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Coordinates: 47°05′04″N 2°23′47″E / 47.0844444444°N 2.39638888889°E / 47.0844444444; 2.39638888889

Bourges is a city in central France on the Yèvre river. It is the capital of the department of Cher and also was the capital of the former province of Berry.



The name of the city is either derived from the Bituriges, the name of the original inhabitants, or from the Germanic Burg (French: Bourg. Spanish: Burgos. English, others: Burgh, Berg, or Borough), for "hill/village". Its Celtic name was Avaricon and its Latin name was Avaricum. In the Gallic Wars, the Gauls practiced a scorched-earth policy, but the inhabitants of Avaricum begged not to have their city burned, and it was spared due to its good defenses provided by the surrounding marshes and a strong southern wall. Following the siege of Avaricum in the winter of 52 BCE, Julius Caesar's forces destroyed the city and killed all but 800 of its inhabitants.

The city was reconstructed as a Roman city, with a monumental gate, aqueducts, thermae and an amphitheatre, reaching a greater size than it would maintain during the Middle Ages. The massive walls surrounding the late Roman city, enclosing 40 has, were built in part reusing stone from earlier public buildings.

The third century Saint Ursinus, also known as Saint Ursin, is considered the first bishop of the city. Bourges is the seat of an archbishopric.

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