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Mairie de Vitré

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HomeDiscover Vitré > Town of Art and History label > Laissez-vous conter ...Porte d’Embas and rue Baudrairie

Porte d’Embas and rue Baudrairie

 

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Rue d'Embas - JPEG - 44.7 kb
Rue d’Embas

The Rue d’Embas and Rue de la Baudrairie feature a variety of half-timbered houses (a term describing the facade’s structure), dating back to the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. These homes are the remaining traces of ‘strip-like’ medieval town plots, where houses were deeper than they were wide and mostly built around their back courtyard.

The same vertical concept applies to all street-side buildings:
• on the ground floor was a shop where items were produced and sold on a stall facing the street
• a ‘noble’ first floor with living quarters
• a second floor for wealthier abodes
• an attic, where various produce was stored

These houses are reminders of the town’s past wealth, with its flourishing trade during the 15th and 16th centuries that grew thanks to the production and export of hemp linen. Indeed, the most opulent-looking houses were built and owned by members of the Guild of Overseas Merchants, the Confrérie des Marchands d’Outre-Mer in French, whose marks are still engraved in the stone.