ArabicChinese (Simplified)DutchEnglishFrenchGermanGreekHindiItalianJapanesePortugueseRussianSpanish


Place des Merciers in the Historic Dinan

This page was updated on: Sunday, December 10, 2017 at: 3:22 pm

Place des Merciers - Medieval Dinan's main square

Place des Merciers in Dinan is the heart of the medieval city and a stone's throw from the Couvent des Cordeliers.

An ancient granite well, today disused for safety reasons, marks the centre of the square.

Beautifully restored timbered houses frame this tiny triangular square.

One of these buildings is the restaurant Chez la Mère Pourcel at no3 Place des Merciers.

The stunning grey-blue half-timbered building is one of medieval city's landmarks.

The house was listed Historical Monument on December 4, 1961.

Alfred and Virginie Pourcel founded the restaurant in 1927.

Some believe that the building dates the 13th century.

The medieval district

Place des Merciers was formerly known as Place de l’Apport.

It was indeed the focal point of the medieval Quartier de l’Apport in the Ville Haute, where all the lanes merged.

Half-timbered houses, many of which are listed Historical Monuments, still border the square.

Bourgeois houses, shops and artisans’ workshops today stand next to each other and create a unique atmosphere.

However, during the Middle Ages craftsmen of the same guild used to settle along the same lanes.

Therefore, many ancient lanes still bear the name of a trade.

You'll therefore find the nearby Rue de la Poissonnerie (fishmongers), Rue de la Lainerie (weavers), Rue de la Ferronnerie (iron-mongers), Rue de la Larderie (meat sellers), Rue de la Mittrie (dairy) or Rue du Petit-Pain (bakers)…

That siad, there are no more cobblers in the picturesque Rue de la Cordonnerie.

The lane is known as Rue de la Soif – Thirst Lane as it's lined with 9 bars today replace the cobblers' workshops.

This pedestrian lane is obviously one of the busiest in the city on sunny days when tables and chairs are out.

Some other lanes and passages have also retained odd names such as Rue du Saut de la Puce - Jumping Flee.

The origin of the name has been lost though.

La Cohue - Dinan's covered market

Place des Merciers leads also to the old covered market or Halles via the tiny Rue du Petit Pain (Bakers' Street).

The covered market is known as La Cohue.

It takes its name from the nearby Rue de la Chaux, as chaux evolved cohue – crowd.

The original market, founded during the 13th century, makes La Cohue the oldest remaining market in Dinan.

It was beautifully restored and re-open to the public in 2009.

You'll find a great choice of food stalls rich in colors and fragrances, but also a café-crêperie that serves one of the best coffee in town!

La Cohue is open all week long, however, it seems to close at lunchtime during the low season.

It is one of Dinan's best kept secrets.

Department of Côtes d'Armor
Coordinates: Lat 48.453710 - Long -2.044021

Kerascoet thatched cottages in Nevez

Nevez, from Anse de Poulguin to Port Manech

Nevez, a picturesque rural district located by the mouth of the Aven, boasts many tourist spots such as Kerascoet village, Hénan tide mill and Port Manech
Early morning in Pont-Aven

Pont-Aven, Gauguin and La Cité des Artistes

Pont-Aven, a small seaport nestled in the Aven estuary and worldwide known for the School of Pont-Aven, an artistic group founded by the painter Gauguin
La Pointe du Grouin - Ile des Landes, Chenal de la Vieille Rivière and lighthouse

Pointe du Grouin, a rocky spur south of the Baie du Mont Saint-Michel

La Pointe du Grouin, a rocky spur and protected natural site on the Emerald Coast in Brittany, marks the south boundary of the Baie du Mont Saint-Michel
Colonne du Guesclin marks the site of the castle

Colonne du Guesclin – La Motte-Broons

The Colonne du Guesclin was erected in 1841 on the site of the Château de la Motte-Broons, the castle of Bertrand du Guesclin that was pulled down in 1616

Sign up to our newsletter

Travel France Online will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates via our newsletter. By selecting the boxes on the form you confirm your acceptance to receive our newsletter.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at

We will treat your information with respect. For more information please visit our privacy policy page