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St Brieuc

ST BRIEUC, a town of western France, capital of the department of C6tes-du-Nord, 63 m. N.W. of Rennes by the railway to Brest. Pop. (1906) town 15,270; commune 23,041. It stands 290 ft. above the sea, between i and 2 m. from the English Channel and less than a mile from the right bank of the Gouet, at the mouth of which is its seaport, Le Legue. St Brieuc is the seat of a bishopric in the province of Rennes, and has a cathedral dating from the 13th century, but partially rebuilt in the 18th, and afterwards extensively restored. In the interior the tombs of the bishops and a Renaissance organ-loft deserve mention. The oldest part of the episcopal palace date back to the :6th century. The h6tel-de-ville contains a museum and picture gallery. An Ursuline convent serves as barracks. There are numerous houses of the isth and 16th centuries, in one of which James II., king of England, is said to have lodged in 1689. A colossal image of the Virgin looks down upon the town from an eminence on the north, and there is a statue of Du Guesclin. The industries include wool-spinning, timber-sawing, iron and steel-working, and the manufacture of brushes and agricultural implements. .

St Brieuc owes its origin and its name to the missionary St Briocus, who came from Wales in the 5th century, and whose tomb afterwards attracted crowds of pilgrims. The place was defended in 1375 by Olivier de Clisson against the duke of Brittany, and again attacked by the same Clisson in 1394, the cathedral suffering greatly in both sieges. In 1592 the town was pillaged by the Spaniards, in 1601 ravaged by the plague, and in 1628 surrounded by walls of which no traces remain. Between 1602 and 1768 the states of Brittany several times met at St Brieuc. During the Reign of Terror Chouans and Republicans carried on a ruthless conflict with each other in the vicinity. The ancient fort of Pe'ran, built of vitrified granite, is about 5 m. S. of St Brieuc.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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