In the 52th century BC, the city of Avarich belonged to the Gauls, Bituricum, whose motto was “The supreme power belongs to the Bituriges”. In XNUMX BC, the city fell under the control of the Romans and was renamed Avaricum, meaning "the city of waters" in reference to its marshes, the Yèvre and the Voiselle.

The creation of the rampart

During IIIe century, during the period of the Lower Empire, Avaricum changed its name once again to become Biturigae. As the capital of the first province of Aquitaine and keen to protect itself from barbarian invasions coming from the East, she undertook the construction of a protective rampart all around the city.
Built from massive blocks at its base, sometimes salvaged from ancient monuments, as well as rubble and bricks on the height, this wall can reach an impressive thickness of 3 meters.
The enclosure is punctuated with 46 defensive towers, with a diameter of more than 10 meters. Stretching over 2,5 km in total, the rampart encompasses an area of ​​approximately 25 hectares and has four main doors: the Porte de Lyon, Gordonia Gate, New door and Auron Gate.
The name of the Place Gordaine finds its origin in the Gordonia Gate, which led to Sancerre, which was called Gordonia in Latin. Moreover, a fountain already existed on this square in Roman times.

Rue des 3 Maillets - Bourges © Ad2T
Rampart walk - Bourges © Ad2T

Where was the rampart located?

The rampart was located all around the city; we can also see vestiges of it near Saint-Etienne Cathedral and along the Promenade des remparts, among others.
If you look at the city map, you can clearly see the shape of the old wall.

Map of the Remparts - Bourges © Ad2T
Rue Bourbonnoux © Ad2T
Rue Jacques Cœur - Bourges © Ad2T

The evolution of the rampart through the ages

Jacques Coeur Palace - Bourges © Ad2T

In the Middle Ages, more precisely in the XNUMXthe century, under the reign of King Philippe Auguste, the rampart underwent a complete transformation. In fact, the city grew and the rampart lost its defensive function. Some parts disappear while others serve as a basis for the construction of monuments, a technique known as “spolia”.
Notable buildings erected from the rampart include Our Lady of Sales, Cathedral,Hotel Lallemant,Aldermen's Hotel, and the Ducal Palace, which today houses the Departmental Council. You can still see the rubble stones, the bricks, as well as two towers integrated into the building of the Jacques Coeur Palace. This transformation also explains the curved shape of the Palace, which follows the location of the rampart.
In addition, openings have been created, particularly along the Promenade des Remparts, to facilitate circulation from the upper town to the lower town. These passages, also called “daredevil passages”, today bear the names of George Sand Passage and Mirebeau Staircase.

George Sand Staircase - Bourges © Ad2T
Mirebeau Staircase - Bourges © Ad2T

To visit the city center of Bourges as well as its ramparts, you can book with the Tourist Office. For a completely independent visit, download the application Legendr.




Hello, I am trying to locate where the traces of the famous ramparts of Avaricum are located. and in particular the traces of the seat of Julius Caesar


    Hello, you will find remains in very good condition at the passage of the ramparts, parallel to rue Bourbonnoux. Otherwise, you can simply follow the plan in the article to retrace the rampart.

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