Interior of Cathedrale Saint Andre St. Andrews Cathedral, Bordeaux, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gironde, Aquitaine, France, Europe
Peter Richardson/© Peter Richardson
One of Bordeaux’s more ancient edifices, this UNESCO World Heritage site features a Romanesque wall from as far back as 1096. It’s also where 13-year-old Eleanor of Aquitaine married her first husband, King Louis VII, in 1137, and where fodder was stored during the French Revolution.
The Roman Catholic church was first constructed in the 11th century, though little of the original structure remains. While the Royal Gate dates to the 13th century, the cathedral that stands today wasn’t built until the 14th and 15th centuries. Visit this Gothic-style masterpiece to admire the exquisite masonry and important art collection, which features everything from paintings and statues to silver objects, ornaments, and liturgical vestments. Then be sure to climb the 160-foot bell tower for some of the best views of the city—and, better still, the church’s famously expressive gargoyles.
Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux
Often overshadowed by cathedrals like Reims and Notre Dame de Paris, the Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux achieved a page in history as a stop along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, as well as the site of the royal marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Louis VII. Dating back to the 11th century, the Gothic structure has an important collection of liturgical art (paintings, vestments and sculptures) on display in the old sacristy. The freestanding bell tower has sweeping views from the top.