It is also one of the oldest since this road follows the line of the decumanus (east-west axis). Lined with half-timbered houses, narrow stone facades or beautiful private mansions, this road structures the Pictavian promontory, which for a long time was the only way to access it, from east to west.
The Grand'Rue is emblematic of the richness of the civil architecture of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in Poitiers, and proves at the same time that Poitiers is not only "the city with a hundred bell towers". Among the major elements of this street is the hotel of the Grand Priory of Aquitaine of the Order of Malta. Behind the imposing seventeenth century portal visible at No. 159, the property of the Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem extended. In France, this military order had six major priories. 228 commanderies and hospitals depended on the Poitiers priory.
A little further down the road are the hotels of Briey and Rochefort, which has housed the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs since 1974. The current building was built at the beginning of the 17th century for Isaïe Brochard, mayor of Poitiers. Like most of the residences of the bourgeoisie and nobility built at that time, it was inspired by Parisian models: the entrance pavilion opens onto the street through a carriage entrance, the main dwelling is located in the middle of the plot, between the courtyard and the garden.
The Grand'Rue was also home to the largest number of shops and crafts. Even today, one can be guided by the smell of roasted coffee and then continue to stroll along the stores. You can also come across a umbrella factory present here for 130 years.