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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.

Bourges
Bourges Cathedral
Flag of Bourges
Flag
Coat of arms of Bourges
Coat of arms
Location of Bourges
Bourges is located in France
Bourges
Bourges
Bourges is located in Centre-Val de Loire
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
CountryFrance
RegionCentre-Val de Loire
DepartmentCher
ArrondissementBourges
IntercommunalityCA Bourges Plus
Government
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Pascal Blanc
Area
1
68.74 km2 (26.54 sq mi)
Population
(2009)2
66,786
 • Density970/km2 (2,500/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Berruyers
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
18033 /18000
Elevation120–169 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.

Contents

HistoryEdit

The name of the city derives either from the Bituriges, the name of the original inhabitants, or from the Germanic Burg (French: bourg. Spanish: burgo. English, others: burgh, berg, or borough), for "hill/village". The Celts called it Avaricon; Latin-speakers: Avaricum.

In 52 BC, the sixth year of the Gallic Wars the Gauls were practicing a scorched earth policy to try to deny Caesar's forces supplies, but the inhabitants of Avaricum begged not to have their city burned. It was temporarily spared due to its good defences provided by the surrounding marshes, a river that nearly encircled it, and a strong southern wall. Julius Caesar's forces, nevertheless, captured and destroyed the city, killing 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.

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 Gothic Cathedral of Saint Etienne, begun at the end of the twelfth century, ranks as a World Heritage Site. It is considered as one of the earliest examples of the High Gothic style of the thirteenth century.[1]

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.

GeographyEdit

Bourges sits at the river junction where the Auron flows into the Yèvre. The disused Canal de Berry follows alongside the course of the Auron through Bourges.

ClimateEdit

Climate data for Bourges (1981–2010 averages)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.6
(63.7)
22.6
(72.7)
29.4
(84.9)
29.4
(84.9)
32.0
(89.6)
38.0
(100.4)
39.6
(103.3)
39.9
(103.8)
35.1
(95.2)
31.7
(89.1)
23.4
(74.1)
20.0
(68)
39.9
(103.8)
Average high °C (°F) 6.9
(44.4)
8.5
(47.3)
12.5
(54.5)
15.5
(59.9)
19.6
(67.3)
23.1
(73.6)
26.0
(78.8)
25.6
(78.1)
21.8
(71.2)
17.0
(62.6)
10.7
(51.3)
7.4
(45.3)
16.3
(61.3)
Average low °C (°F) 1.1
(34)
1.1
(34)
3.4
(38.1)
5.3
(41.5)
9.2
(48.6)
12.4
(54.3)
14.4
(57.9)
14.1
(57.4)
11.1
(52)
8.3
(46.9)
4.0
(39.2)
1.8
(35.2)
7.2
(45)
Record low °C (°F) −20.4
(−4.7)
−16.4
(2.5)
−11.3
(11.7)
−3.7
(25.3)
−2.6
(27.3)
3.4
(38.1)
4.6
(40.3)
4.6
(40.3)
1.8
(35.2)
−5.0
(23)
−9.1
(15.6)
−14.0
(6.8)
−20.4
(−4.7)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 55.2
(2.173)
52.0
(2.047)
53.2
(2.094)
62.4
(2.457)
78.6
(3.094)
60.5
(2.382)
66.1
(2.602)
55.0
(2.165)
59.7
(2.35)
71.7
(2.823)
65.7
(2.587)
67.8
(2.669)
747.9
(29.445)
Average precipitation days 11.6 9.3 10.2 10.6 11.6 8.6 7.9 7.7 8.2 10.4 10.9 11.3 118.2
Average relative humidity (%) 87 82 76 73 76 74 69 71 75 84 87 88 78.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 67.9 88.6 151.0 175.7 210.0 224.9 239.0 232.7 185.8 124.5 72.2 55.3 1,827.5
Source #1: Météo France[2][3]
Source #2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity, 1961–1990)[4]

SightsEdit

 
Half-timbered houses in Place Gordaine
 
Jacques Cœur's palace

TransportEdit

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 recreationEdit

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 universitiesEdit

Twin townsEdit

Bourges is twinned with:

EventsEdit

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.[12]

PersonalitiesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ [1] Destination 360 (Accessed 7 October 2016) Cathedral one of the earliest examples of High Gothic.
  2. ^ "Données climatiques de la station de Bourges" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  3. ^ "Climat Centre-Val de Loire" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  4. ^ "Normes et records 1961-1990: Bourges (18) - altitude 161m" (in French). Infoclimat. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  5. ^ Jacques Cœur's palace, visitor centre
  6. ^ Lallemant's hotel, visitor centre Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Berry museum, visitor center
  8. ^ Estève museum, visitor centre
  9. ^ Bourges' marshes, visitor centre
  10. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
  11. ^ Town Twinning –International Links Peterborough City Council (Retrieved 24 April 2007).
  12. ^ Les récréations à Bourges.

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit