henvic). Saint-Pol is then about 5 km away, still on this road which bypasses it before going to Roscoff. Saint-Pol-de-Léon is 550 km from Paris, 200 km from Rennes and 60 km from Brest. The road D788 connects Saint-Pol-de-Léon to Brest and Quimper. It is 159 km from my house or about 2 hrs 10 min !!

The city of Saint Pol de Léon, according to the oldest writings, was surrounded by Gallo-Roman fortifications. The Osismii Gauls fought with the Veneti against the Roman invasion. The remains discovered attest to a Roman military presence (medals from Caesar from 254 to 310, from Valerian to Maximinus) in the 3rd century (Roman legion Pagus Legionensi). Around 900, the mythical Count Even founded the town of Lesneven. From this time, the counts of Léon act under the orders of the dukes of Brittany. During the Hundred Years War, the battle of Saint-Pol-de-Léon in 1346 was an episode of the War of the Succession of Brittany, and the town was partly burned. It was looted in 1592 during the League Wars by La Fontenelle. Disputed by the English and the French in the wars of Brittany, Saint-Pol-de-Léon played a more passive than active role in all these events. During the French revolution, the town temporarily bears the names of Mont-Frimaire and Port-Pol. The revolution brings the Chouannerie to the region, a civil war which opposes Republicans and Royalists, The small town is one of the major centers of the 1793 insurrection (March 19 and 23) but is held in check by the Republicans and pays a heavy repression Saint-Pol-de-Léon lost a lot as a result of the French revolution. In 1927, the Corde bridge was built, linking the city to Carantec by road, Among the massacres and abuses committed by the Nazis in France during WWII as well as by Russian auxiliaries, those committed in Saint -Pol-de-Léon at the end of June 1944 and on August 4 and 5, 1944 caused a total of 44 deaths, On August 4, 1944, in the morning, the departure of the Nazis Wehrmacht garrison was celebrated by the population and French and American flags were hoisted on the towers of the cathedral !

Saint-Pol-de-Léon is recognized as a “historic city” by the Association of Cities of Art and History, and the country of Morlaix ​​labeled Cities and Countries of Art and History. Showcasing the architecture that developed in late 16-17C in Brittany, it also retains 13C Gothic art that is rarer in the region, such as the St Pol Aurélien Cathedral nave and the 15C ND de Kreisker Chapel spire, completely unique in Brittany, and even in the whole of France. Endowed with numerous chapels and crosses, the city also presents important private constructions, between castles, mansions and private houses such as those of the Grand Rue 17C house with turret and corbelling, 15C half-timbered house covered with slates, etc.).

One of the nice monuments to see here are the old Maison Probendales at the 4 place du petit cloître and rue de la rive (now exhibition events place) and another one at 2 rue du Gén Leclerc  (former Hôtel de Kermenguy) , inspired by the new decorations disseminated at the beginning of the 17C, in particular the corner watchtower.  it was inspired by the new decorations disseminated at the beginning of the 17C, notably its remarkable corner watchtower reminiscent of those of Roscoff. It housed many businesses. The neighboring houses are from the 17C. The house has housed many businesses.

Saint Pol de Leon maison prebendale rue gen leclerc jun22

Saint Pol de Leon maison prebendale 2 jun22

Saint Pol de Leon maison prebendale 2 patio jun22

Also, the Lycée privé Notre Dame du Kreisker chapel now under renovation. The building was built in 1708 by Monseigneur de La Bourdonnaye to house the Major Seminary of Léon run by the Lazarists. The Ursuline nuns, who had been living in Saint-Pol-de-Léon since 1629, bought the building and set up their convent there in 1807. They will add the chapel of the Holy Family to it in 1812. For a century, they will give instruction to the female youth of Saint-Pol-de-Léon and Léon. They will be expelled, in application of the laws against religious congregations from 1901 to 1904, and will take the path of exile in Belgium where many of their students will follow them. Succeeding the Collège de Léon, also closed for the same reasons, the Institution Notre-Dame du Kreisker, which has now become a private Catholic school, took possession of the premises and started its first school year there on January 5, 1911. Until around the 1970s, almost all of the teaching staff was composed of priests.

Saint Pol de Leon lycee ND du Kreisker renov jun22

Other things to see here me think are: Saint-Joseph Chapel, rue de la Rive, 1846, 33-meter bell tower. It is the chapel of the retirement home for the priests of the diocese. Saint-Pierre Church, rue du Port, 15C nave, former Trevial ​​church, the stones of the tower of which would have been reputed to come from a building built by the Celts according to the inscriptions of Armorican or Celtic characters, The Episcopal Palace (completed in 1706 and enlarged in 1750). Became City Hall during the French revolution, it contains a monumental staircase decorated with some paintings from the Louvre Museum. ,

The city of Saint Pol de Léon on its main heritage :

The Roscoff tourist office on Saint Pol de Léon

There you go folks, a dandy of a town, and glad finally there, already looking forward to be back, eventually. See my next posts on the better monuments of Saint Pol de Léon in my blog. Hope you enjoy this post as I

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

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