Bordeaux: The region and places of interest





[Main Image by  Thomas CUELHO]  A winemaking legacy to rival any region in the world, Bordeaux, lying near the Atlantic coast in the Gironde department of Aquitaine, is a beautifully picturesque city steeped in history and boasting a plethora of interesting places of note. 1810 hectares of the historical part of the city has been acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and although the region’s winemaking traditions are at the epicentre, there remains a wonderfully eclectic array of exquisite attractions outside their winemaking customs.

The medieval pavements and cobbled streets are interspersed with sprawling open boulevards housing quaint archetypal French cafes or superb restaurants offering typically delicious cuisine from the region and the opportunity to break-up a daytrip.
 
Bordeaux’s gothic traditions are patent amid the shadows of the Saint-Pierre and Saint Simeon churches, while the Rue St Catherine is evidence of the region’s Gallo Roman history.
 
 
Image by Olga Berrios  

The 18th century is widely deemed the region’s golden age when it boasted a thriving trade with Africa and France’s largest port. Bordeaux was architecturally reinvigorated during this period from a medieval city to a richly assembled modern one, with vast avenues and tree-lined streets such as the picturesque Allees de Tourny.

The Palais de La Bourse on the Place de la Bourse, superbly designed by the architect Gabriel and built on the riverside, is a fine aesthetic example of the city’s re-emergence during the 18th century. The Place de la Bourse is a popular destination for tourists due to its housing of La Fontaine des Trois Graces, representing Empress Eugenie, Queen Victoria and the Queen of Spain, and the stunning Miroir d’eau.
 
Image by Thomas CUELHO
 
The region’s National Opera House, Victor Louis’ Grand Théâtre, is imposingly beautiful and epitomises Bordeaux’s glory days, while the Pont de Pierre, with its 17 arches each representing Napoleon’s bloody victories in the Spanish campaign, affords a fine photo opportunity.
 
 
The Basilique et Fleche Saint Michel, the second tallest church in France, was built in the 14th century and completed two centuries later. The iconic bell-tower, known locally as La Fleche (the arrow) is worth a visit during the summer months when climbing the 228 steps to its summit are rewarded with remarkable panoramic views of the region. The Grosse Cloche, a fairy-taleesque bell-tower built between the 13th and 15th centuries is equally stunning, while the Cathedral Saint Andre, alongside the aforementioned Basiliques, are all listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites which is a testament to their beauty.

In addition to Bordeaux’s architecture there are a number of interesting museums, notably the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Musée d’Aquitaine, showcasing the region’s significant art heritage alongside its palpable history.

As discussed Bordeaux is far more than one of the most revered winemaking regions in the world and well worth a visit regardless of your interest in the aforementioned.

To view an introduction to the winemaking region of Bordeaux click here or to read about the food and wine of the region click here.

To view all our Bordeaux wines click here.
 
 Image by xlibber

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