The spectacular Cathédrale St. André dominates the skyline of Bordeaux and is one of the region's most important religious landmarks. The vast interior and freestanding bell tower add to its grandeur. Visit to appreciate the architecture or join the city's Catholic community at Mass.
Construction of this cathedral was far from simple. Building began in the 12th century, with extensions and renovations continuing for almost 400 years. Since then, it has played an important role in French history, hosting the royal marriages of Eleanor of Aquitaine as well as two of its kings.
Take photos of the landmark’s dramatic exterior. Look for the detailed sculpture of the Last Supper above the entrance arch, welcoming visitors. Other noteworthy features include the ornate rose window, two Gothic spires and the sloping stone gutters at the side.
Step inside and admire how light filters in through the different colored sections of the stained-glass windows lining the nave. Browse paintings of religious imagery by Flemish and Italian masters and read the Bible from illuminated manuscripts. The interior also contains several sculptures and an old astronomical clock.
Climb Tour Pey-Berland, the freestanding 15th-century bell tower. A shining gold statue of the Virgin Mary with a child stands on top of the tower. Ascend the 231 steps to the viewing point and enjoy the views of Bordeaux below.
Attend a service with local worshippers. Mass is held here daily, with extra services in summer to accommodate more visitors. Major celebrations, such as ordination services and St. Andrew's Day Mass, also take place here.
Attend a concert to hear the rich sounds of the organ reverberating around the nave. The International Organ Festival of Bordeaux is held here in summer every year and attracts celebrated musicians. Check the calendar for additional smaller events, such as choral performances.
To get to Cathédrale St. André, ride the tram to the Hôtel de Ville stop. The cathedral is open daily, but is closed on Monday mornings.