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Bourges is a city on the Yevre river located in the Centre-Val de Loire region in central France. It is the capital of the Cher department and was also the capital of the former province of Berry. The inhabitants of Bourges are called Berruyers and number 71,000, while their motto is ‘Summa Imperii Penes Bituriges’ – supreme power is in the hands of the Bituriges.
Following the siege of Avaricum in the winter of 52 BC, 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 attain during the Middle Ages. 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 they crossed the Loire. It was captured by in 731 but immediately reconquered by the duke Odo the Great. During the Middle Ages, Bourges was the capital of a Viscounty until the 14th century. In 1438, Charles VII decreed the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges.