Built to decorate the Place de la Bourse it has become a place where people spend hours lounging and frolicking barefoot in the water jets that come out of the ground. It also provides a breathtaking view of the reflection of the neoclassical buildings, thus the name Miroir d'Eau (water mirror).
For theses holidays we planned to leave Spain and go to Paris but in the end with a few questions about what we would find we decided to go to Bordeaux, as it was closer and seemed like a nice, relaxing place. In all honesty, it really didn´t disappoint us, it was just what we were looking for for the holidays and it had many things that made it worth the trip.
Just down the street from the administration, you'll find the Grand Theatre, built in the late 18th century, one of the emblems of Bordeaux. The Grand Theatre is the main hall of the Opera of Bordeaux. It hosts a varied programme, aimed at a wider public, especially young people. There are not only operas, ballets and concerts, but there are also conferences. There are opportunities to visit several times a year at open days.
Quinconces Square is in the center of Bordeaux, it´s a nineteenth-century square which was built on the grounds of Château Trompette. Vauban was a fortification that didn´t served as much more, and King Louis XVIII donated it to the city. From 1817 onwards, Similar facades were constructed, forming a semi circle, and defining the place naturally. The plans were made by Dufart, with six groups of classical buildings on each side of the square, each consisting of three floors and an arched base. It is one of the largest squares in the city. As there are 12 hectares in the center, it can be used as the site of many events throughout the year. They organize parties, flea markets, concerts ... In the square you can see a monument to the people of the region who defended democracy during the French Revolution, and a fountain. You can reach the plaza by taking tram B.
Bordeaux is a magnificent city with an impressive historical heritage. The old town is full of small streets and hidden corners, all displaying it´s history. Here you can see the piers with the reflection of the buildings in the Bordeaux Water Mirror. This city has managed to renew and modernize itself very well. This city has recently been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
St. Andrew's Cathedral in Pey Berland, is a very important landmark for Bordeaux as its impressive tower is visible from almost all parts of the city. This beautiful cathedral was declared years ago as a heritage of humanity by UNESCO and is one of the thousand things to visit in Bordeaux.
This monument is at the end of Quinconces Square, in the center of Bordeaux. It's a monument to the memory of the deputies of the region, victims of "Terreur" during the time of the French Revolution that was represented by widespread corruption and when many people were killed for trying to impose democracy. This monument was built 1894-1902, has a wide pedestal with 2 water basins and is decorated by bronze horses and characters from mythology. Higher up there is a large white column (43 meters high) with a statue of liberty, freedom is represented as escaping from slavery and the lower sculptures represent the triumph of the Republic, of Concord, history and local rivers.
This stone bridge was built by Napoleon around 1830. It links the left bank of Bordeaux with the Bastide neighborhood, and it´s an historical monument of the city. During its construction, there were many problems because of the strong current of the river Garonne in this area. It is thanks to a diving bell that the could stabilizing pillars could be carried out and stabilized. The copper bell was placed at the bottom of the river and allowed a person to breath under water for 30 minutes. The bridge has 17 arches, which are exactly the number of letters that are in Napoleon Bonaparte´s name. On each side, there are representations of the emperor. The bridge was the only one to exist in the city until the bridge of St. John was built in the 60s, which explains the bad traffic before.
The Grosse Cloche name means the big bell. It´s an impressive bell tower in St James's Street, near the Cours Victor Hugo. It is next to the church of Saint Eloi. However, it isn´t a religious building, but simply the old bell of the Bordeaux town hall. It's a public building that has been preserved since the Middle Ages, it was built during the fifteenth century and opens on the thirteenth-century wall. The pilgrims of St. James´ Way passed through this door on their way to Santiago de Compostella. La Grosse Cloche has two circular towers which are 40 meters high, linked by a central building. At first it had four towers. After the construction of the first "Beffrois", of the clock towers in the cities which had regained their freedom, the bell represented the city´s independence. The clock allowed people to see the time in a different place to the steeple of the church. The city magistrators rang the bells to announce the harvests or fires.
It costs 5 € to go up it, it´s a nightmare to see afterwards what the steps are like that you have to go up (and then later come down). When you arrive at the top, the 360 views are breathtaking. There is another flight of stairs to see from above that many people skip. Enjoy it!
The Victory Square is one of the most pleasant places to visit in Bordeaux, after years and years of renovation. They were organizing a tram line and for years the square was partially closed, creating a hellish traffic around, but now you can enjoy bars, cafes, ... with lovely terraces. There are also concerts, festivals and various other events. Leading off from the square is Santa Catarina Street, a pedestrian street with dozens of shops and places to eat. In the square is the University of pharmacology, and there are always many students ve meet there together after school. Around the square, the places to eat are simple and inexpensive.
Built during the late fifteenth century, during the period of Gothic architecture, the Cailhau door was used to watch over the Garonne River and marked the entrance to Bordeaux. Today, it´s the gateway between the banks of San Pedro and the Rue Sainte Catherine. The door can also be visited during the summer, between June and September, and it offers a view over the Garonne and the city center.
The Public Garden is situated near the center. I usually go there to take a break after a day in the center or on a sunny Sunday afternoon. In the garden you can visit the Natural History Museum, the Botanical Gardens, walk along a river with swans and ducks or enjoy football or sunbathing. I find it very beautiful and peaceful.
If you are interested in the history of the region, the Museum of Aquitaine is perfect for you. Centrally located, the building, both exterior and interior, is beautiful. With regards to the permanent collections, I think it is especially rich in the early prehistory period. However, the explanations are less clear as we go through time. This is a shame because I think they should make the most of the collections.
Founded in 1801 by initiative of the Consul Bonaparte, the Museum of Fine Arts in Bordeaux is one of the oldest in the country. The galleries are connected by a grid, the side facade of Rohan Palace, now the town hall. The state deposits some works in this place, supplemented by donations and purchases. The museum features the schools of Western painting ranging from the Renaissance to works of the last century. There are works by Titian, Rubens, Van Dyck, Chardin, Monet, Delacroix, Matisse ... Free admission to the permanent collections. Visitors can view paintings depicting the city of Bordeaux in ancient times. The place is open daily with the exception of Tuesday, from 10 to 18 hours. For exhibitions, tickets cost 5 euros.
This is an essential street to visit if the weather is bad (it rains 360 days a year more or less) and you've forgotten to pack rain gear. H & M, Zara, Etam and the Galeries Lafayette! There is a Fnac to buy parts for the camera and on you go!
The Boucherie street means the street of butchers. Before, it was called the cavalcade Boqueira, since in the twelfth century most butchers in town were stationed here. So the street sold leather, iron, fabric ... Each organized by trade. Though the butchers might not have stayed, there are old houses of the eighteenth century style typical of new urbanism instead of the medieval houses of the center. The crown ordered some planners to clean medieval centers, digging straight streets with pipes for sewage, which greatly limited the illnesses and deaths of the population. The harbor area has been given a UNESCO World Heritage designation, and the buildings are now protected and well renovated.
Gambetta Square is one of the central squares of the city. It begins where the Cours Gambetta, crosses the Golden Triangle, the most exclusive area of the city. In the centre there lies a public garden, lovely in summer and various hotels and restaurants surround the square. Most have balconies, additionally open in winter if they get hot. Being an expensive neighborhood, meals are also expensive. You can walk from the Place Gambetta by the pedestrianized city center, the Intendance corso, and Plaza de Grands Hommes. Gambetta is very busy so public transport is preferable. In one corner is Dijeaux door, allowing access to the shopping area. The square is harmonious with its C17th buildings, and was built during the great expansion of Bordeaux out from its medieval walls.
It's time to decide what to do in Bordeaux! Let's start at the Plaza de Bourse, one of the nicest places in town. Here, in the middle of the square, there is a shallow fountain, the Water Mirror, where people soak their feet. This is one of the most relaxing Bordeaux activities, and a great way to start your trip.
The most famous of the places to visit in Bordeaux is the Cathedral of St. Andrew. Its tower, visible from almost any point of the city, is a landmark of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another well known square is the Place des Quinconces, dating back to the 19th century. If you're looking for things to do in Bordeaux, head here as throughout the year many events take place such as concerts and markets.
For more stuff to do in Bordeaux, you might want to visit the Rue Ste Catherine shopping street, which is the largest pedestrian walkway in Europe. Fashion shops, cafes, restaurants ... you'll find lots to do and plenty of things to see in Bordeaux here! Also, if you are looking for Bordeaux attractions, Rue Sainte Catherine is in the historical district of the city, so it is a pleasure to stroll. Don't miss any of the attractions in Bordeaux! Nothing you see will disappoint you!