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Porte Cailhau and the other city gates
Bordeaux's old town still has four city gates, the most beautiful and impressive of them being Porte Cailhau. Squeezed between the buildings surrounding it, it is impressive but also gives the impression that it would be more suitable elsewhere. It was built between 1493 and 1496 to honour King Charles VIII after his defeat of the Italians. Its name, however, derives from something much more down-to-earth: the "cailloux" were the stones unloaded from the ships at the nearby quais.
The other gates are Porte de Bourgogne (1750-1755), a few metres to the south from Porte Cailhau, Porte d'Aquitaine (1753) on Place de la Victoire, and Porte Dijeaux (1748) at the southern end of Place Gambetta. There is also the Grosse Cloche which I have covered in another tip.
Go By the Porte Cailhau
The Porte Cailhau is a landmark of the Old City. Its name refers to the ballast stones left outside it from the ships that docked nearby since this was the gate between the docks and the Place du Palais. The present structure was built in the late 15C by Charles VIII as a triumphal arch to celebrate a military victory. It was erected upon older remains.
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Walking along the 'Quartier Saint Pierre', you get to the 'Place du Palais' and the 'Porte Cailhau'. This gate was built in 1494 and used to be one of the main entries to the city. It was the gate great personalities used to enter the city.
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