The massive Cathedral St. Andre at Place J. Moulin is one of the centerpieces of central Bordeaux. Even with the large square it is almost impossible to get a photo of the entire cathedral. There are regularly scheduled organ concerts featuring the massive organ in the back. It took over 800 years to complete beginning with the 12th century Romanesque nave.
After the Revolution, during which the instrument was destroyed in 1629, was installed in the Primatiale Saint-André, in 1804, the organ of La Micot Réole.
But ten years later, to the weakness of the instrument, we exchanged the interior with that of the organ of the Abbey Church Sainte-Croix de Bordeaux, built in 1748 by Dom Bedos de Celles. Even before the disappointing result, it was enlarged in 1875 by an organ builder George Wenner Bordeaux who gave a grand narrative expressive, while its transmissions of notes, they were electrified in 1954 by Joseph Beuchet organ. Dismantled in 1973 to reconstruct the Holy Cross Church Organ Dom Bedos, this composite organ was replaced in the same-buffet, returned to his disposal before 1875 - by a neo-classical instrument developed by the factor Georges Danion organ comprising 76 games spread over 4 real manual keyboards of 61 notes and a pedal 32 notes.
Typical of the Rayonnant Gothic period, the chevet of the Cathedral is covered with gargoyles. They are to covey rain water from the roof but it looks like they were overproduced here and have as usual entertaining "faces" and in this case even bodies. A pair of binoculars is a handy tool for their study.
The bell-tower was built by the Bishop of the same name in the 15C. It is freestanding because the intervening church buildings (residences) were destroyed during the Revolution. A high wind decapitated the steeple later on and it has been replaced by a copper-coated Virgin in the latter part of the 19C. The tower is not as tall as the steeples of the North transept or the tower at St.-Michel church.
The choir area is much taller that the nave and the ambulatory and transepts widen the church considerably. They are a fine example of Rayonnant Gothic style. The carved altar is encircled by fine carved 17C stalls and a Bishop's chair. The South transept Rose and its glass enhances the ensemble.
The interior of the church is remarkable for the fact that it is a single aisled nave. There are only six such large Gothic structures in Europe and three more of them are not far from here in Southern France! It was started on Romanesque remnants. The vaulting was modified in the 13 & 15 C to prevent collapse using diagonal struts and dependent keystones in the first three bays and the irregularly placed buttresses outside. The nave is only two levels and is somewhat low. The west end does not have a door but the beautiful Renaissance organ loft covers a set of delicate bas-reliefs on the end wall, from a 1531 choir screen that was demolished. They show Christ in Limbo meeting with pagan celebrities and then His Ascension on an Eagle,
The portal has a flat top below which is a large Rose window . Under that is a row of eight lancet windows. The statues on the jambs are gone, but there are fine bas-reliefs at the bases of female figures (what do they symbolize?). Along the nave end of the south side are irregularly distributed massive blocks that serve as buttresses with "flying" arcs that support the nave (there are more on the north) added when it was feared the roof would collapse.
The Royal Portal gives access to the nave (now closed) and is to the right (west ) of the transept portal. It is late 13C sculpture at its best and has been lovingly restored by Viollet-le-Duc. A row of 8 statues in arcades is above displaying 6 bishops, a king and a queen. The tympanum is a Last Judgment with a Resurrection on the lintel and the ensuing action above that (Hell is no longer depicted by le- Duc. Did he delete it?). Each jamb contains 5 grand statues of the Apostles. The grime is accumulation of the last century only, although cleaning haltingly proceeds.
This portal is the most prominent part of the Cathedral exterior. It has an elaborate design starting with a statuary arcade at the top , a large petaled Rose in a square next below, then 3 lancet windows and two tiers of trefoil openings until the arcades of angels, apostles and prophets are reached. All is set between two spired support towers (the only towers that are part of the church). The tympanum has a Last Supper on the lintel with an Ascension and Christ Triumphant above. Both jambs have sets of three clergymen. On the trumeau is St.-Martial (much revered here).
Cathedral St Andre is a beautiful cathedral with very interesting details. If you walk around the cathedral you'll see the flying buttresses, the rose window, sculptures carved into the door jams and some other interesting details.
The Cathedral St Andre is a very impressive building from the outside. Only a small part of the cathedrale still has some of its original walls dating back to the 9th century. The cathedrale seems a bit odd as you look at the front facade of the building you will note that the buttresses and the rest of the cathedrale were either from a different century, or weren't steamed blasted.
The main features of the cathedral are its Royal Door and the North Door, covered with sculpted ornamentation. The church is dominated by pointed spires. The Tour Pey-Berland — the cathedral’s belfry, is built on a site with foundations dating back to 900 years ago.
As terrible as it is, I do not remember the full name of the cathedral! It is located in the city centre near Hotel de Ville and is a very beautiful, gothic looking building!! It is extremely large and has significant detail on each side! I definately recommend paying the cathedral a visit. The square that holds the cathedral is very pretty, lined with shops and restaurants too!
We also didnt do a guided tour of the cathedrale because of the season and time we were here, but like the Norte dame in Paris, it is full of historie. Who knows, you may be luckier than I do.
This is THE landmark in Bordeaux i would say. Together with the tower that stands next to it. Like most cathedrals i like the outside more then the inside. But that's a very personal thing
From the original building dating back to 1096 there is only a small part of the outer walls reserved. I was already wondering since one of the sides of the cathedral doesn't completely seem to fitt with the rest. During the 14th till the 16th century the cathedral underwent some major changes. It took most of the 19th century to make all the necessary restaurations to the building