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, the silhouette of the ancient gateway to the city of Bordeaux has hardly changed since its construction between 1493 and 1496.
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. Its lattice windows, sculptures and conic roofing make it an uncommon piece of architecture in Bordeaux.
After several changes and renovations, including the decision to discontinue using the Place du Palais as a bus terminal, most of the area was pedestrianised in 2009. From the square, look through the Porte Cailhau archway to see the oldest bridge in Bordeaux in the distance: the Pont de Pierre.
Place du Palais and Porte Cailhau