Bourges ,the city of night lights !

And I am taking you to the old Berry country in the center of France, the old Centre ,now it is dept Cher no. 18 in the region of Centre-Val-de-Loire.  I have come here several times ,and always love to come back. This is an update of an older post and will use as the introduction to Bourges as have many other posts and pictures : Therefore, this will be with just one picture not elsewhere in my blog,

That is how the tourist office describes the city,  La Ville des Nuits Lumiére (the city of night lights ). It is lighted at night in a quant medieval ambiance which makes it unique. Love to walk its cobblestone streets and the hilly ones to climb stairs from one level to the next, it is awesome.

I will tell you about how to get to Bourges, briefly.  You can easily drive here on the A10 from Paris and connect with the A71 at Orleans ,and the A85 put you in Tours fast too. The best parking in town is at quartier St Bonnet for free on the streets if come early in the morning or underground paying by the Halle au Blé. Driving is always reliable   As far as public transport never taken here, the city is easy to get and very nice to walk, but there is a nice bus system Agglobus at 1 place de la Nation. As far as train ,there is a station at place du Général Leclerc, the TER Centre will give more choices on local schedules.The service to Paris is limited and you leave from Paris Austerlitz station, or go to Gare de Vierzon and take another train to Bourges.

The city is very old from antiquity days, in the middle ages it was part of the kingdom of Aquitaine, until the 14C it becomes the capital of the dukedom of Berry. It goest thru the war of Religion ok, and arrives at the French revolution where deputies were elected to the assembly from Bourges on the side of the new republic. WWI and WWII were of small consequences to the city.

Some of the must see sights in the city in my opinion are:  the Cathedrale St EtiennePalais Jacques Coeur, Hôtel Cujàs (musée du Berry, archeology, local artifacts), Hôtel Lallemand (musée renaissance arts decoratifs) , Musée des meilleurs ouvriers de France (best form a la French!), Halle au Blé b1836, walk the many wooden houses or maison du bois from around 1488.

The best is the magnificent Cathedral of St Etienne or St Stephen, (see post) built from 1194 to 1506. One of the great Cathedrals of France. The lights of its stained glass windows, the great organ or Grand Orgue ( 1487-1506 and rebuilt several times afterward)  and the horloge astronomique or astronomic clock built in 1424. There is a group of organ lovers who look after the Grand Orgue today, and you can see and participate webpage: 

The Palais Jacques Coeur,(see post ) is the financier and enthusiast citizen of Bourges.  The was the money issuer tresorier of king Charles VII and a merchant of a great empire at the time.  Built between 14’3 to 1451 , it was considered  as the best example of a private urban building. It was confiscated by the king in 1451 after Jacques Coeur was arrested(he died in the ile de Chios in 1456 after taking part in a crusade vs the Turks)  and given back to the family in 1457, Colbert was its last private owner who sold it to the city in 1682. After it became the Hotel de Ville or mayors office then the seat of the tribunal or courthouse where many modifications were made between 1820 and 1830. In 1923 the State or France buys the building, where today is a national historical monument and open to the public.   

The Halle au blé was built in 1836 over the convent of cordeliers  building that was converted to public use since 1791 ; it used to store the wheat and other cereal from the great Berry area, and today it is a major covered marché or market and great parking area! From the 19C it is the place to shop for local goodies in Bourges.


the Hôtel Cujas now houses the Musée du Berry, the building dates from 1515 and was the home of jurist Cujas since 1585. The museum is set up here since 1950 with a collection of the history of Bourges and its region from prehistoric times to the present.  4 rue des Arénes, It is wonderful from the historical perpective of the collection and the the architecture of the building.

Hôtel Lallemand, built around 1500 ,its an example of the first Renaissance period in France. The building has the feel of been in inclination as it is built over the gallo-roman ramparts! It is a beautiful building indeed. It houses today the Musée des arts decoratifs since 1951and managed by the city of Bourges.It has exquisite objects d’arts from the Renaissance period such as clocks, tapestries, paintings of France, Italy and Low Countries, as well as furniture, enamel and ivory items, just superbe!.

The Musée des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, (tops a must see) at the old episcopal bishops palace and open since 1995, showcasing the best art form in France from cuisine to leather makers to wood makers craftmens that was established in France from 1924. If you want to know the French joie de vivre ,then come here, we all enjoy it much. At the Place Etienne Dolet just around the corner from the Cathedral.

It has a nice marais or swampy area just around the city limits, a gorgeous Jardin de l’Archeveque or bishops gardens, the fact that king Louis XI was born here in 1423. The wonderful street rue Bourbonnoux medieval and nice  as well as the promenade des Remparts, and see the maison des 3 flûtes ,15C  by rue Bourbonnoux and end of rue Moliére.

In addition, I like to say our base central with one exception we came from Sancerre, was in town the hotel Le Christina. The great logis de France property ,Le Christina, right next to the Halle au Ble (see above) and nearby free parking! Great comfort, good prices, and wonderful friendly service,webpage:

Our regular stops here over the years have been great foodie places such as the mouthful  Le Bourbonneux, 44 rue Bourbonneux, wonderful traditional French choices change with season but the menu at 19€ is excellent value. We try the Le Louis XI, 11 rue Porte Jaune, for great beef on wood oven with all the sauces , wonderful meal evenings and good value.  And the,winner was lunch at La Scaleta, 1 place Planchat, corner on a nice old section area, great pizzas, italian dishes, all music italian the waiters sang Italian listening to Eros Ramazzotti is tops. All richly decorated, great food, great service, great prices a must.

For reference and credit :

Le Bourbonneux:

Le Louis XI, Bourges Berry tourist office webpage:

La Scaleta:

And more from this wonderful city of Bourges!

The city of Bourges on its museums—leisure_museums

The Bourges Berry tourist office on its heritage

The Berry province tourist office on Bourges

There you go folks, enjoy Bourges, a very nice town and wonderful sights for all.  Hope you enjoy the post and brings an introduction to you too. And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all !!!

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: