"A Class Cathedral and A Rich Man's Palace" Top 5 Page for this destination Bourges by hquittner
Bourges Travel Guide: 50 reviews and 136 photos
Bourges (pop. 71K) is 106 km south of Orleans and 238 km (150 miles) south of Paris. It is in the southeast part of Centre in the department of Cher (18). The last of the famous chateaux are at Gien and Sully-sur-Loire (See our Tips on that one), to the north of the area called Sologne, a poor marshy countryside, but it was the capital of Berry, a dukedom ruled by the king’s brother whose chateau is long gone. We spent two nights here, staying at an Inn which had a gourmet restaurant, which is still active but may no longer offer rooms.
Bourges has a cathedral that was actively in construction in 1195, a year after Chartres, that is considered within the group of the 10 most important French (Gothic) cathedrals. It is very large and has two aisles on each side of its nave, with 5 portals in its west face.
Jacques Coeur, who was Master of the Mint to Charles VII, lived here and in 1443 started his mansion (Palace), completed in 10 years. He was a shrewd merchant and financed in large way a form of piracy becoming fabulously rich. He fell from favor as his retirement home was finshing and fled to Rome. This fine structure remains as a rare example of a Gothic mansion.
- Pros:A Full Day or More
- Cons:Off the Beaten Paths
- In a nutshell:Worth a Detour
The tympanum of the central door of the West front is a 13C masterpiece, featuring the Last Judgement. The lowest level... more travel advice
The statue brings up memories of the history of Jacques Coeur. He was born in Bourges (1394-1456), and was a financier... more travel advice
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