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Saint-Pol-de-Léon (Municipality, Finistère, France)


Last modified: 2023-09-30 by olivier touzeau
Keywords: finistere | saint-pol-de-leon | leon | boar | lion (black) | ermine (black) |
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Flag of Saint-Pol-de-Léon - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 11 December 2021

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Presentation of Saint-Pol-de-Léon

The municipality of Saint-Pol-de-Léon (Breton, Kastell-Paol; 6,743 inhabitants in 2020; 2,343 ha) is a commune in the Finistère department and the historical capital of Léon.

A double stone-alley, quite well preserved, is the last remains of prehistoric population on Saint-Pol site. Several vestiges demonstrate a Roman military presence in the 3rd century. Based on ancient writings, the place would have then been enclosed "by earthen walls of astonishing height".
In the 6th century, the monastic town became a bishopric and took the name of Kastell Paol. The city takes its present name of one of the legendary founder saints of Brittany: Saint Pol Aurélien.
In the 15th century, the city became the spiritual and cultural center of the region. There were then 2,000 inhabitants. The maritime activity of the port of Pempoul had reached its peak. Fortified gates would protect it until the 18th century.
In the 18th century, the bishops of Leon deeply marked the architectural image of the city. The new episcopal palace was completed in 1706, then enlarged in 1750. The old major seminary dates from 1708, the college of Leon bears the date 1788.
The revolution suppressed the episcopal see. The situation of the city, which lost a bishopric, a rich chapter, a college, three religious communities, a retirement home and fifteen prebendal houses, was represented as disastrous. Then began a century of cultural and economic decline.
As of 1883, the installation of the railway contributed to the considerable expansion of the agricultural production. In 1890 Saint Pol de Léon became the main commercial centre in France for vegetable exportation. Nowadays, the region is still the strongest concentration for horticultural production and transformation.

Olivier Touzeau, 11 December 2021

Flag of Saint-Pol-de-Léon

The flag of Saint-Pol-de-Léon is often said to be a banner of arms but all the images I found in official circumstances show that the municipal flag is white with the coat of arms in the center (photo, 2019; photo, 2017; photo, 2016; video, 2016).

The coat of arms of Saint-Pol-de-Léon is blazonned : Party per pale, 1. Or a lion morné Sable holding a bishop's crozier Gules, 2. Ermine a boar a rampant Sable armed Argent, a crown Or on his neck, and supporting at dexter a tower Gules with three turrets.

Olivier Touzeau, 11 December 2021

Banner of arms


Unofficial banner of arms of Saint-Pol-de-Léon - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 11 December 2021

Banners of arms can be observed, for example in unofficial use at the entrance of a shop (photo, 2013) .

Olivier Touzeau, 11 December 2021