Bourges France is a medieval city located in the central part of the country, about 200 miles south of the capital city of Paris. Certainly, you can drive here, as the city is on the A71 main highway. You can also get here by train from the Paris Austerlitz Station in just under two hours. The city's central location makes it easy to reach other destinations as well, such as Limoges, Lyon, and Nantes.
The city is known for its magnificent Gothic Bourges Cathedral of Saint Etienne, which was built during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a strikingly beautiful example of the high-Gothic style of architecture as well as one of the earliest examples. Many of the half-timbered houses around the Bourges Cathedral date to the same period as the church itself. The medieval heritage of the city is showcased on the "Nuits Lumiere" walk. This is a self-guided walk that is one of the free things to do in Bourges France and takes about 90 minutes. The walk winds its way through the medieval part of the city and is illuminated by blue lanterns at nightfall every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening in May, June, and September, and every evening in July and August.
There are a number of canals through the marshland to the north of the church, and within those marshes are numerous community gardens. It is possible to see the gardeners rowing to their plots in the early mornings. These marshes formed by the confluence of the Yevre and Voiselle Rivers are listed as a French Natural Monument. Another of the things to do in Bourges France that is completely free is to stroll through this labyrinth of about 1,000 gardens. There are a few flower gardens among the many vegetable gardens. Within the complex is the Pres-Fichaux Gardens, built during the 1920s in the Art Deco style prevalent at the time. There is a formal rose garden, fountains, and sculptures—all with excellent views of the cathedral.
In addition to visiting the Bourges Cathedral located in the center of the city, you can see sections of the ancient Roman walls dating to the time of Julius Caesar. You can also visit the Jacques Coeur Palace, a flamboyant mansion built in the mid-fifteenth century. Also of interest is the Maurice Esteve Museum. The local artist's works are showcased in what was the old Town Hall, dating to 1487. Both the Esteve Museum and the Jacques Coeur Palace were constructed on ramparts of the old Bourges France Roman walls.
Other things to do in Bourges France include a number of festivals. Le Printemps de Bourges France is one of the country's spring rock music festivals, and has been held over a week in April each year since 1977. There is also a summer festival and a winter festival that features a sound and light show. In September, the Feast of Saint Fiacre (patron saint of gardeners) is held in the marshland gardens. There are a number of good Bourges hotels and bed and breakfast inns to choose from. Many of the accommodations located in the center of the city are in historic buildings.
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