Sites & cities that bear the name of Bourges


Today in : France
First trace of activity : ca. 5th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : *Avariko-, Avaricon, Avaric, Avaricum, Bituriges, Biturigae, Biturigo Civitas, Civitas Biturigum, Bituricum, Biturigas, Bitorex, Betoricensis urbs, Betorex, Betoregas, Betorigas, Beoregas, Borges

Description : Bourges is a commune in central France on the river Yèvre. It is the capital of the department of Cher, and also was the capital of the former province of Berry. The name of the commune derives either from the Bituriges, the name of the original inhabitants, or from the Germanic word Burg (French: bourg. Spanish: burgo. English, others: burgh, berg, or borough), for "hill" or "village". The Celts called it Avaricon; Latin-speakers: Avaricum. In the fourth century BC, as in the time of Caesar, the area around it was the center of a Gallic (Celtic) confederacy. In 52 BC, the sixth year of the Gallic Wars, while the Gauls implemented a scorched-earth policy to try to deny Caesar's forces supplies, the inhabitants of Avaricum begged not to have their town burned. It was temporarily spared due to its good defences provided by the surrounding marshes, by a river that nearly encircled it, and by a strong southern wall. Julius Caesar's forces, nevertheless, captured and destroyed the town, killing all but 800 of its inhabitants. Rome reconstructed Avaricum as a Roman town, with a monumental gate, aqueducts, thermae and an amphitheatre; it reached a greater size than it would attain during the Middle Ages. The massive walls surrounding the late-Roman town, enclosing 40 hectares, were built in part with stone re-used from earlier public buildings. The third-century AD Saint Ursinus, also known as Saint Ursin, is considered the first bishop of the town. Bourges functions as the seat of an archbishopric. During the 8th century Bourges lay on the northern fringes of the Duchy of Aquitaine and was therefore the first town to come under Frankish attacks when the Franks crossed the Loire. The Frankish Charles Martel captured the town in 731, but Duke Odo the Great of Aquitaine immediately re-took it. It remained under the rule of counts who pledged allegiance to the Aquitanian dukes up to the destructive siege by the Frankish King Pepin the Short in 762, when Basque troops are found defending the town along with its count.

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