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.References:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.