Historic religious capital awash with mediaeval charm
Situated on the edge of Brittany, the historic episcopal city of Dol is a listed Petite Cité de Caractère® for its wealth of architectural gems, including St Samson’s Cathedral, a striking example of the Breton Gothic style, and its mediaeval houses. Mont-Dol also commands breathtaking views over the whole of Mont-Saint-Michel bay.
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Experience Dol-de-Bretagne and Mont Dol
Did you know that Dol, the religious capital of the Breton king Nomenoë in the 9th century, was also an episcopal city until the 19th century? Pop into St Samson’s Cathedral, an awe-inspiring jewel of Breton Gothic architecture, for an insight into this rich spiritual past. Its rather daunting exterior belies an elegant and airy interior. If you want to find out more, the Cathédraloscope, on the square, tells you all about cathedral-building across Europe through the ages, in fascinating detail.
Travel back to the Middle Ages
Just as enthralling as the Cathedral are the town houses along Grande Rue des Stuarts. Look up to admire the old buildings with porch fronts and supported by pillars. Dating back to the 12th century, the Maison des Petits Palets is one of the oldest houses in Brittany, built from granite with semi-circular arcades on the front.
Did you know
Mammoths, bears and rhinoceroses
Excavations at the foot of Mont Dol revealed the bones oflions, rhinos and even mammoths hunted by prehistoric men, going backsome 70,000 years.
A mythical rocky outcrop
A couple of miles away, you’ll find Mont-Dol. This 65-metre tall outcrop of granite rock has inspired myriad legends. It is said that the Archangel St Michael fought the devil here. The devil’s seat and claw marks, as well as St Michael’s footprint, visible on the rock, are evidence, some believe, of this legendary fight. But more impressive still are the sweeping views over the whole of the bay. From Cancale to Granville, not forgetting Mont-Saint-Michel itself.