Weekend in Bordeaux

With the richness expressed in architecture, it’s a romantic city somewhat reminiscent of Paris.

Photo by Neil Hall

Although much smaller, Bordeaux is as beautiful with its magnificent monuments, landmarks and the River Garonne to visit and promenade.

Enjoy a boat trip on the Garonne and look at Bordeaux’s picturesque façade from the water. Discover French cuisine during a lunch cruise, taking in the beauty of the embankment and Pierre and Aquitaine Bridges.

Coming away from the river you’ll be struck by the elegant and classical buildings around the royal square, the Place de Bourse, and the buildings alongside on the Quai de la Douane and the Quai du Marechal Lyautey. The Three Graces is a pleasant fountain ornament in the centre of the Place.

The Monument to the Girondins, at the top of Place des Quinconces, has the Spirit of Liberty breaking free from the top of its column, as well as a delightful combination of horse reptiles, cherubs, water nymphs, Bordeaux as a goddess-like woman, sculptures representing the Triumphs of the Republic and the Concorde... On a sunny day, spectrums reflect over the water fountains, giving a mystical air to the scene.

In the historical centre the streets are lined with sixteenth century buildings.

Photo by John HR Smith

You can enjoy shopping in the charming nineteenth century antique decorated Galeries Bordelaises. Meandering in the streets, remember to stop off to admire the magnificent old belfry with its Grosse Cloche (big bell). The belfry, along with the spire of Saint Michel’s Tower stands out on the city’s horizon.

Bordeaux boasts a number of religious buildings to visit. At the foot of Saint Michel’s Tower, Saint Michel’s Church is a world heritage monument on the Saint Jacques de Compostelle pilgrimage route. Other religious buildings include Notre-Dame and the impressive Saint André’s Cathedral.

You can pass a pleasant few hours in the landscaped Public Garden complete with trees, rivers, bridges, flower beds and classical buildings. The English garden is home to a huge ‘flower basket’ which is an absolute delight to see.

If you are a museum fan you have a variety to choose from, including the Natural History Museum, the National Customs Museum, the Museum of Beau-Arts, the Aquitaine Museum…and the list continues.

The Grand Theatre, with its neo-classical architecture and sumptuous interior décor is a magnificent work of art, well worth a visit to instill beautiful memories to take home with you. The wonderful ceiling depicts Bordeaux offering the Grand Theatre to Apollo. What a grand way to end your visit to Bordeaux.

Sarah Barton

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