Dol Cathedral

Dol-de-Bretagne, France

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)


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marco Attanasio (11 months ago)
Wow, must visit this cathedral when in Bretagne. Stunning even though there is some renovations work going on the outside. Glad we made the stop and took the chance to explore and understand the stained glass windows, architecture and some of the relics from various saints and ages.
Alban Cadu (3 years ago)
A very luminous cathedral, with a distinctive asymmetric appearance.
HM MHoff (3 years ago)
Medieval cathedral with a unique, unsophisticated atmosphere.
Omri Kedem (5 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 (5 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
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