Tour Pey-Berland, Bordeaux
A wonderful tower next to the Cathedral and another wonderful site in Bordeaux. It is a National Monument of France describe in English here
open to the public June to September every day from 10h- 13h15,and 14h- 18h October to May from 10h-12h30 and 14h-17h30 free admission.
There are 231 steps to the second terrace with great views of the city of Bordeaux. This is a belltower built in the 15C and finished by the 1500's in a gothic style. It has four bells and acts as the belltower of the Cathedral of St André (see tip).
It was sold as national property during the FRench revolution to a factory of lead for hunting and purchased by the State in 1850. First renovation took place in 1863 and again in 2002-2003. In 2010 , it was redone renovation and securisation to avoid falling persons!
The belfry of Cathédrale St André is a curious building. First of all, it's not part of the cathedral, but a few meters away from it. This was meant to protect the structures of the cathedral from the vibrations of the bells, but also as a safety measure as the ground was rather swampy. However, being built as a belfry doesn't necessarily mean that Pey-Berland was used as one. Due to a lack of suitable bells the belfry didn't fulfil its actual purpose until 1853! It was used as an apartment building and a lead factory, but only under the aegis of Cardinal Donnet Pey-Berland became what it was always meant to be: a belfry. Donnet was also responsible for the addition of the belfry's most striking feature: the golden Madonna on top which is visible from all over Bordeaux. Nowadays, the top terrace is open to the public and you can enjoy a great panorama over the city of Bordeaux from up there. The top terrace is situated roughly 50m above ground level, and you have to climb 231 steps to get there.
The Tour Pey- Berland is St Andre's Cathedral's bell tower and a fine example of the "Flamboyant Gothic" style with a 19th century staute of Notre Dame-d'Aquitaine.
The tower holds the clocks that goes with St Andre's cathedral and was build in 1440.
I was amazed to see that along with St Michel's Basilica, St Andre's Cathedral also has a seperate tower. Not sure what the reason behind this is.
First of all Gothic tower Pey-Berland attracts attention in the city centre. It was constructed in 1466, there was installed a statue of Notre-Dame d’Aquitaine or our Lady of Aquitaine (thanks Jean-Louis for his correction) in 1863 on its top.
Other significant sights are St Andre Cathedrale which was under construction during XI - XVI centuries, Sent Perr church, and Notre Dame church.
Even more imposing than the cathedral itself is the 50m gargoyled, gothic belfry, TOUR Pey-Berland. Erected between 1440 and 1466, its spire was added in the 19th century, and in 1863 it was stopped off with the statue of Notre Dame of Aquitaine (Our Lady of Aquitaine). Scaling the tower's 232 steep, narrow steps rewards you with an unfolding panorama of the city.
I love climbing tall things to see the view, the Tour Pey-Berland is THE place to do it in Bordeaux! For 5 euros (2007) you can climb up the stone spiral staircase to a viewing platform with 360 degree views of the city. And a history of the development of Bordeaux on tableaux around the walls. Don't forget there is also a further flight of stairs which takes you to a 50m platform around the spire. Though you need to be the size of a midget to get through the door!!
Tour Pey-Berland was built as the bell tower of the next-door cathedral in the 1440's. The cathedral was not thought to be strong enough to take the movement of the new bells. Today the Pey-Berland tower contains a bell weighing eight tonnes - I expect god only knows how they got it up there!!
This beautiful tower is located near the Cathedral Saint Andre and the Hotel de Ville. During the day, when the sun is shining, the gold statues at the top of the tower glisten and it looks rather magical!!
There is no lift to the top of that tower...just a lot of steps that are pretty steep...and a nightmare to climb up!! BUT the view from the top of the tower is fantastic!! It costs only 5 euros to go to the top of the tower, and you can stay up there as long as you want!
The Pey-Berland tower is isolated from the rest of the cathedral, it's quadrangular with an octogonal top.
Buit between 1440 and 1450, the golden statue of the vigin Mary has been added in 1862.
The view is really nice but you'll have to give the amazing sum of 4 euro 60 to be allowed to climb the steps....
This tower holds the clocks that goes with St-Andre's cathedral and was build in 1440.
What struck me is that both St-Andre's Cathedral as St-Michel's Basilica have seperate towers. Maybe there is a specific reason for this but i don't know what it could be
The Isolated cathedral belltower, serves as a reminder of the archbishop to whom we owe the 162 ft high construction dating from 1440. sold in 1793 and turned into a factory making shot for huntsmen, which it remained until 1850, then bought by the Cardinal Donnet and restored, the tower acquired an eleven-tonne bell. The top of the tower was missing: in 1863, it was givena a huge gilded copper statue, now somewhat rusty, representing Our Lady of Aquitaine.