Couvent des Cordeliers – Origin

The Couvent des Cordeliers is one of the landmarks of the medieval city of Dinan.

However, all that is left of this monastery is the cloister, the main courtyard and the superb 15th century Gothic porch.

Couvent des Cordeliers in Dinan - Gothic porch
Gothic porch on Place des Cordeliers

When Henri d’Avaugour, Lord of Dinan, returned from the Crusades, he bequeathed some of his land to the Franciscans.

This allowed the Franciscans or Cordeliers to start the construction of their monastery in 1241.

In 1278 Henri d’Avaugour entered the Franciscan Order and spent the rest of his life in the Couvent des Cordeliers.

His son completed the construction of the monastic buildings.

For generations, the Lords of Dinan were therefore buried in the Eglise des Cordeliers.

Charles de Blois generously endowed the monastery during the 14th century in order to contribute to its expansion.

As a result, by the 15th century the monks had enough funds to rebuild the monastery.

They started with the monumental porch which today opens on Place des Cordeliers.

The Couvent des Cordeliers thrived until the French Revolution.

However, it closed in 1791 and was declared State property.

The church served as barracks in 1796 and was eventually demolished in the late 19th century.

Restoration

The Abbé Berthier, the priest of the nearby Saint-Malo Church, fortunately saved the monastery.

Couvent des Cordeliers in Dinan - Cloister's gallery
Cloister’s gallery

He indeed purchased it in 1807 and undertook its restoration.

The work included the cloisters gallery, former refectory, chapter house, a stair tower called Le Capitole and the 15th century arched portal.

The architect Le Guerrannic drew the plans of the current chapel.

The first stone was consecrated on June 4, 1901, and the chapel was eventually dedicated on May 22, 1937.

In 1804, the monastic buildings were converted in a private college – Collège des Cordeliers.

The splendid 15th century arched portal, which is listed Historical Monument, still serves as main entrance.

It fortunately escaped destruction during the fire that broke out on Place des Cordeliers in February 1907.

The Rue de l’Apport links the square to the Place des Merciers.

Department of Côtes d’Armor
Coordinates: Lat 48.454264 – Long -2.04472

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