There is a little museum to be found in the first floor and a viewing platform available for a small amount at the top of the Porte Calihau. From there you will enjoy a magnificent view to Bordeaux. The gate is being illuminated at night which makes it worth another quick detour before entering the electrifying nightlife of Bordeaux. As of today the gate marks the start of the Saint-Pierre district and it is being classified as a "monument historique" as of 1883, an official national heritage site of France.
The gates of Bordeaux
You will find a number of magnificent gates spread around Bordeaux, all of them being remains of the ancient city wall. Just take a stroll around the city from gate to gate – it is a fantastic walk where you'll see many highlights of the city! Meanwhile, the Porte Calihau remains the best preserved and therefore most fascinating of them all.
The Porte Calihau is a former city gate of Bordeaux. It was constructed in the year 1495 to praise and honor Charles VIII. and the triumph over Italy. Both, Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles can be found in the gate – remarkably well preserved. It was used as the main gate to the city after its construction with a height of 35 meters.
Rumor has it that the name of the gate has two origins. First of all there is a type of rock called “calhaus” from which the name came from and second of all there is a family out of the Bourgeoisie that came to submit mayors to the city of Bordeaux with the name.
- The day pass at Porte Calihau is €5 making it one of the 5 cheapest tourist Attractions in France.
How to get there
With public transportation
It is very easy to reach the Porte Calihau in Bordeaux. It is located within the Saint-Pierre district, right by the river La Garonne. For the tram take line A and get off at Place du Palais Station.
Alternatively, take the tram line C to the Porte du Bourgogne and walk upstream the river which will lead your way directly to the Porte Calihau.