Towers and Crypt of Bourges Cathedral, Bourges

4.7
#3 of 13 in Historic Sites in Cher
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.
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164 reviews
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4.8
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  • August 14, 2017
    The great view at the top of the forgotten very quickly done turn the 396 steps to access! Mandatory activity because it allows to see Bourges and its surroundings in a different way! In addition, the free for the - 25, is really very attractive. Not to be missed!
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  • August 7, 2017
    396 markets give another point of view on this superb cathedral even if we discover the city from a different perspective, the panorama around Bourges brings real added value.
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  • August 6, 2017
    A must see at least once in his life during the visit of the Cathedral. Places full of history and fascinating at the same time.
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  • June 26, 2017
    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.
  • April 25, 2017
    Beautiful cathedral with stunning stained glass and statuary. Worthwhile to visit
  • April 6, 2017
    Very big and beautiful.. Nice place to relax during sunset
  • April 13, 2017
    Impressive church with its blue tainted windows.
  • May 31, 2016
    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.

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