Not only is Bordeaux at the centre of a major wine producing region, the historic centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and classed as ‘an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble’ of the 18th century. After Paris, Bordeaux has the highest number of preserved historical buildings in France.
There are very limited places to stay around Bordeaux in a motorhome. So we stayed in one of the two available campsites and caught the bus in, which took just over an hour. This City was definitely worth the extra effort to go and see!
We got off the bus and decided rather than catch the tram across the Pont de Pierre we would walk across this bridge. This bridge was constructed in 1822 and has 17 arches which spread across the Garonne River.
We came across the Porte Cailhau which was a former defensive gate dedicated to King Charles VIII of France who was the victor of the Battle of Fornovo.
We continued further along the bank of the river and soon arrived at the Place de la Bourse. This was previously known as the Royal Square, along with the ‘Stock Market Building’ it was the place where trade prices were set in the 18th Century. In front of the centre lies the Fountains of Three Graces and on a clear sunny day you can see a brilliant reflection of the Place de la Bourse as it is the largest water mirror in Europe. Unfortunately the weather was a little dull but it was still a great sight to see.
We continued a little further and then come across the Monument aux Gironde. This is a tribute monument to the inhabitants of Gironde who died during the French Revolution. It also marks the entrance to the largest square in France.
We visited the Eglise Notre-Dame which was constructed by the Jacobins. It is lovely inside and has been used in a number of period drama films.
The Gothic style cathedral stands next to the Hotel de Ville and is simply stunning to look at.
There is also a bell tower that stands alone next to the cathedral which was built in the 15th century.
The last monument was the Grosse Cloche. This historic belfry is the only remains of the old defensive gate of the 13th century. The weather vane on the top represents a golden lion, symbol of the Kings of England. The bell was cast in 1775 and weighs a staggering 7,800 kg!
Apart from the UNESCO monuments as you wander around this remarkable city all the buildings are simply stunning.
Bordeaux is also the home of one of Europe’s longest shopping streets so this fabulous city really does have something for everyone.
If it isn’t on your must go there list we would highly recommend a visit.