The Pey-Berland Tower gives you a view of the city of Bordeaux and its horizons. The Pey-Berland Tower is the bell tower of the Saint-Andre Cathedral, which is one of the most beautiful religious monuments of the Bordeaux metropolis. The Pey-Berland Tower owes its name to Archbishop Pey Berland, who was Archbishop of Bordeaux from 1430 to 1456.
The Cathedral of Saint-Andre and the Pey-Berland Tower are listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Archbishop Pey-Berland played an important role in restoring the image of the Church and his diocese during a period of crisis in Aquitaine. He oversaw the renovation of the parish church of Bouliac, placed bas-reliefs in the church of St. Peter of Avensan, and commissioned the construction of the famous tower behind the apse of the cathedral of Bordeaux, known as the Pey Berland Tower. He was also responsible for the creation of the University of Bordeaux, the Saint André Hospital and several colleges in the city of Bordeaux.
The Cathedral of Saint Andrew is a religious building located in the city of Bordeaux, France. Its construction dates back to the 11th century, under the impulse of the monks of the abbey of Sainte-Croix. The architecture of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew will evolve throughout the history of France, especially under the leadership of Archbishop Pey-Berland who built the tower in the fifteenth century.
During the French Revolution, the Cathedral of Saint-André was transformed into a temple of Reason. It suffered serious damage during the bombings of the Second World War.
Today, Saint Andrew’s Cathedral is an emblematic religious monument of the city of Bordeaux, known for its Gothic architecture and its historical heritage. It welcomes thousands of visitors each year, who admire its stained glass windows, its crypt and its sculptures, as well as its organ, one of the largest in France.
Climb to the top of the Pey-Berland Tower, you will discover a breathtaking view. It is one of the most beautiful views of Bordeaux with the Belvedere of the Cité du Vin. From the top of its 66 meters and its two terraces, the tower offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the city of Bordeaux. The first one, which rises to 40 meters, allows to admire the main monuments and districts of Bordeaux.
Moreover, you can see the two smallest bells of the belfry. The second terrace, accessible after having climbed the 233 steps that separate it from the ground and higher than 10 meters, overlooks the whole city and surrounds the spire of the bell tower for a 360° view. You will have the opportunity to admire this monument during our guided tour by panoramic imperial bus Bordeaux Visiotour.
The Pey-Berland tower has a gothic style architecture, it was built between 1440 and 1500, under the impulse of the archbishop Pey-Berland. The initial purpose of the tower was to serve as an independent bell tower to the cathedral, because the latter did not have one. The Cathedral of St. Andrew being built on a marshy ground, it could not support a colossal bell tower. The tower was built a few meters away from the cathedral to prevent the vibrations of the bells from damaging the fragile structure of the religious building. The Pey-Berland tower is a campanile that houses 3 monumental bells named Marie, Clémence and Marguerite. They still ring sometimes in the heart of the Pey-Berland square.
At the top of the Pey-Berland Tower, the imposing statue of Our Lady of Aquitaine watches over the inhabitants. It has stood at 66 meters high since 1863. Previously, it was a spire that dominated the top of the bell tower of the Tour Pey-Berland. This one was destroyed in 1617 by a violent storm and replaced by the golden statue of the Virgin. Facing north, its direction is not a coincidence since it is where the village of Saint-Raphaël is located, from where Pey-Berland was born.
The construction of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew began in the 11th century and was completed in the 16th century. It was consecrated on May 1, 1096 by Pope Urban II. Improvements to the Cathedral continued from the 14th to the 15th centuries. The Cathedral was built in a Romanesque style and was modified to incorporate elements of Gothic style with the support of Archbishop Bertrand de Goth during the period of English control. The construction of the cathedral was cancelled by the Hundred Years War, but was finally completed with the addition of Renaissance decorative elements in the sixteenth century. The main church of the city, it was often rebuilt according to the events in the history of the city. As far as its architecture is concerned, it has an imposing tympanum on the outside, which is divided into three parts. The height under the vault is impressive with its 23 meters high in the nave and 29 meters in the heart. Its interior length is 124 meters long with a single nave without side aisles and 18 meters wide in the transept.
In France, there are 71 monuments associated with the pilgrimage, 19 of which are located in Aquitaine, including 3 in the Bordeaux region. There is of course the Cathedral of Saint-André, the Basilica of Saint-Seurin and the Basilica of Saint-Michel.
Many treasures can be found in this place full of history of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, especially the organ. After the Revolution, during which the 1629 instrument was destroyed, the Micot organ from La Réole was installed a few years later, in 1804. Ten years later, however, it was replaced by the organ of the Abbey of Sainte-Croix in Bordeaux, built in 1748 by Dom Bedos de Celles.
Then, it was enlarged in 1875 by the Bordeaux organ builder Georges Wenner who equipped it with a large Recital. This organ was restored to its original layout by a neo-classical instrument, designed by Georges Danion. Moreover, it has 76 real stops distributed on 4 manual keyboards of 61 notes and a pedalboard of 32 notes.
Several princely or royal weddings were celebrated here: it is indeed here that Eleanor of Aquitaine married her first husband, the future king Louis VII of France, in 1137, and that king Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, infanta of Spain, were married in November 1615.
Climb aboard our double-decker bus to get a bird’s eye view of the city and discover the Bordeaux metropolis through its history. During the audio-guided tour, which lasts 70 minutes, you will have the opportunity to discover the history and anecdotes of the great monuments of Bordeaux such as the Place des Quinconces and the Girondins monument, the Place de la Bourse and the Miroir d’Eau, while passing by the Porte Cailhau and the Chaban Delmas Bridge.
Discover the history of Bordeaux with friends, family or children, thanks to a commentary adapted to a young audience.
Book now your future Bordeaux escapade on board the Visiotour.
Bordeaux is rich in history and heritage with its 350 UNESCO listed buildings. Each one more unusual than the next, don’t miss out on discovering them.
We have put together a list of the most important places in the Port de la Lune to visit…
Saint-André Cathedral, dating from the 12th century, is an outstanding example of Gothic architecture in France. Its imposing spires and magnificent stained glass windows make it a jewel of French heritage.
A former submarine base, the Bassins des Lumières are renowned for their exceptional immersive exhibitions, and the Tintin exhibit is no exception. This is an exceptional opportunity to plunge into the timeless world of this famous reporter and experience his adventures as never before.
For this year’s edition of the Marché de Noël, a not-to-be-missed event at the end of the year, Quebec City will be the guest city. A unique experience combining French and Québécois for an even more enchanting Christmas!