La Grosse Cloche- The Big Clock, Bordeaux

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 Reviews

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  • La Grosse Cloche
    La Grosse Cloche
    by Nemorino
  • La Grosse Cloche- The Big Clock
    by mallyak
  • La Grosse Cloche at night
    La Grosse Cloche at night
    by King_Golo
  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    La Grosse Cloche

    by Nemorino Updated Apr 11, 2015

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is said to be one of the oldest belfries in France, a remnant of the ancient city walls dating from the 13th century.

    This “Great Bell” was cast in 1775 and weighs 7750 kilograms. It is rung six times a year at 11:00 a.m., on these days:
    • January 1 (New Year’s Day)
    • May 1 (Labor Day/May Day)
    • May 8 (Victory in Europe Day, end of the Second World War)
    • July 14 (Bastille Day, French National Holiday)
    • August 28 (beginning of the grape harvest?)
    • November 11 (Armistice Day, end of the First World War)

    Address: 57, rue Saint-James
    Directions: VCub bicycle station Grosse Cloche
    Location and aerial view on
    Tram B: Musée d’Aquitaine

    Next: Porte Dijeaux

    La Grosse Cloche
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • King_Golo's Profile Photo

    La Grosse Cloche

    by King_Golo Written Aug 28, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The "Grosse Cloche" is one of the few monuments which have been preserved from the Middle Ages, though with quite some alterations. Like Porte Cailhau, it is also squeezed between the surrounding buildings, but impressive nonetheless. Two towers of 40m enclose the "cloche", the bell, which weighs 7,800kg. There is also a finely crafted clockwork. In former times, the "Grosse Cloche" was used as a kind of watchtower. An inscription in French reads the following:

    "J'appelle aux armes. J'annonce les jours. Je donne les heures. Je chasse l'orage. Je son les fêtes. Je crie à l'incendie."

    In English this would be: "I call to arms. I announce the days. I give the hours. I chase away the thunderstorms. I toll during the festivities. I scream during a fire."

    La Grosse Cloche at night
    Related to:
    • Architecture

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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    La Grosse Cloche \ the big Clock

    by mallyak Written Aug 13, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Leaning on the 12th century church of St. Eloi, this tremendous passage was constructed in the 13th century. The vault and the bays were refurnished in the 15th century, while the ironwork and the clock date from the 17th century. The belfry of the old hôtel de ville, it stored the town's armaments. Until the Liberation, at the end of the second world war, the clock announced all of the important events, fires, and even the beginning of the grape harvest!

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  • Mique's Profile Photo

    La Grosse Cloche \ the big Clock

    by Mique Updated Dec 27, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I was quite unprepaired for this sight. Just walking along the Cours Victor Hugo, enjoying the facades of the buildings and looking at city life in general. And then you look into a sidestreet and encounter this..

    It seems this belfry is the remainder of the old city hall.

    La Grosse Cloche

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  • Gillianina's Profile Photo

    Grosse Cloche: In the XIII...

    by Gillianina Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Grosse Cloche: In the XIII century there was Saint Eloi gate, where pilgrims used to pass on their way to Saint James of Compostela. It was originally made of four rounded towers linked to each other, to which other two were added later. In XV century the complex was again modified, since the tower bell was added. Until XVIII other changes were made. The last one was the clock, added in 1759 to replace the old one dating back to 1567.

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  • black_mimi99's Profile Photo

    Grosse Cloche (Great Bell)

    by black_mimi99 Written Jan 31, 2008

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Grosse Cloche (Great Bell), which used to be the bell of the Town Hall's belfry. Currently the Town Hall is elsewhere, but the bell is still one of the symbols of Bordeaux.


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