Bourges, France


Bourges is a French commune, prefecture of the department of Cher. With 64,551 inhabitants in 2017, it is the most populous municipality in the department. At the center of an urban area of 139,052 inhabitants (the 62nd in France), Bourges is the third most populous municipality in the Center-Val de Loire region, after Tours and Orléans, and ahead of Blois, Châteauroux and Chartres. It is also the historic capital of Berry, a province of the Ancien Régime corresponding approximately to the current departments of Indre and Cher.


Saint-Etienne Cathedral of Bourges
The Saint-Étienne de Bourges cathedral is a Catholic cathedral built between the end of the 12th and the end of the 13th century. Dedicated to Saint Stephen, the first martyr, it is the seat of the Archdiocese of Bourges (departments of Cher and Indre).

Architecturally, the building is remarkable both for its harmonious proportions, linked to the unity of its design, and for the quality of its tympanums, sculptures and stained glass windows. It differs in particular from the other great cathedrals of the time by a completely new search for a unified interior space.

The Saint-Étienne cathedral in Bourges was consecrated on May 13, 1324. Like all cathedrals built before the separation of churches and state, it now belongs to the French state. It is the subject of a classification as a historical monument by the list of 1862 and it was inscribed in 1992 on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is located in the historic center of Bourges, a protected area since 1965.

Jacques-Coeur Palace
The Jacques-Coeur Palace is a private mansion located in Bourges, considered by the elegance of its architecture, the richness and the variety of its decoration, as one of the most sumptuous civil buildings of the fifteenth century and a masterpiece of civil architecture in flamboyant Gothic style. This 15th-century building prefigures the mansions that will flourish during the Renaissance and is, along with the Château de Montsoreau (1453) and the Château de Châteaudun (1452), one of the very first examples of recreational architecture in France.

It was born out of the desire of the rich merchant Jacques Coeur to build a "big" house "in his native town, but Charles VII's money-maker never lived there.

This palace is the subject of a classification as historical monuments by the list of 1840. Property of the State since 1923, it is managed, animated and open to visitors by the center of national monuments.


Archiepiscopal Palace of Bourges

The Archiepiscopal Palace is one of the main buildings in the center of the city of Bourges, opposite the cathedral and which served as the Town Hall from 1910 to 1995. It currently contains the museum of the “Meilleur Ouvriers de France” and brings together a number of masterpieces produced at the end of their tour of France.


Bourges marshes

The Bourges marshes, or marshes of Yèvre and Voiselle, constitute in the major bed of the Yèvre river and to the east of Bourges city center, an enclave of 135 ha of former marshes developed by humans from the 7th century, and today dedicated to forms of urban agriculture (private vegetable or ornamental gardens) and setting for certain leisure activities (fishing, jogging, walking, tourism, etc.)

They are divided into nearly 1,500 plots, distributed among almost as many owners: their areas vary from 13 m2 to 1.5 ha. The marshes have been protected by a classification since 2003 under the regime of “natural monuments and sites” governed by the environment code1. Two associations, bringing together some of the users of the marshes, contribute to their safeguard and protection, their enhancement, their maintenance and their animation: the Association des maraîchers de Bourges (AMB), and the Association Patrimoine des Marais (also called Association of users of the Yèvre and Voiselle marshes in Bourges, AUMYVB).