The Saint-andré Cathedral Of Bordeaux: 5 Things To Know About This Monument.
Popular tourist destination, Bordeaux is home to one of France's most beautiful cathedrals. The Saint-André Cathedral in Bordeaux welcomes thousands of visitors each year for the beauty of its architecture, stained glass windows, crypt, and organ. Here are 5 things to know about this iconic religious monument in the city.
1- His story dates back to the 11th century.
The history of the Saint-André Cathedral of Bordeaux begins in the 11th century. It was during this period that its construction began, under the impetus of the monks of the Abbey of Sainte-Croix.
It took nearly five centuries to build the religious monument as we know it today. In the 15th century, Archbishop Pey-Berland had the tower built, which now bears his name and completes the building with a detached bell tower.
Witness to major events in French history, this Bordeaux cathedral was transformed into a Temple of Reason during the French Revolution and was severely damaged by bombings during World War II.
2- Its architecture blends several styles.
The architecture of the Saint-André Cathedral in Bordeaux reflects the evolution of architectural styles between the 11th and 16th centuries. Although this cathedral was initially built in a Romanesque style and consecrated by Pope Urban II on May 1, 1096, it underwent modifications until the 15th century.
Over time, elements of Gothic architecture were incorporated, as well as decorative elements of the Renaissance style. The Gothic-style Pey-Berland Tower was built between 1440 and 1500.
Today, the main church of Bordeaux presents a blend of styles. Its architecture is nonetheless impressive, as evidenced by its imposing three-part tympanum above the portal.
Inside the cathedral, the height under the vault is impressive: 23 meters under the nave and 29 meters in the choir!
3- Its bell tower offers a breathtaking view of the city.
The most unique architectural feature of Bordeaux's Saint-André Cathedral is undoubtedly its detached bell tower, better known as the Pey-Berland Tower. This campanile is named after Archbishop Pey Berland, who served in Bordeaux from 1430 to 1456.
The tower is open for visitors and offers a breathtaking view of the city from its 66 meters height. It houses three monumental bells named Marie, Clémence, and Marguerite.
Today, both Saint-André Cathedral and its tower are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites for their remarkable architecture. The Pey-Berland Tower is a must-visit for tourists in Bordeaux due to its stunning panoramic view!
A first terrace located at 40 meters high allows visitors to admire the city's main monuments and neighborhoods. After climbing 233 steps, the most courageous can access the second terrace, ten meters higher. This other terrace surrounds the spire of the bell tower and offers a 360-degree panoramic view.
At the very top of the tower, a golden statue of the Virgin Mary watches over the inhabitants. This imposing statue of Our Lady of Aquitaine was installed at the top of the Pey-Berland Tower in 1863, replacing a spire destroyed by a violent storm.
4- It houses many treasures.
The Saint-André Cathedral in Bordeaux is also worth a visit for the numerous historical treasures it contains. Every year, thousands of visitors flock to this monument to admire its stained glass windows, sculptures, crypt, and organ.
The cathedral's organ is one of the largest in France. It was built in 1748 by Dom Bedos de Celles and expanded in 1875 by the Bordeaux organ builder Georges Wenner.
By entering this building, you step into a sanctuary where several royal weddings have taken place. It is here that Eleanor of Aquitaine married the future King Louis VII of France in 1137, and where King Louis XIII married Anne of Austria, the Infanta of Spain, in November 1615.
5- She reveals herself through the immersive show Luminiscence.
From October 13th to December 17th, 2023, an immersive experience invites you to rediscover this monument steeped in history. The multisensory experience "Luminiscence" allows you to admire the Bordeaux Cathedral of Saint-André like you've never seen it before!
Thanks to spatialized 3D sound and light games combining projections and 360° video mapping, this thirty-minute show highlights the majestic architecture and stained glass windows of the cathedral.
This sound and light show is structured around 3 key moments:
1- The Architecture and Construction section reveals the secrets of the cathedral's construction process.
2- The Stained Glass and Light Games section offers a luminous ballet that transforms the perception of the building.
3- The Acoustics and Polyphonic Music section showcases the exceptional acoustics of the venue and brings a spiritual depth to the experience.
Don't miss this magnificent immersive show designed to bring out all the details of the nave, dome, columns, choir, and transepts.