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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.

(24 avis)

Practical information

Open days

  • Wednesday to Friday from 2pm to 6pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm
  • Wednesday 1 November and Saturday 11 November from 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm
  • Entrance : 5 €
  • 3,50 € reduced
  • Free with the Bordeaux Métropole City Pass
  • Free on the first Sunday of the month

How to get there

See on the map

Place du Palais, 33000 Bordeaux

Porte Cailhau
© Nicolas Duffaure
The Porte Cailhau is closed until 11 July inclusive

The Porte Cailhau will be temporarily closed until 11 July for joinery work.