The place Gordaine: gable, sermon and mysterious name

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The square - ©Anecdotrip.com / CC-BY-NC-SA The square - ©Anecdotrip.com / CC-BY-NC-SA
Place Gordaine Street District Jean Calvin

Aaah, a quiet medieval square, with its half-timbered houses. Their façades are composed of two floors and a gable which was used to support the wooden framework’s main beam.

The façade and the gable were in the past over decorated by the owner, to show their social rank. Yes, a French expression says avoir pignon sur rue, literally "to have gable on street" which means "to be well-off and respectable"!

In the past we found here a Gallo-Roman gate: they transformed it into a market place in the Middle-Ages, where butchers and fish merchants traded.

The legend says that the young Calvin made his first sermon, here! We still can see the stone where he stood... err, in fact, it’s the fish market’s stone, the place where merchants gathered! Some historians even said it was a druidic stone...

What about the square's name? A mystery... maybe it comes from Gordon, like the famous Château-Gordon raised near Sancerre? Or maybe from gord, which was (based on Littré dictionary) a kind of fish net?


And also!