"Small Town, Grand Cathedral" Top 5 Page for this destination Bourges by yooperprof

Bourges Travel Guide: 51 reviews and 146 photos

Nearing the Cathedral from the West

Always, Architecture is intertwined with politics. This great Cathedral is no exception. It was the first Cathedral in the French Royal Style (a.k.a. Gothic) to be constructed south of the Loire. Building was started in 1195, just as the powerful King Philip Augustus was beginning his series of wars against the English monarchs (first Richard the Lion-Hearted and later King John) which would eventually result in ending the Plantagenets' dominion over most of northwestern France. Doubtlessly, royal and monastic support for the building of this enormous pile was a sign of their intention to make their presence known in a region previously "up for grabs".

It's possible that the master builder for Bourges Cathedral came here directly from Paris, where he would have been employed at Notre Dame. There are numerous parallels between the Bourges structure and the better known "cousin" in the royal capital.

An Allegory in Stone

Saved to the Right, Sinners to the Left.

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  • In a nutshell:A place where it is possible to perceive the faith of the Middle Ages
  • Last visit to Bourges: Mar 2000
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (8)

Comments (6)

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    Lovely photos, oh i do love gothic cathedrals, that looks fantastic. thanks Sire tourguide with the midwestern accent

  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2005 at 4:38 PM

    I enjoyed revisiting your Bourges page. Oui, c'est vraiment la France profonde ici :-) Jeannette

  • freya_heaven's Profile Photo
    Dec 12, 2004 at 12:56 PM

    You really are up with the angels on the top of the Cathedral, the views are amazing from up there. Very nice page, great photos! (~_~)

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2003 at 8:24 PM

    What an awesom cathedral... stunning. Certainly a similarity to Notre Dame. Fabulous view... the city seems so colour co-ordinated:-) wonderful stroll through the streets.

  • jessicadf's Profile Photo
    Apr 4, 2003 at 9:00 PM

    So beautiful -- wonderful photographs

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2003 at 3:19 PM

    Meandering Streets and the city from the top of tower look amazing!


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