Place des Merciers

Historic Building in Dinan & Léhon

Place Des Merciers, Dinan
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Avi1111 dr. avishai teicher

Positioned at the core of Dinan’s medieval city and just a short distance from the Couvent des Cordeliers, Place des Merciers captivates with its historical charm. Central to the square is an old granite well, now retired for safety purposes, serving as a reminder of the area’s rich past.

Surrounding this quaint, triangular plaza are magnificently restored timber-framed houses, adding to its picturesque beauty. Among these, at number 3 Place des Merciers, sits the restaurant Chez la Mère Pourcel. This striking grey-blue timbered edifice stands out as a notable landmark within the medieval city. On December 4, 1961, it was recognized as a Historical Monument, testament to its significance.

The establishment of Chez la Mère Pourcel by Alfred and Virginie Pourcel in 1927 occupies a building believed to date back to the 13th century, enriching the locale with culinary tradition.

Previously known as Place de l’Apport, Place des Merciers served as the heart of the Ville Haute’s Quartier de l’Apport, a medieval district where the city’s alleyways converged. This area is characterized by half-timbered houses, many designated as Historical Monuments, alongside bourgeois residences, shops, and artisanal workshops, all contributing to a distinctive ambiance reflective of a bygone era. Historically, craftsmen from the same guilds would cluster along specific streets, which today retain names indicative of these trades, such as Rue de la Poissonnerie, Rue de la Lainerie, and others, though their original inhabitants have since been replaced.

Interestingly, Rue de la Cordonnerie, once home to cobblers, is now known as Rue de la Soif or Thirst Lane, bustling with bars that draw lively crowds, especially on sunny days when outdoor seating spills onto the street. Additionally, some streets maintain curious names like Rue du Saut de la Puce, though the origins of such names have faded into history.

The Place des Merciers appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Dinan & Léhon!

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Visiting Place des Merciers

Address: Place des Merciers, Dinan, France
Duration: 20 minutes

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