St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Bordeaux
The Saint-André Cathedral in Bordeaux is one of the most beautiful monuments. It is also the most important religious temple in the city. It is located in the heart of the city centre, so you can reach it without any problems.
It has hosted hundreds of important events for both the city and the country itself. Weddings, funerals and more have been held here. Both inside and outside, time seems to stand still and you can discover fascinating stories.
History of St. Andrew’s Cathedral
Bordeaux Cathedral was built in the 11th century, although it would need to be rebuilt a few years later.
The transept and choir were added between the 14th and 15th centuries. Special mention should be made here of the beautiful Porte Royale with its marvellous sculptures depicting the scene of the Last Judgement. Moreover, this was the first cathedral to be consecrated under the patronage of Saint Andrew.
According to various archaeological works carried out in the area, remains of buildings dating back to the 5th century have been found. According to experts, a small church dedicated to St Andrew already existed here in 814. However, it was completely destroyed by a Norman raid.
Most of the work on St. Andrew’s Cathedral Bordeaux was carried out between the 13th and 15th centuries. Among other things, the ribbed nave, the chapels and the marvellous Royal Gate, as mentioned above, were built.
At the height of the French Revolution, the cathedral was used as a fodder reserve and was called the National House. In the 19th century it was practically destroyed by a voracious fire, and it was necessary to use the remains of other churches to rebuild its furnishings.
In 1860, the French architect Paul Abadie was appointed to build the new sacristies on the site of the old cloister, which had recently been demolished.
In 1862, it was declared a French Historical Monument, being one of the first churches in the country to be built in a completely Gothic style.
Finally, in 1988, the General Assembly of Unesco took the decision to declare the Pilgrims’ Route to Santiago de Compostela a World Heritage Site. It included this marvellous religious monument.
The Pey Berland Tower
Another characteristic detail of this religious complex is undoubtedly the Pey Berland Tower. St. Andrew’s Cathedral, like others in the region, has its bell tower in a separate building.
Around the 12th century, when some alterations and improvements were being made to the temple, the bell tower was one of the key points. The existing structure was not sturdy enough to support new bells, including a bourdon (main bell) weighing close to 8 tons. So the decision was taken to build a separate belfry.
Work began in 1440, on the orders of Bishop Pey-Berland. The imposing structure is 66 metres high. Its main element was an arrow crowning the top, but in 1617 it was destroyed by a storm and replaced by a cross. In 1863 the image of Notre-Dame d’Aquitaine was installed.
Opening and prices of Bordeaux Cathedral
The cathedral is open every day of the year except 1 January, 1 May and 25 December. Opening times vary according to the season:
Between the months of October and May it opens between 10am – 12:30pm / 2pm – 5:30pm.
From June to September it changes from 10am – 1.15pm / 2pm – 6pm.
The general ticket price is 6 euros per person. For children under 12 and senior citizens it is 5 euros.
How to get to St. Andrew’s Cathedral?
St. Andrew’s Cathedral is located in Place Pey Berland, in the heart of the city centre, so you won’t get lost. It is also one of the main monuments to visit.
Discover Saint Andrew’s Cathedral on a Free Tour
Although it is a monument whose beauty makes it stand out at first sight, when you want to get to know a new destination in depth, there is nothing like hiring a tour service. Besides showing you some details that only locals know, it adapts perfectly to your language and interests.
Remember that this and bunch more of Bordeaux’s main touristic attractions are part of our group and private tours around the city. So feel free to take a look at them If you wish!