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Bourges is located south of Orleans, the Romans called the city Avaricum. Bourges is an ancient Gallic town, built on a hill overlooking the swampy plains around the ‘Marais’. The ancient city was defended by massive stone walls up to 40 feet thick, which Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) described and referred to the city as “very beautiful” (‘Pulcherrima fere totius Galliae urbs’ -‘ One of the most beautiful cities throughout almost all of Gaul ‘).
The city is best known for its cathedral, although the city also has other attractions, especially an abundance of buildings built in the years after the ‘great fire in Bourges’ in 1487. Bourges Cathedral is a protected UNESCO cultural heritage and the tower and crypt are French National Monument. According to history, the construction of the Gothic cathedral began in 1195 on the orders of Archbishop Henri de Sully (1184-1199). Like other Gothic churches, Bourge’s Cathedral suffered severe damage, especially during the religious wars and the French Revolution.
Among other buildings is the Jacques Coeur Palace, built in 1450 and notable for its Gothic architecture. The foundations are Gallo-Roman walls, and the façade is like a feudal castle on the west side, while presenting an elegant structure on the east side. The castle has a rich decoration of symbols. The two figures looking out from the false windows on the sides of the canopy probably represent Jacques Coeur and his wife.
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