Dol Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Samson de Dol) was formerly the seat of the Archbishop of Dol, one of the nine ancient bishoprics of Brittany. The archbishopric was suppressed during the French Revolution and abolished by the Concordat of 1801, when it was merged into the dioceses of Rennes and St. Brieuc.

The building is notable for its eclectic mix of styles and idiosyncrasies, such as the incomplete north tower on the main west-facing entrance. The tower was begun in 1520 but never finished due to lack of funds. A local myth has it that the top was knocked off by the devil, who threw the nearby Dol menhir at the building, which was buried in the ground in consequence.

The south facade contains a small 13th-century porch, known as the Bishop's porch. This was supplemented by a much grander porch in the 15th century. The latter was decorated with biblical relief carvings by the sculptor Jean Boucher at the end of the 19th century.



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Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)


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User Reviews

Alban Cadu (4 months ago)
A very luminous cathedral, with a distinctive asymmetric appearance.
HM MHoff (6 months ago)
Medieval cathedral with a unique, unsophisticated atmosphere.
Omri Kedem (3 years ago)
Well, a cathedral like many others. This one was quite important as the town was central in the middle ages. Nonetheless it has a nice story about the half built tower. The legend says that each day that the tower was constructed the devil would remove the new part at night.
Sarah v (3 years ago)
France has alot of churches. But not like this one. The tour of the city start at this church. It is built to withstand armies if the wall would cave in. A fortified church if you will. Very interesting to see. The tour itself is easy to follow and on the way there is explanations in english and french
Pieter De Cremer (3 years ago)
Very interesting information. The hike starts at the tourist office and has information along the way. All the posters are in English as well as French and explain a lot about the history of the village and its buildings. The cathedral itself is one of the highlights, it functioned both as a cathedral as well as part of the ramparts, which made it quite unique.
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