Porte Cailhau, one of the main entrances to the old city, in Bordeaux, France.

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Porte Cailhau


The main entrance into medieval Bordeaux, this grandiose 15th-century city gate was built to celebrate King Charles VII's victory at the Battle of Fornovo (1495) and conquest of the kingdom of Naples. The campaign in Italy gave the French a taste for the Renaissance and the 35m-high city gate could well be a Renaissance chateau in miniature form with its elegant slate roof, witch-hat turrets and castle-like windows peering out across the river above the Gothic archway.

A small exhibition on the 1st floor explains its history and explores the ancient craft of stone masonry. River and city rooftop views from the top are second-to-none.

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