Bourges: Half-Timbered Houses: An example of a half-timber shop and house with Gothic decoration
The "Madeleine" fire of 1487 destroyed between 1000 and 2000 houses. Rapid rebuilding was essential, and this lasted until approximately 1520. More than 440 houses originating from this period of rebuilding can still be seen today. They are mostly located on the three centre-bound streets: Auron, Gambon, Edouard Vaillant and on the streets Bourbonnoux and Mirebeau. In half of the examples, frontages are less than 6 metres wide. This is compensated by the height of the building, and depths from 10 to 20 metres. The position of the corridor and the staircase allows a total independence between levels (shop on the ground floor, home on the first floor). The frequent twinning of two pieces of land offered the possibility of a common well for water. Half-timbering is mainly rhombus and Saint-Andrew cross shaped. The carved decoration is always Gothic.