Sites & cities that bear the name of Saint-Pol-de-Léon


Today in : France
First trace of activity : ca. 3rd century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Oppidum Pauli, Sancti Paulinanni Leonini Fanum, Sanctus Paulus, Saint Pal en Léon, Saint Poul en Leon, Saint Paoul de Léon, Kastell Paol

Description : Saint-Pol-de-Léon (Breton: Kastell Paol) is a commune in the Finistère department in Brittany in north-western France, located on the coast. It is noted for its 13th-century cathedral on the site of the original founded by Saint Paul Aurelian in the 6th century. It has kept a unique architecture, such as Notre-Dame du Kreisker Chapel, an 80 m high chapel, which is the highest in Brittany. It was also the scene of a battle during the Breton War of Succession, where the Montfortists and their English allies defeated an army led by Charles of Blois. The city takes its present name of one of the legendary founder saints of Brittany: Saint Paul Aurelian. The Latin name given to the entire region is now the Leon ("Pays Léonard"). It was long the seat of a bishop, now merged into the Roman Catholic Diocese of Quimper. The city later became a sort of religious capital. Gallo-Roman walls A double stone-alley, quite well preserved, is the last remains of prehistoric population on Saint Pol site. Several vestiges demonstrate a Roman military presence in the 3rd century. Based on ancient writings, Saint Pol would have then been enclosed by extraordinary high moated walls. Religious centre As of the 6th century, the monastery site became an episcopate named "Kastell Paol". The city then extended beyond its walls. In the 15th century, Saint Pol de Léon is a famous spiritual and cultural centre. The Pempoul harbour is at its rise. Fortified doors protected the 2000 inhabitants until the 18th century. During the 18th century, the bishops of Léon strongly influenced the architectural style of the city. A new episcopal house was erected in 1706 and extended in 1750. The seminary dates from 1708, the catholic college from 1788.

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