© Jacqueline Piriou
Saint‑Pol‑de‑LéonA market gardening town on the sea


The historical town of Saint-Pol-de-Léon was once a former bishop’s city. Today it is an active vegetable and horticultural capital with the charm of a coastal town. With a 13-km coastline, its bay has a sea bird reserve. Proud of its prestigious past, demonstrated by remarkable religious heritage, it is also an area focused on the future that accommodates many research laboratories.

A market gardening town on the sea

A picturesque old district in the shade of the cathedral

The maze of little streets that lead off from Place du Parvis, turning away from the dizzying cathedral from the 13th and 16th centuries, take you into the secular privacy of old Saint-Pol. The half-timbered houses have made way for solid stone constructions with pure and ostentatious lines. At the corner of Rue Rozière, a house with an ornamental turret is a fine illustration of this. Take a look at the street names. They are full of surprises and poetry: Rue aux Eaux meaning Water Street, was formerly called “Rue aux Os” meaning “Bone Street” but sounding the same when pronounced. This was because the street was given over to the butchers. Rue au Lin, meaning Linen Street, is the last vestige of a weaving tradition. Rue du Lavoir, meaning Wash House Street, has a miraculous, never-ending fountain, blessed by Saint Pol Aurélien, and so on.

Architecture that reaches the sky

At the intersection of the main avenues in the town, the Kreisker chapel soars through the sky with its 80-metre tall steeple, challenging man, the weather and the elements. In the shade of this impressing spire are the bishop’s palace, cathedral, canon’s house, seminaries, etc.

A land of market gardening

Thanks to its golden agricultural belt, Saint-Pol-de-Léon is moving away from its prestigious past. Artichokes, cauliflowers, onions, potatoes, camellias, rhododendrons, etc., are stirring up new passion.

Did you know?

A very curious find

Something very particular incites people to enter the cathedral: above the crypt, there are 34 boxes that contain skulls.

Unmissable places

  • Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation cathedral (13th – 16th centuries), with a diversity of choir stalls (16th century), surprising “skull boxes”, a Dallam organ, etc
  •     Notre-Dame du Kreisker chapel (14th – 15th centuries), where the 79-metre steeple is the tallest in Brittany
  • Chapel Saint-Pierre (16th – 18th centuries)
  • All of the canon houses (Kéroulas, Place du Petit Cloître, etc.)

Guided tours

  • Guided tour for individuals
  • Guided tour for groups

Information & bookings

Roscoff Tourist Office

Official website of tourism in Brittany
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