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Nicolas Duffaure
© Nicolas Duffaure

Porte Cailhau

Imbued with a long history, the Porte Cailhau offers a magnificent view of Bordeaux.

Despite its age (just imagine – it dates from 1494!) this large, beautiful monument remains practically unchanged. It was built to commemorate Charles VIII's victory at Fornovo (Italy). This French king has left his mark on the tower since his likeness decorates a niche on the river side and a notice ask visitors to pay attention to the lintel and reminds them that Charles VIII died from walking quickly into just such a lintel...

What does the word Cailhau mean? No one seems to know for sure! Historians have various theories, but it doesn't really matter!

The Port Cailhau, thirty-five metres tall, was integrated into the city walls. In 1864, it was rented by a public letter writer and a person whose job was to weigh salt. They were both evicted in order to renovate the monument.
There is a magnificent view of the oldest bridge in Bordeaux, the Pont de Pierre, from here.

An exhibition displays the tools and materials used for construction purposes at the time the Porte Cailhau was built and an audio-visual presentation pieced together from old films immerses us in the world of stone masonry.

Place du Palais et la porte Cailhau
© Nicolas Duffaure
Porte Cailhau vue de la Rive Droite
© Steve Le Clech Photos
© La Porte Cailhau
Porte Cailhau
© Steve Le Clech Photos
Porte Cailhau
© Vincent Bengold

Visit the porte Cailhau

A former defensive gate (1493-1496) dedicated to King Charles VIII of France, victor of the Battle of Fornovo (Italy). It provides a 23 metre high panoramic view of the river.

Discovering Bordeaux
Porte Cailhau

Starting at 5.00€ / pers.

(4 avis)

Practical information

Open days

  • Open from 1 July to 30 September
  • Open daily
  • From 10h00 to 13h00 until 14h00 to 18h00
  • Every day from 10 am to 1 pm and from 2 to 6 pm.
  • Closed on the 25th of December and on the 1st of January
  • Exceptional hours: December 24th and 31st, closing at 5 pm.
  • Last climb 30 minutes before closing
  • Entrance : 5 €
  • 3,50 € reduced
  • Free with the Bordeaux Métropole City Pass.

How to get there

See on the map

Place du Palais, 33000 Bordeaux