CENTRE Bourges Cathédrale St-Etienne

Bourges (pop 73,000) was a Bituriges (Druid tribe) settlement until it was destroyed and reconstructed as a Roman city by Julius Caesar in 58 BC. During the Gallic Wars, the entire population of Avaricum (Bourges) was slaughtered.  Following Romanization of the Gauls and the subsequent incorporation into the Roman Empire, the city acted as a bishop’s seat and as the capital of various districts such as Viscounty, Province of Berry and, currently- the Cher department. Besides a long political lineage, Bourges also has a rich artistic history, as it was the birthplace of Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot and was ruled by Jean de Berry, an avid patron of the arts. With such a mix, Bourges is home to interesting ancient buildings, ramparts and houses. However, despite such historical significance, the town is hardly popular with tourists despite a vibrant atmosphere and its stunning cathedral.

The Cathédrale St-Etienne [14 Place Etienne Dolet, +33 248657289] is one of the grandest Gothic cathedrals of France. It stands on a hill overlooking the town, stretching 122m long with five aisles towering over anyone who enters.

Up north is the opulent Palais Jacques-Coeur [10b Rue Jacques Coeur, +33 248250687 ad/ch €7/Free] which was lovingly built by its owner- Jacques-Coeur (finance Minister of Charles VII). He never got to reside in it, as he was trialled and imprisoned for embezzlement.



BOURGES STREET MAP:   1. Tourist office  2. Train station (north of map limits)  3. Cathédrale St-Etienne  4. Palais Jacques-Coeur

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