Archive for July 25th, 2022

July 25, 2022

The Cathedral Saint Samson, interiors !!!

Now, again, passed by this town several times and always on my way to other places never stop. This time in my road warrior trip on my way back from the Manche dept 50 (see posts) , I decided to come to Dol de Bretagne, and voilà saw the masterpiece hugely beautiful Cathedral Saint Samson. On this post will concentrate on the interiors with another post for the exteriors, excuse me if some text is repeated but like to give it continuity. Its a must to see me think. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson nave to altar jul22

The Saint-Samson Cathedral in Dol-de-Bretagne is Gothic in style. It is located in the department 35 of Ille-et-Vilaine, region of my lovely Bretagne. It has been the seat of the bishopric of Dol-de-Bretagne since the year 555, one of the nine ancient bishoprics of Brittany. In 848, Nominoë erected Dol into an archdiocese, a status that would last until 1199. During the French revolution, the cathedral successively became Temple of Reason, stable and warehouse. During the restoration of the religious function, Dol did not recover its title of bishopric. It was indeed abolished by the Concordat of 1801, and its territory divided between the dioceses of Rennes, Saint-Brieuc, Quimper and Évreux. It should be noted that it was under Napoleon III that Brittany regained its status as an archdiocese, with Rennes as its seat. It was in 548 that Saint Samson of Dol, monk bishop of Cardiff, Wales, arrived in Dol and founded a monastery there. Shortly after, in 555, Judual, king of Brittany, transformed the monastery into a bishopric. After the coronation of Nominoë, sovereign of the Bretons, in 848, the city became the religious capital of Brittany. Soon a pre-Romanesque cathedral replaced the original church, but this was destroyed by the Vikings in 1014. A Romanesque cathedral was then built. In the middle of the 11C.

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson pulpit front jul22

In 1203, the King of England, John the Landless, burnt down the Romanesque cathedral. Fearing for his soul, he will contribute to the financing of its reconstruction which starts in September of the same year , In 1231, the nave is completed ,and the transept and the choir with a flat apse are built. The relics of Saint Samson de Dol attract many pilgrims, which necessitates the construction of an ambulatory The new construction is done on the Romanesque foundations of the previous sanctuary, but in the so-called Anglo-Norman Gothic style and continues throughout the 13C. The last stage, the choir, with its ambulatory and its ten side chapels, was completed in 1279. The large southern porch, located at the end of the southern transept, was added in the 14-15C. At the same time, built on both sides of the latter, to the west, the chapter house, to the east the treasury. During the same campaign, the construction of the very large axial chapel of the bedside took place.

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson relics of st samson jul22

In the north ambulatory, we find going up towards the apse: the Chapel of the Sacred Heart; the Chapel of Saint Gilles and Saint Roch; the Chapel of Saint Gilduin and Saint Méen; and the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin formed by the last two bays. It contains some remains of 14C stained glass. Next comes the apsidal Chapel, flanked to the south by the Sacristy: it is dedicated to Saint Samson of Dol and dates from the first half of the 14C. Many bishops are buried here. In the southern ambulatory, we find going down towards the nave: the Chapel of Saint-Joseph-et-Sainte-Thérèse. It currently contains a beautiful carved wooden confessional and some remains of 14C stained glass. Saint Michael’s Chapel. the Notre-Dame-de-la-Pitié Chapel. the Chapel of the Crucifix, with its old well that an underground gallery connects to the second well outside the cathedral. Both are powered by the same source. the Chapel of the Baptismal Font. Restored in 1967, it was once the Treasury and was split into two floors. Its access is through a vault where the remains are clearly visible. It contains a vase from the 15C or 16C.

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson chapel sacre heart jul22

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson chapel Virgin adorable jul22

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson chapel Virgin et angels jul22

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson chapel Christ rising jul22

The Saint Samson of Dol Cathedral is one of the few religious buildings in Brittany that still has stained glass windows from the 13C. The main window of the choir, dating from the years 1280-1290, is the oldest monumental stained glass window in Brittany still preserved in situ. Restored from the beginning of the 16C, this work was again restored in 1870. The main window is made up of eight lancets grouped two by two under a trilobe and openwork spandrels, two arches pierced by a quadrilobe structuring the composition on either side of the central mullion. In the tympanum, a hexalobed rose, set with six trilobes and as many spandrels, rests on these arcades, determining two summit trilobes and a median spandrel, between the two quadrilobes .Starting from the left and from bottom to top, here are the scenes by lancet: Story of Saint Margaret of Antioch, Story of Abraham, Scene from the Childhood of Christ: The Passion Story of Saint Samson of Dol Enthronements of the first six Archbishops of Dol, surrounded by their suffragans (Bishops of Léon, Tréguier , Quimper, Vannes, Aleth and Saint-Brieuc). From bottom to top are depicted Saints Samson, Magloire, Budoc, Leucher, Thuriau and Genevé, each mitered, nimbed, wearing the pallium and bearing the archiepiscopal cross. Story of Saint Catherine of Alexandria The tympanum depicts the Last Judgment. The rose depicts Christ surrounded by a Virgin of intercession and five angels bearing the instruments of the Passion. The four-leaf on the right evokes the descent of Christ into hell while the one on the left presents crowned elect accompanied by the Virgin Mary. Below, the dead come out of their tombs, their gaze fixed on the Sovereign Judge.

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson rosary window jul22

Most of the high windows of the choir and the transepts remain partially filled with simple grisailles executed around 1290 and completed in 1890-1891, Some windows of the chapels of the choir also preserve fragments of stained glass in their tympanums: Christ in glory accompanied by the tetramorph (14C ), in the Chapel of the Virgin, Christ in glory, tetramorph and musical angels (circa 1420), in the Chapel of Saint-Joseph, Last Judgment from the end of the 13C, in the Chapel of the Crucifix. In addition, the tympanum of the last window in the lower north of the nave depicts an angel bearing the arms of Brittany (mid-15C), On either side of the choir are distributed 77 stalls, in two rows, including returns. Carved in oak, this ensemble dates from the 14C and has the particularity of being both the oldest and the most important preserved in Brittany.

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson chapel st samson jul22

In 1410, donation of a high altar sheltered under a ciborium carried by metal columns surmounted by adoring angels or bearing the instruments of the Passion. A large shrine containing the relics of Saint Samson stood next to this altar, above which stood a crosier from which was suspended a ciborium serving as a Eucharistic reserve. In 1744, this altar from the Middle Ages was replaced by an up-to-date creation, the work of Laval marble workers. This new altar combined a Roman-style tabernacle and a wooden Episcopal crosier evoking the ancient Eucharistic suspension. Only the crozier remains today, reused above the episcopal stall. In 1877, the high altar located at the back of the choir, as well as the altar cross, the 6 candlesticks and the 2 light holders. A modern high altar accompanied by an ambo has been installed at the crossing of the transept since 1980 The parallelepipedic shape of the altar presents on its main faces the Last Supper (congregational side) and a lamentation over the body of the crucified (choir side) , on its secondary faces Saint Samson crossing the English Channel and Saint Magloire pacifying English soldiers, The tombs of bishops disappeared during the French revolution. Only remains, mutilated, the tomb of Thomas James, bishop of Dol from 1482 to 1504.

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson chapel tresor entr jul22

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson chapel Christ et apostles jul22

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samsontomb of Thomas James, bishop of Dol from 1482 to 1504 jul22

If we find mention of the presence of an organ already old in 1575 at the cathedral, the current instrument dates from the 17C, 19-20C, This organ case is one of only three remaining from the period of the Ancien Régime (monarchy) in the department of Ille-et-Vilaine (35) and the only one to have remained in its place of origin. This organ, one of the largest instruments in the department, is one of the finest examples of neo-classical aesthetics in Ille-et-Vilaine. The choir organ was acquired In 1872 by the parish a polyphone Debierre quickly replaced in 1895 by the current instrument, which is one of the first organs with electric action to come out of the Debierre workshops. This is housed in a neo-Gothic buffet placed in one of the large southern arcades of the choir.

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson organ back jul22

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson organ choir jul22

The official Cathédraloscope museum on the Cathedral Saint Samson of Dol: http://cathedraloscope.com/cathedrale-saint-samson.html

The city of Dol de Bretagne and its heritagehttp://dol-de-bretagne.fr/31/de-nombreuses-richesses-a-partager

The Ille et Vilaine dept 35 tourist office on Dol de Bretagnehttps://www.brittany-tourism.com/discover-ille-et-vilaine/the-loveliest-places/dol-de-bretagne-and-mont-dol/

The official Mont Saint Michel tourist office on Dol de Bretagnehttps://www.ot-montsaintmichel.com/en/discover/extend-the-discovery-of-the-bay/the-bay-brittany-side/dol-de-bretagne-and-the-mont-dol/

There you go folks, a wonderful masterpiece and finally visited just 2h15 from my house! The Cathedral of Saint Samson ,interiors are awesome and a must to be seen. I will be back, and hope you take the time to see it. Hope this post will bring you closer to it.

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

July 25, 2022

The Cathedral Saint Samson, exteriors !!!

Now, again, passed by this town several times and always on my way to other places never stop. This time in my road warrior trip on my way back from the Manche dept 50 (see posts) , I decided to come to Dol de Bretagne, and voilà saw the masterpiece hugely beautiful Cathedral Saint Samson. On this post will concentrate on the exteriors with another post for the interiors, excuse me if some text is repeated but like to give it continuity. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson front jul22

The Saint-Samson Cathedral in Dol-de-Bretagne is Gothic in style. It is located in the department 35 of Ille-et-Vilaine, region of my lovely Bretagne. It has been the seat of the bishopric of Dol-de-Bretagne since the year 555, one of the nine ancient bishoprics of Brittany. In 848, Nominoë erected Dol into an archdiocese, a status that would last until 1199. During the French revolution, the cathedral successively became Temple of Reason, stable and warehouse. During the restoration of the religious function, Dol did not recover its title of bishopric. It was indeed abolished by the Concordat of 1801, and its territory divided between the dioceses of Rennes, Saint-Brieuc, Quimper and Évreux. It should be noted that it was under Napoleon III that Brittany regained its status as an archdiocese, with Rennes as its seat. It was in 548 that Saint Samson of Dol, monk bishop of Cardiff, Wales, arrived in Dol and founded a monastery there. Shortly after, in 555, Judual, king of Brittany, transformed the monastery into a bishopric. After the coronation of Nominoë, sovereign of the Bretons, in 848, the city became the religious capital of Brittany. Soon a pre-Romanesque cathedral replaced the original church, but this was destroyed by the Vikings in 1014. A Romanesque cathedral was then built. In the middle of the 11C.

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson side from odrome site jul22

In 1203, the King of England, John the Landless, burnt down the Romanesque cathedral. Fearing for his soul, he will contribute to the financing of its reconstruction which starts in September of the same year , In 1231, the nave is completed ,and the transept and the choir with a flat apse are built. The relics of Saint Samson de Dol attract many pilgrims, which necessitates the construction of an ambulatory The new construction is done on the Romanesque foundations of the previous sanctuary, but in the so-called Anglo-Norman Gothic style and continues throughout the 13C. The last stage, the choir, with its ambulatory and its ten side chapels, was completed in 1279. The large southern porch, located at the end of the southern transept, was added in the 14-15C. At the same time, built on both sides of the latter, to the west, the chapter house, to the east the treasury. During the same campaign, the construction of the very large axial chapel of the bedside took place.

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson left side ext jul22

The western facade of the Cathédrale Saint-Samson de Dol-de-Bretagne does not bode well for the building that it precedes so much its austerity and its heterogeneous character contrast with the scale and the relative homogeneity of the main nave that we discover, once you cross the threshold of the cathedral. The western massif has only been the main facade of the cathedral since the 19C, this role having previously been assigned to the southern side of the cathedral throughout the Middle Ages and the old regime (monarchy). The almost blind north tower looks more like a dungeon than a cathedral tower, having served as a prison for the officers of the lower choir in modern times. Dating mainly from the 16C, it nevertheless retains vestiges of the original Romanesque tower, which had already been partially remodeled during the construction of the Gothic work in the 13C, It developed over four floors, in addition to the ground floor, the last showing the beginning of two twin windows. Built between the 13C and 17C, the southern tower has a total of four floors, including the ground floor, for a total height of 52 meters , The first two levels are however contemporary with the central section of the western facade. They date from the 13C. The upper floor, from the 15C, only has decoration on its south face, two strongly splayed bays finding accommodation in a network of four ogival arches. The top floor, more homogeneous, contains the belfry where are placed the three large bells of the cathedral, blessed in 1849: Samson, Anne and Magloire.

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson back jul22

You see the southern tower, six bays of the southern aisle in front of the gutter wall of the great nave, the southern transept preceded by the great porch, the six chapels bordering the right aisle of the choir, the large sacristy partially concealing the apsidal chapel. The small porch or Bishop’s door, with a triangular pediment, opens onto two ogival arcades resting on small columns, of which the middle one is octagonal, loaded with hearts (remains). Inside, it is decorated with ogival arcades, rosettes and foliage sculpted in white stone. Bishop Coeuret’s arms are on the vault. It dates from the 13C and was modified in the 15C. The Great Porch dates from the 14C. In the 15C, it was Bishop Cœuret who had the ribbed vault launched, the key of which bears the arms. Two very beautiful trefoil doors allow access to the building. The wooden doors are from the 14C. On the three outer sides of the porch, the spandrels are carved with beautiful scenes from the New Testament. The northern facade is austere and impressive. The side chapels of the choir are surmounted by a crenellated parapet with arrow slits; one sees in the angle of the cross a loophole. The interior is made up of seven bays on three floors: large arcades, triforium and high windows ,The pillars are formed of a main shaft, probable remains of the old building and four secondary columns which served to consolidate the arches by adding new arches. The ribbed vaults all have their keys decorated with foliage. In the south aisle, the last two bays open onto the chapter house, now transformed into a weekday chapel and dating from the 14C. It is dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament, as well as to Saint Magloire. It was restored in 1966. The vast choir with a straight apse is surrounded by a rectangular ambulatory on which ten side chapels, also rectangular, open. This plan, quite exceptional in France, denotes an important English influence. The five-bay choir ends with a flat apse.

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson side chapel entr jul22

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral St Samson side chapel entr renov jul22

The official Cathédraloscope museum on the Cathedral Saint Samson of Dol de Bretagnehttp://cathedraloscope.com/cathedrale-saint-samson.html

The city of Dol de Bretagne and its heritagehttp://dol-de-bretagne.fr/31/de-nombreuses-richesses-a-partager

The Ille et Vilaine dept 35 tourist office on Dol de Bretagnehttps://www.brittany-tourism.com/discover-ille-et-vilaine/the-loveliest-places/dol-de-bretagne-and-mont-dol/

The official Mont Saint Michel tourist office on Dol de Bretagnehttps://www.ot-montsaintmichel.com/en/discover/extend-the-discovery-of-the-bay/the-bay-brittany-side/dol-de-bretagne-and-the-mont-dol/

There you go folks, a wonderful masterpiece and finally visited just 2h15 from my house! The Cathedral of Saint Samson ,exteriors are superbe and a must to be seen. I will be back, and hope you take the time to see it. Hope this post will bring you closer to it.

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

July 25, 2022

Curiosities of Dol de Bretagne !!!

In continuing with my road warrior trips in my lovely Bretagne, I reach again a new town and a new surprise spot which love it. This was the end of our tour and was the most fantastic me think. I will split in 3 posts my visit to Dol de Bretagne. Let me tell you several in my curiosities of Dol de Bretagne; and hope you enjoy it as I.

The town of Dol-de-Bretagne is located in the department 35 of Ille-et-Vilaine, in the region of Brittany/Bretagne. It is located halfway between Saint-Malo and Le Mont-Saint-Michel to the south of Cherrueix and Le Vivier-sur-Mer, towns by the sea. Rennes is 55 km away. It has a well-developed road network, with in particular the RN 176, 4 expressways, which allow you to reach Saint Brieuc or Avranches and which connect the A84, the Autouroute des Estuaires. , There is an SNCF train station, where many TGV and TER transit, ready to take you directly to Paris, Saint Malo or Saint Brieuc. The Rennes airport is located in the town of Saint Jacques de la Lande, and can be reached in about 45 minutes. The Dinard airport is located in the town of Pleurtuit, and can be reached in around 20 minutes. Dol de Bretagne is located on bus line 17 of the illenoo network, the transport network of the General Council of Ille et Vilaine. Fougères, has service of about 3 times a day. The bus stop is next to the post office, boulevard Deminiac. Just for trivia as never used it and do not think ever will but Dol-de-Bretagne train station is on the Rennes to Saint-Malo-Saint-Servan line and the Liason to Lamballe line located in the Gare district, near the city center.. The  SNCF train station, has a passenger building with a counter open every day, it is equipped with vending machines for TER transport tickets and various services, particularly for people with reduced mobility. Car parking is provided nearby. The Dol-de-Bretagne train station is served by TGV Atlantique trains running between Paris-Montparnasse and Saint-Malo, via Rennes. It is also an important station in the TER Bretagne network due to its railway junction situation. The SNCF on the train station: https://www.garesetconnexions.sncf/fr/gare/frdol/dol-bretagne

Dol de Bretagne gare train station front jul22

Dol de Bretagne gare train station entr jul22Just to the side across from Saint-Samson Cathedral (see post) , Le Cathédraloscope is a one-of-a-kind museum. Offering a dive into the time of cathedrals, it pays homage to the work of these mad builders who for years succeeded each other on these extraordinary sites. How was the construction of such buildings made possible? What are the significant technical advances of this period? In what context did the Church, the townspeople and the builders join forces to complete these projects? How to read a stained glass window or decipher a carved decoration? What do these buildings tell us today? So many questions and themes addressed at the Cathedraloscope. Models, films, projections, audio-guides, construction games and exhibition of masterpieces of companions allow visitors to understand the fabulous history of companionship in the time of cathedrals through the new scenography of the Cathedraloscope. The above translated from official site. The official Cathédraloscope museum : http://cathedraloscope.com/dol-de-bretagne.html 

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral o drome entr jul22

Dol de Bretagne Cathedral o drome wheel jul22

The Carolingian authority of the Francs country (today France) wanted to put pressure on the Bretons in order to dominated it , Later in the 9C ,the French king Louis le Pieux appointed Nominoe one of its chiefs leaders to become the chief of the State of Brittany, as the province was just a French dominion, Nominoe reign over the region for 15 years thanks to his prestige and his rigidity, In 840, Louis le Pieux died, and Nominoe revelas his intention to become the chief of State, King Charles le Chauve , the successor of Louis le Pieux wanted to punished Nominoe and his rebels but was defeated in the battle of Ballon November 22 845, and took flight after abandoning his army;Nominoe so created a unified and independent Brittany ! Soon Nominoe replaced the French bishops with Bretons bishops , and promoted the church of Dol as the religious capital of Brittany, He appointed a bishop to his liking and was annointed king in the church of Dol in 848 and he gave Brittany’s boundaries that are still today, and bishops of Dol kept their priviledges until the French revolution in July 12, 1790, Nominoe died on March 7 851 and is considered by many to be the father of the Breton nation, See his stone statue by the Cathedral.

Dol de Bretagne statue Nomenoe and fountain front of Cathedral St Samson jul22

Dol de Bretagne fountain to cat st samson jul22

The Maen Vag is a granite boat from Lanhélin, from a block of 35 tons, designed by the sculptor Jean-Yves Menez. This sculpture evokes the Celtic legends of Bran, Brandan, Maelduinn, or evangelizers (Samson, Suliac, Maclew, etc.) who would have navigated on stone troughs. The particularity of this granite sculpture is that it floats!! It has been the subject of more than fifteen launches, with passenger. Now the work is exhibited on the forecourt of Saint-Samson Cathedral , where it illustrates the legend of Saint-Samson, who arrived in Dol in the 6C in a “stone trough”.

Dol de Bretagne granite boat front of Cathedral St Samson jul22

Dol de Bretagne granite boat interior front of Cathedral St Samson jul22

Some of the other things to see in Dol de Bretagne are

The menhir of Champ-Dolent (9.30 meters), The house of the Green Cross, with half-timbering from the 16C, whose vaulted cellar from the 13C is called cave de l’Enfer (hell’s cellar), The house of La Guillotière, built in the 15C, the house of Petits Palets, or Plaids, built in the 12C and remodeled in the 17C, The Douves promenade, a public park also called the Jules-Revert promenade from which there is an exceptional panorama of Mont-Dol and the marshes, The Treasury museum, a 16C building, The Cité district located around the cathedral ( rue de la Trésorerie (currently rue des Écoles), rue des Chantres (currently rue des Perrons) and along the northern part of rue Ceinte), Old houses around the cathedral of which ten are in grand’rue des Stuart, twelve rue Le Jamptel, six rue Ceinte, including the manor of the Grand Chantre.

A bit of history I like

Probably founded in Celtic times, Dol-de-Bretagne became one of the first bishoprics in Brittany in the 6C. Saint Samson de Dol, first bishop of the city, is one of the seven founding saints of Brittany (died in Dol around 565). He founded the abbey of Dol and he is the patron of the diocese of which it became the capital in the Carolingian period. The town of Dol-de-Bretagne is a stage in the medieval pilgrimage of the seven saints of mainland Brittany called Tro Breiz (Tour of Brittany). The sovereign of the Bretons, Nominoë, was crowned at Dol in 848. The Bayeux Tapestry, scene 18 to 20, recounts the successive captures of the fortresses of Dol-de-Bretagne, Rennes (where Conan II of Brittany took refuge after fleeing Dol-de-Bretagne) and Dinan (where Conan returned the keys to the city at the end of a spear). In 1076, William the Conqueror launched a new military campaign in Brittany and invested Dol, whose siege was lifted by the host led by the King of the Franks, Philippe I. By the French revolution, the cathedral, seat of the bishopric of Dol abolished in 1790, is sold as national property to a bourgeois who transforms it into stables. From November 20 to 22, 1793, Dol and its surroundings were the scene of a bloody battle between the Vendeans (wars of the west vs French revolution) and the army of General Rossignol. The Vendeans remained masters of the field. In 1924, Dol took the name of Dol-de-Bretagne, On Friday August 4, 1944, Dol-de-Bretagne was liberated by the 330th US Infantry Regiment, of the 83rd Infantry Division.

The city of Dol de Bretagne and its heritage : http://dol-de-bretagne.fr/31/de-nombreuses-richesses-a-partager

The Ille et Vilaine dept 35 tourist office on Dol de Bretagne : https://www.brittany-tourism.com/discover-ille-et-vilaine/the-loveliest-places/dol-de-bretagne-and-mont-dol/

The Mont Saint Michel tourist office on Dol de Bretagne : https://www.ot-montsaintmichel.com/en/discover/extend-the-discovery-of-the-bay/the-bay-brittany-side/dol-de-bretagne-and-the-mont-dol/

The official Petite cités de caractère on Dol de Bretagne : https://www.petitescitesdecaractere.com/en/explore-petites-cites-de-caractere-small-towns-character/dol-de-bretagne

There you go folks, a dandy beautiful new found town of Dol de Bretagne; several times passed close but finally in it and we will be back, we like it! These are some of the curiosities of Dol de Bretagne you can enjoy there and the best is for last, see post. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

%d bloggers like this: