Towers and Crypt of Bourges Cathedral, Bourges

(140+ reviews on the web)
Architectural Building
Bourges Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church located in Bourges, France. It is dedicated to Saint Stephen, and is the seat of the Archbishop of Bourges.HistoryThe site occupied by the present cathedral, in what was once the northeastern corner of the Gallo-Roman walled city, has been the site of the city's main church at least since Carolingian times and probably since the foundation of the bishopric in the 3rd century. The present Cathedral was built as a replacement for a mid-11th-century structure, traces of which survive in the crypt. The date when construction began is unknown, although a document of 1195 recording expenditure on rebuilding works suggests that construction was already underway by that date. The fact that the east end protrudes beyond the line of the Gallo-Roman walls and that royal permission to demolish those walls was only granted in 1183 shows that work on the foundations cannot have started before that date. The main phase of construction is therefore roughly contemporaneous with Chartres Cathedral (begun 1194), some 200km to the northwest. As with most Early- and High-Gothic cathedrals, the identity of the architect or master-mason is unknown. The choir was in use (though not necessarily complete) by 1214 and the nave was finished by 1255. The building was finally consecrated in 1324. Most of the west façade was finished by 1270, though work on the towers proceeded more slowly, partly due to the unfavourable rock strata beneath the site. Structural problems with the South tower led to the building of the adjoining buttress tower in the mid-14th century. The North tower was completed around the end of the 15th century but collapsed in 1506, destroying the Northern portion of the façade in the process. The North tower and its portal were subsequently rebuilt in a more contemporary style.
Plan to visit Towers and Crypt of Bourges Cathedral and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Bourges attractions using our Bourges vacation planner.
Source
Create a full Bourges itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Bourges

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Bourges by other users

26 days in Europe BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND October, culture, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 26 days in France BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Bourges BY A USER FROM FRANCE August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in France BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 22 days in Spain, France & Italy BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA March, culture, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: March, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Europe BY A USER FROM INDONESIA September, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 32 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in France BY A USER FROM ISRAEL June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 24 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Bourges BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 35 days in Europe BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in Europe BY A USER FROM PARAGUAY April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Once the Cathedral visited the crypt so we can say because explanations will come during the visit which is very interesting and quite fast. There are really some very nice pieces to see. The view at the top of the tower is worth the effort provided the 400 steps, to do absolutely. Take the ticket combined with the palais jacques heart
    View original
  • Emblematic monument of Bourges, the Cathedral St Etienne, high on the highest point of the city towards the end of the 13th century is the first Gothic built South of the Loire. It is listed in the world heritage of UNESCO since 1992. This very well maintained monument deserves your visit that will not leave you indifferent...
    View original
  • Ah... the history of our country is beautiful. Through these visits have includes how the workers of the time had talent. On the other hand there are qql markets a climb to the tower... 380 :-)
    View original
Google
  • I was amazed by the handicraft that gone into creating the details of the cathedral. The stained windows was telling stories of the time gone by. If you are nearby don't miss visit the cathedral.
  • If you are Standing in front of the entrance of this Cathedral and Look up: it's breathtaking
  • Attended Easter morning mass here and it was very memorable. Absolutely stunning architecture, both inside and out. Definitely a sight worth seeing.
  • Beautiful, magical. Feels surreal. It's easy to go inside and go to the top where you can see the bourge city since there's less tourist.
  • Worth to visit, nice windows Visit also the park behind the cathedral, there is a playground for the children