Passing Through Bordeaux – Wanderlust @86

“Don’t listen to what they say. Go see.”

Bordeaux is a small port city in southwest France. It is not the cheapest city but it is still worth to visit, as it is said to be France’s most elegant city.

The heart of Bordeaux is made up of narrow streets as well as grand boulevards lined with stately mansions, neo-classical squares and a frequented shopping district. © French Moments Ltd

Yes, it is known for its wines and vineyards… but Bordeaux is really attractive because of its monuments, architecture and its city centre.

This is Place de la Bourse, a lovely square with a reflecting pool. It is within the historic part of the city that has been recognised on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was built from 1730 to 1775 along the Garonne River.

Located across the Place de la Bourse, is the “Miroir d’Eau” or The Water Mirror, which is the world’s largest reflecting pool. This was built in 2006 and is made of granite slabs, covered by 2cm of water.

We were there in September and it was still warm so this place was very busy with a lot of young children playing in the water. The system allows it to create fog every 15 minutes.

The Pont de Pierre or Stone Bridge, is a bridge in Bordeaux which connects the left bank of the Garonne River to the right bank. This was the first stone bridge ever built in Bordeaux.

The Fountain of Three Graces sprung to life in 1869 and Aglaia (grace),

Euphrosyne (beauty) and Thalia (mirth) became the centre of it all. It stands across the water mirror and is the perfect place to admire its beauty.

The Aux Girondins Monument is located in the largest square in Bordeaux and one of the largest in Europe. This is a magnificent monument that was built from 1894-1902 in honour of the French Revolution.

Place de Quinconces is the main square of Bordeaux’s city centre. The main esplanade is full of trees and statues. It takes up 12 hectares and is in a wide and spacious open space.

The detail of the Rostral Column, one of the columns in Place de Quinconces, Bordeaux

This is the Comedy Square, where all the main streets converge, even the main shopping centre, Sainte Catherine. Even the trams pass through this centre.

The Grand Theatre is a theatre in Bordeaux, first inaugurated in 1780. This is a historical masterpiece and is one of the most beautiful theatres in the world. It took 7 years to complete by Parisian architect, Victor Louise.

Le Grand Hotel de Bordeaux

The work of Catalan sculptor Jaume Plensa is a cast iron sculpture of a woman’s face. It is titled Sanna and it is in the Place de la Comedie or Comedy Square in the city centre of Bordeaux.

The narrow streets and buildings in Bordeaux

The last thing we saw before we left for the next country. A public garden along Place de Quinconces, where trees were planted in quincunxes *, hence the name of the square.

*The name comes from the geometric pattern that the trees are planted in – a ‘quincunx’, five points arranged in a cross, four forming a square and a fifth in the centre. 

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