Friday, January 18, 2008

Cathedral At Bourges

Our trip to Provence came to an end, too soon, of course. We drove back to Paris and on the way passed through the city of Bourges. Neither one of us knew that there is a spectacular cathedral there. So when we saw it, we stopped to have a look.

A long shot of the cathedral from the jardins de l'Archevêché.

The Cathédrale Saint-Etienne was built between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries. It's yet another amazing example of gothic architecture. Its flying buttresses rival any I've seen. St.-Etienne is the widest gothic cathedral in France and among the tallest. There is no transept; I think that's unusual for a gothic cathedral.

A bit of exterior detail.

The gardens outside the cathedral, les jardins de l'Archevêché, are quite impressive with their beautifully tended parterres. Inside, the stained glass windows are spectacular. I'll post some images of those next time.

One of the parterres in the cathedral gardens.

And now we live within an hour's drive of this place. The city is the geographic center of France, the heart of the historic Berry region, and is the préfecture of the département du Cher, with a population of about 73,000 Berruyers.

Buttresses and pillars transfer the building's load to the ground.

I know we'll go back before too long to see it again. Bourges has a rich history in addition to its cathedral, so there should be plenty to see.

3 comments:

  1. Don't know why but I like pictures of Parterre. I guess it is because this type of gardens are not very common in NA and some of the landscape architects do some interesting designs.
    Thank you.

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  2. It's such a treat to see pictures of flowers at this time of year. Bourges has a great market Sunday morning--two actually; one's a brocante. Our walk around the marais was interesting. I may not have this word right; this was supposed to be the quarter of the maraichers but we didn't see many big gardens. It's a green, watery, pleasant break from the city.

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  3. Claudia in Toronto18 January, 2008 23:38

    i have enjoyed the Provence trip, your choice of pictures and comments, much more than what I see in travel books. I guess the personal note makes me feel that I am on the road also, not just looking. Thank you!

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