Discover the impressive array of objects of the Marcadé Collection, housed inside this magnificent 11th-century cathedral. The Roman Catholic church, dedicated to Saint Andrew, with its white stone Gothic and Romanesque features and its freestanding bell tower, is the seat of the Archbishop of Bordeaux.
Visit the most beautiful religious monument in Bordeaux
Located near the Town Hall, Cathédrale St-André, a Unesco World Heritage Site prior to the city's classification, lords over the city. The Roman Catholic cathedral in Bordeaux was originally constructed in the 11th century, though little of this remains today. Most of what you see today was built in the 13th and 14th centuries. Its two towers reach an impressive 81 meters in height. Don't miss out exceptional masonry carvings in the well-restored royal entrance in the north wall of the nave. It epitomizes 13th century French Gothic architecture. Like many other cathedrals, sculptures were painted in bright colors at the time to attract worshipers.
Royal weddings and scars of the past
The Cathédrale Saint-André hosted two royal weddings: in 1137, 13-year-old Eleanor of Aquitaine married King Louis VII of France, and Anne of Austria and Louis XIII in the 17th century. Unfortunately, the cathedral was later used to store fodder during the French Revolution monument that also suffered from a devastating fire in the 19th century.
Marvel at the Marcadé Collection
The Marcadé Collection is home to a remarkable collection of religious illuminations, paintings, sculptures, liturgical vestments and silver objects. Barthélémy Marcadé was a priest who also loved art and collected holy antiques from the 14th to 17th centuries, which he later donated to the state to put on display in the cathedral.
Climb up the Gothic belfry
Even more imposing than the cathedral itself is the gargoyled, 50m-high Gothic belfry, Tour Pey Berland, erected between 1440 and 1466. The second terrace, accessible after climbing the 233 steps from the ground and 10 meters higher than the first, overlooks the entire city and encircles the spire of the bell tower for a 360 view. Named after the Archbishop Pey Berland who initiated its construction in 1440, this 15th-century Gothic bell tower is a precious heritage site of the city. Associated with the Cathedral of Saint-André, it hosts several ancient church bells. Since 2007, the building has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.