Bourges

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bourges
Bourges Cathedral
Bourges Cathedral
Flag of Bourges
Flag
Coat of arms of Bourges
Coat of arms
Bourges is located in France
Bourges
Bourges
Coordinates: 47°05′04″N 2°23′47″E / 47.0844°N 2.3964°E / 47.0844; 2.3964Coordinates: 47°05′04″N 2°23′47″E / 47.0844°N 2.3964°E / 47.0844; 2.3964
Country France
Region Centre
Department Cher
Arrondissement Bourges
Intercommunality Bourges
Government
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Pascal Blanc
Area
 • Land1 68.74 km2 (26.54 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Population2 66,786
 • Population2 density 970/km2 (2,500/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 18033 / 18000
Elevation 120–169 m (394–554 ft)
(avg. 153 m or 502 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Bourges (French pronunciation: ​[buʁʒ]) is a city in central France on the Yèvre river. It is the capital of the department of Cher and also was the capital of the former province of Berry.

History[edit]

The name of the city derives either from the Bituriges, the name of the original inhabitants, or from the Germanic Burg (French: Bourg. Spanish: Burgos. English, others: Burgh, Berg, or Borough), for "hill/village". The Celts called it Avaricon; Latin-speakers: Avaricum.

In the Gallic Wars of 58-50 BC the Gauls practised a scorched earth policy, but the inhabitants of Avaricum begged not to have their city burned, and it was spared due to its good defences provided by the surrounding marshes and a strong southern wall. Following the siege of Avaricum in the winter of 52 BC, Julius Caesar's forces destroyed the city and killed all but 800 of its inhabitants.

Rome reconstructed Avaricum as a Roman city, with a monumental gate, aqueducts, thermae and an amphitheatre, reaching a greater size than it would attain during the Middle Ages. The massive walls surrounding the late Roman city, enclosing 40 hectares, were built in part with stone re-used from earlier public buildings.

The third-century AD Saint Ursinus, also known as Saint Ursin, is considered[by whom?] the first bishop of the city. Bourges is the seat of an archbishopric. During the 8th century Bourges lay on the northern fringes of the Duchy of Aquitaine and was therefore the first town to come under Frankish attacks when the Franks crossed the Loire. The Frankish Charles Martel captured the town in 731, but Duke Odo the Great of Aquitaine immediately re-took it. It remained under the rule of counts who pledged allegiance to the Aquitanian dukes up to the destructive assault by Pepin the Short on independent Aquitaine starting in 760, when Basque troops are found defending the town along with its count.

The Gothic Cathedral of Saint Etienne, begun at the end of the twelfth century, ranks as a World Heritage Site. It is considered[by whom?] the earliest example of the High Gothic style of the thirteenth century.

During the Middle Ages, Bourges served as the capital of the Viscounty of Bourges until 1101. In the fourteenth century it became the capital of the Duchy of Berry. The future king of France, Charles VII (reigned 1422-1461), sought refuge there in the 1420s during the Hundred Years' War. His son, Louis XI, was born there in 1423. In 1438, Charles VII decreed the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges. During this period, Bourges was also a major capital of alchemy.[citation needed]

The city has a long tradition of art and history. Apart from the cathedral, other sites of importance include the 15th-century Palace of Jacques Cœur and a sixty-five-hectare district of half-timbered houses and fine town-houses.

Population[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1793 15,964 —    
1800 16,330 +2.3%
1806 17,552 +7.5%
1821 18,910 +7.7%
1831 19,730 +4.3%
1836 25,324 +28.4%
1841 22,826 −9.9%
1846 24,799 +8.6%
1851 25,037 +1.0%
1856 26,799 +7.0%
1861 28,064 +4.7%
1866 30,119 +7.3%
1872 31,312 +4.0%
1876 35,785 +14.3%
1881 40,217 +12.4%
1886 42,829 +6.5%
1891 45,342 +5.9%
1896 43,587 −3.9%
1901 46,551 +6.8%
1906 44,133 −5.2%
1911 45,735 +3.6%
1921 45,942 +0.5%
1926 44,245 −3.7%
1931 45,067 +1.9%
1936 49,263 +9.3%
1946 51,040 +3.6%
1954 53,879 +5.6%
1962 60,632 +12.5%
1968 70,814 +16.8%
1975 77,300 +9.2%
1982 76,432 −1.1%
1990 75,609 −1.1%
1999 72,434 −4.2%
2008 68,980 −4.8%

Sights[edit]

Floorplan of the cathedral of Bourges

Transport[edit]

The railway station Gare de Bourges offers direct connections to Paris (2 hours), Orléans, Tours, Lyon and several regional destinations. The A71 motorway connects Bourges with Orléans and Clermont-Ferrand. Bourges Airport is a small regional airport.

Sport and recreation[edit]

Bourges' principal football team are Bourges Football 18. It is also home to the women's basketball club CJM Bourges Basket, which has won multiple titles in domestic and European basketball. Bourges XV is the premier rugby team in the region, currently playing in French National Division, Federal 3.

Colleges and universities[edit]

Twin towns[edit]

Bourges is twinned with:

Half-timbered houses in Place Gordaine

Events[edit]

The Printemps de Bourges music festival takes place in Bourges every year.

Every summer, and since 2002, « les milles univers » hosts a writing workshop in collaboration with Oulipo.[8]

Personalities[edit]

The merchant Jacques Cœur was born in Bourges.

John Calvin was a student in the University of Bourges.

The legal expert Jacques Cujas lived in Bourges during 1555-1557 and 1575-1590.

The Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot was born in Bourges on 14 January 1841.

The Art Nouveau sculptor Julien Caussé was born in Bourges in 1869.

The philosopher Vladimir Jankélévitch was born on 31 August 1903, in Bourges.

Emmanuel Imorou, footballer.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jacques Cœur's palace, visitor centre
  2. ^ Lallemant's hotel, visitor centre
  3. ^ Berry museum, visitor center
  4. ^ Estève museum, visitor centre
  5. ^ Bourges' marshes, visitor centre
  6. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  7. ^ Town Twinning –International Links Peterborough City Council (Retrieved 24 April 2007).
  8. ^ Les récréations à Bourges.

External links[edit]