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St Pol-De-Leon

ST POL-DE-LEON, a town of north-western France, in the department of Finistere, about I m. from the shore of the English Channel, and 133 m. N. of Morlaix by the railway to Roscoff. Pop. (1906), town, 3353; commune, 8140. St Pol- deLeon is a quaint town with several old houses. The cathedral is largely in the Norman Gothic style of the 13th and early 14th centuries. The west front has a projecting portico and two towers 180 ft. high with granite spires. Within the church there are beautifully carved stalls of the 16th century and other works of art. On the right of the high altar is a wooden shrine containing the bell of St Pol de Leon, which was said to cure headache and diseases of the ear, and at the side of the main entrance is a huge baptismal font, popularly regarded as the stone coffin of Conan Meriadec, king of the Bretons. Notre Dame de Kreizker, dating mainly from the second half of the 14th century, has a celebrated spire, 252 ft. high, which crowns the central tower. The north porch is a fine specimen of the flamboyant style. In the cemetery, which has a chapel of the 15th century, there are ossuaries of the year 1500.

In the 6th century a Welsh monk, Paul, became bishop of the small town of Leon, and lord of the domain in its vicinity, which passed to his successors and was increased by them. In 1793 the town was the centre of a serious but unsuccessful rising provoked by the recruiting measures of the Convention.

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

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