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Sophie Duboscq
© Sophie Duboscq

Flèche Saint-Michel

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
FLÈCHE SAINT MICHEL - Place Duburg
© Nicolas Duffaure
FLÈCHE SAINT MICHEL - Place Duburg
© Nicolas Duffaure
Cloches flèche Saint-Michel
© Sophie Duboscq
FLÈCHE SAINT MICHEL vue du Pont de Pierre
© Teddy Verneuil - @lezbroz

Visit the Flèche Saint-Michel

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.

Discovering Bordeaux
Visite guidée de la Flèche Saint-Michel

Starting at 8.00€ / pers.

(14 avis)

Pratical information

Open days

  • Open from 1 July to 30 September
  • Open daily
  • Every day from 01/04 to 31/10 | 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm.
  • Last climb 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.