Monday, February 10, 2014

Historic Tales and Buildings of Dol de Bretagne

My train to Carcassonne via Paris was not due to leave Dol until after 4 in the afternoon of January 8th.  This gave me plenty of time to look around the historic city of Dol de Bretagne.  Paul and Jane, from my B and B, said it was packed full of beautiful buildings and that it was strongly linked with the history of
Paul dropped me off in the town centre, after showing me the lay of the land and how to find the railway station. 
Immediately I was in the midst of streets lined with gorgeous old buildings. 
I was so glad that I was persuaded to take some time to visit Dol, I had no idea about this special place.

Dol was much older than these buildings would indicate.
Many of the towns in this area of Brittany are named after Welsh saints. Saint Marcan was a Welsh saint, and I had just been staying in the village of Saint Marcan.
In 549, the Welsh Saint Teilo was documented as coming to Dol where he joined Samson de Dol, and to this very day the fruit groves which they planted remain and are known as the groves of Teilo and Samson. There are many interesting legends about St Teilo.
Paul had told me to look out for signs  about the Stuarts.
 Right on the Main Street there was this sign right by a paassage.

Dol-de-Bretagne is reputed to be the origin of the royal House of Stewart who became the monarchs of Scotland and later England and Ireland; a plaque in Dol commemorates that origin. 

I found this information on wikipedia:  I am blogging on my phone app so cannot put hyperlinks into my pages. I am sorry you will have to cut and paste the link.

The Stewart monarchs descend from the Seneschal of the Count of Dol and his son, Flaad Fitzalan, who arrived in Britain in the army of William the Conquerer. If you are a history buff I recommend you check out the link, as there's lots of great information there.

It was interesting to see the crest of Dol and to find a sculpture of Victor Hugo next to the hotel where he stayed in 1836.

I really enjoyed a relaxing time strolling through Dol.  I found a bakery and got a couple of Quiches and an apple pastry. 

This particular corner intrigued me.
And this restaurant up a lane was really ancient.

I wanted to find the cathedral that Paul had mentioned. Meandering up lanes and through arches was a great way to spend my afternoon.
It was nice to see some colour on this January day.  Oranges, lemons and limes on little trees in the pathway in front of a shop.

Eventually I found the cathedral.
It was open and so very beautiful inside.

It was also dramatic to see it from the outside.

I sat on a bench and ate my lunch just across the street from this beautiful cathedral.  
Then I headed down the narrow streets for a last look before making my way to the train station.
I really do love the shutters on all the buildings in France.  These blue ones caught my eye.
One more shot of an lovely old building and then off I go.
Back to the Dol Railway station, and this time I am off to Paris and then Carcassonne.
 But that my friends, is another story. :-)

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