The most remarkable religious building in Bordeaux, according to locals, Cathédrale St-André is famous for having a separate and independent bell tower. The cathedral was first built in the 13th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, while having once played a significant role in the religious and cultural development of Bordeaux; it is indeed where the prosperous Eleanor of Aquitaine got married to the future King of France, Louis VII. Her considerable wealth benefited the entire city and even the cathedral itself, which was subsequently enlarged and lavishly decorated. One of its most remarkable features is undoubtedly the wrought ironwork by local craftsman Blaise Charlut, which is located in the middle of the transept. The cathedral’s 14th-century tympanum depicts the Last Judgment in the most dramatic way in prominent Gothic architecture.
Cathédrale St-André is also where Archbishop Bertrand de Goth found out that he had been elected Pope and officially became Pope Clement V, the first to move the Curia from Rome to Avignon. Its also infamous for suppressing the order of the Knights Templar. The cathedral would again see the wedding of a royal family in 1615, this time between King Louis XIII and Queen consort Anne of Austria, following a tradition of fortifying military and political alliances between the Catholic powers of France and Spain with royal marriages.
Cathédrale Saint-André is located in the heart of the historic center of Bordeaux, right by the City Hall and Place Pey-Berland. It is accessible on foot, by tram via Route A and B (stop Hôtel de Ville) or by car. Parking in the center of Bordeaux is relatively easy thanks to the many underground parkings – the easiest one for Palais Rohan being Parking St Christoly/ Pey Berland. Daytime rates (from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.) are €2.40 per hour and the nighttime (between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m.) flat rate is €3.50. Visiting the cathedral is free of charge every day from 2 to 6 p.m.