St. André Cathedral is a structure made of two different sections: a late 13th-century Roman style single and large nave, and a High Gothic style chancel considered to be one of the most beautiful specimens in that style. This dissimilarity reflects the history of the city.
During the first centuries of English domination (1154-1453), Bordeaux was prosperous and soon it was evident that the cathedral was too small. The city was rich and nothing was too beautiful. Both the transept and the chancel are huge. The construction began when Bertrand de Got, future Pope Clement V, was archbishop of Bordeaux between 1300 and 1305. Because of the One Hundred Years War, the works were virtually stopped except for the Pey-Berland campanile, topped by a high spire, built in 1440 by the archbishop after which it was named.
Construction resumed when English troops have been driven out. Following the war, it was hard times because whole France had to get over its ruins. Due to lack of money, when it was time to build the new nave, it was decided not to demolish the old nave but to link as best as possible the two existing parts of the building. This situation earned St. André to have a chancel taller than its nave.
The cathedral has two façades: northern and southern, at both ends of the transept. The most finished is the northern one with its towers, its 266-ft. (81 m) spires and its portal wonderfully decorated with 14th-century characters. The famous Royal portal, on the south end, presents mid 13th-century statues.
In the 19th century, the cathedral was restored because it was badly damaged during the Revolution. Since all its furniture was gone, it was decided to bring in furniture coming from deconsecrated churches and monasteries. The spire on the Pey-Berland campanile, destroyed by a wind storm in the 18th century, was replaced by a gigantic gilded copper statue, Our Lady of Aquitaine. The great bell was cast in 1853 and weighs 11 tons.
The cathedral is 407-ft (124 m) long by 59-ft (18 m) wide at the transept and 75-ft (23 m) high in the nave and 95-ft (29 m) high in the chancel. It is classified as an "historic landmark" and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1998.
source:University of Quebec