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© Teddy-Verneuil
© Teddy-Verneuil
© Mairie de Bordeaux-Thomas Samson

Flèche Saint-Michel

UNESCO world heritage, Registered monuments and sites

A source of pride for Bordeaux, the Saint-Michel freestanding bell tower, which the people of Bordeaux call “La Flèche” (The Spire), is 114 metres high and soars slim and light toward the sky.

Unusually, and like the city's Saint-André cathedral, this is freestanding and located alongside, rather than on top of the church. The belltower was built in the 15th century on an ancient burial ground.

Mummies found in a nearby cemetery were exhibited there to the public in the late 18th century.
Their shrivelled faces haunted the Saint Michel crypt for many years. There were nearly 70 mummies, and they attracted thousands of visitors, including such famous authors as Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert, Théophile Gautier, and more recently, Ferdinand Céline. Some of them were given names: "Buried Alive", "The Family Poisoned by Mushrooms", "The African", "The General Killed in a Duel", etc.

The macabre display ended in 1990. An audio-visual presentation now recounts the history of this exhibition that is still remembered by many Bordelais. Saint Michel belltower and its crypt are open every day of the week during the tourist season.


La Flèche Saint-Michel reopens its doors on April 1st, 2021. Visitors are invited to come and discover the monument, before 5 years of closure from September / October 2021.

Visit every day between April 1st and October 31th for individuals, free visit without reservation, last visit 30 minutes before closing.

Prices :
Entrance : 5 € | 3,50 € reduced | Free with the Bordeaux Métropole City Pass.

Free for less than 18 years old, and every first Sunday of the month (except in July and August).

Last climb 30mn before closing.

Practical information

Every day from 01/07 to 30/09 | 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm. The monument will close in November 2020 for works for a period of 5 years

  • French, English

Flèche Saint-Michel
Place Canteloup