The “Porte Cailhau”…

This is one of Bordeaux’s medieval doors. It dates back to the 14th century. As during the middle ages Bordeaux was a walled city. The door has a statue of Charles viii celebrating his victory of the battle of Fornoue against the Italians in 1495. The original statue was made of marble but destroyed in 1793 and replaced by a stone statue in 1880.

It’s located in a strategic position as originally just behind it (today place du palais) was a castle known as the Palace of shadows (because there were many trees planted providing shade). This castle is well-known as it was the home of Aliénor of Aquitaine, the wife of King Henry ii of England. It is said that the castle was often used by English kings. But after many fires, it was totally demolished in 1800.

You can still see on the sides of the door, the direction the thick stone walls went. You can access the first floor of the door for free, but if you want to go higher it’s 3.50€. You get a great rooftop view and on each floor you learn about the history of the building with videos and photos.

I love this part of Bordeaux as you get a real medieval feel, with narrow streets, medieval street names and the road of Saint James passes through.

Opening Times: Everyday from 10am-1pm and 2pm-6pm

Tram stop: Porte de Bourgogne for tram C and A

Address: Place du Palais 33000 Bordeaux


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