It is a small quiet spot, hidden in the shade of the 35-metre-high Porte Cailhau; beautiful and slender as a young bride, despite its great age, its silhouette has hardly changed since 1494. The Porte Cailhau, which used to be a fortress and an arch of triumph, commemorates the victory of Fornovo in Italy by King Charles VIII of France, whose image adorns a niche on the riverside. A sign informs the visitor in a rush to pay attention to the lintel, recalling that too-low a door proved fatal to the king. Its lattice windows, sculptures and conic roofing make it an uncommon piece of architecture in Bordeaux.
After several changes and renovations, especially the decision to disuse it as a bus terminal, the square and its many café terraces were definitively made pedestrian in 2009. A magnificent panorama now opens onto the dean of Bordeaux bridges: the Pont de Pierre (Stone Bridge).
Place du Palais & Porte Cailhau
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