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Bourges coat of arms
Bourges (France)
region Center-Val de Loire
Department Cher
Arrondissement Bourges
Canton Bourges-1
Community association Bourges Plus
Coordinates 47 ° 5 '  N , 2 ° 24'  E Coordinates: 47 ° 5 '  N , 2 ° 24'  E
height 120-169 m
surface 68.74 km 2
Residents 64,551 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 939 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 18000
INSEE code
View from the north tower of the cathedral over Bourges

Bourges  [ buʁʒ ] is a city with 64,551 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2017) in France . It is the capital of the Cher département in the Center-Val de Loire region and the seat of an archbishopric . Please click to listen!Play


The city is located at the confluence of the Auron and Moulon rivers with the Yèvre and the abandoned Canal de Berry , only a few kilometers from the theoretical center of France.


In ancient times, Bourges had the Latin name Avaricum (or Avariko in Celtic), which is likely to be derived from that of the Avara River (today Yèvre ). It was the chief town of the Celtic tribe of Biturig and one of the greatest cities in all of Gaul ; its population is said to have been 40,000. It was in a protected position near rivers and swamps. Here Caesar was victorious in 52 BC. Against the rebellious Gauls under Vercingetorix in the battle for Avaricum . After a long siege, the place was conquered, looted and burned down. The subsequently rebuilt city (which was later called Biturigae - in the 4th century AD ), now belonged first to the Roman province of Gallia Celtica , later to the province of Gallia Aquitania, and since Emperor Diocletian it functioned as the central location of the province of Aquitania . A dedicatory inscription for the Gallo-Roman god Mogetius was discovered. Belonging to the Visigoth Empire since 478 , Bourges passed into the possession of the Franks in 507 and now passed to Chlodomer , later to King Guntram I. In 583 Bourges was captured by Chilperic I's general Desiderius and almost entirely burned.

Rebuilt under the Carolingians , Bourges was the seat of the county of Bourges (or later vice-county) from the 8th century . In 1101 Eudes Herpin pawned the vice-county to King Philip I of France. As a result, Bourges became part of the French crown domain . From the 14th century it was the capital of the Duchy of Berry . Of the six church assemblies held at Bourges in 1031, 1225, 1276, 1286, 1336 and 1438, the one of 1438, which was held under the presidency of King Charles VII , was very important due to the so-called Pragmatic Sanction of the Gallican Church that was passed here .

In 1412 there was a comparison between King Charles VI in Bourges . and Duke John Fearless of Burgundy. In the time of his distress before 1429, Charles VII often held court in Bourges. 1464 founded Ludwig XI. here the University of Bourges . In 1528 a council spoke against Luther and the Reformation here. During the Huguenot Wars in 1562 Montgomery conquered Bourges for the Huguenots , but had to vacate it again for the Duke of Guise . It later sided with the Catholic League , but submitted to King Henry IV in 1594 .

The Spanish pretender to the throne, Don Carlos , stayed in Bourges from September 1839 to August 1845 after his flight from Spain and signed the deed of abdication on May 18, 1845 in favor of his son Carlos Luis , Prince of Asturias. From March 7 to April 2, 1849, Bourges was the scene of the great state trial against the defendants in the May 1848 assassination attempt, including Louis-Auguste Blanqui , Louis Blanc , Armand Barbès , Albert L'Ouvrier and François-Vincent Raspail .

Population development

year 1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2016
Residents 60,632 70,814 77,300 76,432 75,609 72,480 70,828 65,555
Sources: Cassini and INSEE


The House of Culture in Bourges was officially opened on April 18, 1964 by André Malraux , then Minister of State for Culture. It is one of the first of its kind in France. The International Institute for Electroacoustic Music (IMEB) and the University of Music and Dance are also located in Bourges.
Every year the Printemps de Bourges music festival takes place in Bourges in spring.


Half-timbered houses on the corner of Rue Pelvoysin and Rue Cambournac
  • The significant Gothic cathedral Saint-Etienne (built 1195-1255) belongs since 1992 to the World Heritage of UNESCO . St. Etienne is a five-aisled basilica without a transept with a double ambulatory . The glass paintings from the 13th century and the innovative vault construction are unique. The portals on the west facade are also significant.
  • Palais Jacques-Cœur , Gothic residence built for Charles VII's Finance Minister Jacques Cœur .
  • Hôtel Lallemant, Renaissance palace
  • Schöffenpalais
  • Classical buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries
  • Half-timbered houses from the 15th and 16th centuries
  • Gallo-Roman city wall
  • Notre-Dame and Saint-Bonnet churches
  • Porte Saint-Ursin, remains of a Romanesque collegiate church


  • Musée du Berry
  • Musée des Arts décoratifs
  • School museum
  • Musée Estève in the Hôtel des Échevins , life and work of the painter Maurice Estève
  • Natural History Museum (Muséum d'histoire naturelle de Bourges)
  • Resistance Museum (Musée de la résistance)


The Bourges Gare de Bourges train station has direct connections to Paris (2 hours), Orléans , Tours and Lyon . The A71 autoroute connects Bourges with Orléans and Clermont-Ferrand. The Aéroport de Bourges , a small regional airport, is also located near the city .


sons and daughters of the town

Town twinning


  • Le Patrimoine des Communes du Cher. Flohic Editions, Volume 1, Paris 2001, ISBN 2-84234-088-4 , pp. 153-227.

Web links

Commons : Bourges  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Caesar, De bello Gallico 7, 13-28.
  2. Ammianus Marcellinus , Res gestae 15, 11, 11; among others