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Moving hillsides, mighty rivers, striking landscapes, and renowned wineries await you in Bordeaux, France's fifth biggest city. Bordeaux's history starts using the Celts, who known as their settlement Burdigala. Later, the region received Roman rule, becoming the main city from the province of Aquitania. Eleanor of Aquitane married King Henry II of England in 1154, and consequently, the whole area received British rule, which survived until 1543, once the French obtained charge of the region, much towards the dismay from the local people, who have been thriving underneath the liberal guidance from the British. Bordeaux is as well known for its wines, as for its warm vibe and old-worldly countryside charm.
Bordeaux has acquired the majority of its fame from the world-famous wine industry. The wineries surrounding Bordeaux sell around one billion gallons of wine each year, all under strict municipality laws, which make sure that no wine bottle that is out underneath the exclusive Bordeaux title is by any means subpar.
Today, Bordeaux struggles to grow its tourist appeal past the world's wine connoisseurs. This really is unfortunate, because the Grand Theatre should rank one of the most-visited points of interest in most around the globe. The greater-famous Paris opera house lent liberally from Bordeaux's theater, created by Victor Louis. A floating cruise underneath the Pont de Pierre, certainly one of Europe's most breathtaking bridges, is essentially an out of the box excursion from the surrounding wine country which makes Bordeaux a highly acclaimed name all over the world.
Docking & Local Transportation
Cruise ships pier in the Port of Bordeaux. There's easy road accessibility relaxation from the city, and also the relaxation of the nation for your matter, in the port.Bordeaux is really a major hub in France's transportation system, so trains and travel interior and exterior the town with regularity. Within the city itself, taxis are most likely your best choice, because the local transportation employees happen to be known to take strike every so often.
Local Interests
Bordeaux's tourist office) will enable you to get began with maps and pamphlets, together with recommended itineraries. A terrific way to introduce you to ultimately the town is as simple as taking a structured tour. The tourist office does a fantastic job of organizing a walking tour, touching upon a lot of Bordeaux's best sites. The tour lasts roughly two hrs, and it is carried out both in French and British. An excellent beginning point is really a boat tour, which can last for about 90 minutes. Bateaux Ville de Bordeaux will help you with departure occasions.
Bordeaux isn't renowned for its museums, and actually, you might be enticed to skip the museum scene altogether. But Musee des Beaux- includes a fantastic assortment of works of art, covering over 500 years. Bordeaux's cultural highlights center is more about its ornate cathedrals. The big one of all of them, as they say, may be the Cathedrale St-Andre. The cathedral, together with its adjoining tower, the Tour Pey-Berland, goes back almost one 1000 years. Pay particular focus on the sculptures around the Royal Door. An architectural highlight may be the Grand Théâtre. Created by Victor Louis, the Corinthian posts outdoors enclose perfect acoustics within. You are able to conclude your entire day having a walk across certainly one of France's most breathtaking bridges, the Pont p Pierre.
Things to do & see
Cathédrale Saint-André
A place of historical importance in the heart of Bordeaux, the Cathedral of Saint Andrew dates back to the 12th century. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this cathedral was part of the Route of Saint James pilgrimage trail. Pilgrims traveled through Bordeaux from the Médoc, Tours, and the British Isles on their way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The Cathedral of Saint Andrew compares to the Notre-Dame in Paris in its grandeur and features an impressive facade with sculptures of the Last Supper, the Ascension, and Christ in Majesty. Interestingly, the western front side of the cathedral is completely unadorned, since it was originally too close to the old town walls. However, now you will find the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall) opposite the cathedral; this grand neoclassical palace built in the 18th-century reveals the dramatic difference in architectural styles over the centuries. During the summer, the Bordeaux International Organ Festival is held at the cathedral. Visitors can enjoy free concerts performed by the most talented European organists.
Address: 66 Rue Trois Conils, Bordeaux -- Official site: www.cathedrale-bordeaux.fr
Le Grand Théâtre
The Grand Théâtre is the centerpiece of the Place de la Comédie, a hub of city life and the ancient site of the Roman Forum. One of the city's most emblematic buildings, this monumental theater was built in 1780 in the inspiring new Classical style of Bordeaux. The building was designed by architect Victor Louis who also designed the Palais Royal and Théâtre Français in Paris. The exterior features 12 colossal Corinthian columns along with statues representing the nine muses and the goddesses Juno, Venus, and Minerva. Inside the theater, visitors are awed by splendid foyers and grand staircases. For a memorable experience, spend an evening at the theater to enjoy a performance by the National Orchestra or National Ballet of Bordeaux. Address: Place de la Comédie, Bordeaux -- 3 Place de la Bourse
Place de la Bourse
Lining the quays of Bordeaux for a half mile are elegant classical buildings from the 18th century. This impressive collection of architecture along the river was designed to welcome and impress visitors. The most magnificent example of this neoclassical architecture is the Place de la Bourse, which epitomizes the elegance of 18th century design. The square was built between 1730 and 1755 by members of the Gabriel family of architects. In the center of the square is the lovely Fountain of the Three Graces, surrounded by two beautiful pavilion-like buildings: the Bourse (Stock Exchange) and the Musée des Douanes (Customs Museum). These graceful quayside buildings stand just above the banks of the Garonne River. Take a scenic walk alongside the Garonne to admire the inspiring architecture of the Place de la Bourse and the shimmering reflections of the buildings in the river.
Basilique Saint-Seurin
This exquisite basilica is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site because it was a stop on the medieval Way of Saint James pilgrimage. The basilica features the Romanesque style typical of churches on the route to Santiago de Compostela. This exceptional church dates back to the 11th century. The choir, featuring a stone abbot's throne and ornate stalls, was built during the 14th and 15th centuries. The choir chapel is adorned with impressive Gothic reredos (decorative screens) that display 12 alabaster reliefs and a 14th-century Virgin Mary figure. The oldest part of the basilica is the 11th-century crypt, which is a treasure trove of ancient reliquaries and sarcophagi from the 6th and 7th centuries.
Address: Place des Martyrs de la Résistance, Bordeaux
Basilique Saint-Michel
Exemplifying an extravagant "Rayonnant Gothic" style, this basilica, dedicated to the Archangel, is another important church on the Route of Santiago pilgrimage trail. Along with the Cathedral of Saint Andrew and the Basilica of Saint Seurin, the Basilica of Saint Michael is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The basilica took 200 years to build, from the 14th to 16th centuries. The church presents a pleasing unity of architectural style, described as "Rayonnant Gothic" (the 13th-century French style of ornate Gothic architecture). From the top of the freestanding belfry, you can take in stunning panoramic views of the city. After visiting the basilica, enjoy a stroll around the quarter of Saint Michel that surrounds the basilica. This quarter to the south of the Pont de Pierre is the most colorful and atmospheric neighborhood of Bordeaux. Twice a week on Monday and Saturday mornings, the Square of Saint Michel is transformed into a marketplace, and the shops around the square lend a lively ambiance.
Address: Place Canteloup, Bordeaux
Musée des Beaux-Arts
Set in the pleasant Jardin de la Mairie public park, the Museum of Beaux-Arts occupies part of the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall). The museum offers a wonderful insight into European art history, with a collection of art spanning the 15th to the 20th centuries. The permanent collection includes masterpieces by Titian, Veronese, Rubens, Delacroix, Renoir, and Rodin, among others. Paintings are organized thematically, grouped by era and country, such as the Renaissance, 17th-century Dutch paintings, and 17th to 18th-century French paintings. The adjoining Galerie des Beaux-Arts features temporary exhibitions of contemporary art. To help visitors discover the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions, the museum offers scheduled group tours every Wednesday and Saturday at 4pm for a small additional fee.
Address: 20 Cours d'Albret, Bordeaux -- Official site: www.musba-bordeaux.fr/en
Musée d'Aquitaine
The Museum of Aquitaine vividly illustrates the history of Bordeaux and the region of Aquitaine from prehistoric times to the present day. The museum has exceptional pieces of antiquity, including the Laussel Venus, an artifact from 25,000 BC, Gallic gold coins from around the 2nd century BC, and a 3rd-century statue of Hercules. Other highlights include the 13th-century figure of a knight of Curton and the 16th-century Montaigne's tomb. The monument to Montaigne once stood at the entrance of the museum, and visitors would touch the statue's foot as a ritual to "absorb" the wisdom of the illustrious man. For a peek into everyday life of Bordeaux during the 20th century, be sure to view the Reconstructed Grocer's Shop filled with superb replicas of furniture, accessories, and foodstuffs from the 1900s. You'll find a cash register, coffee grinder, tinned fruits and vegetables, pots of mustard, terrines of foie gras, jars of bonbons, and a display of lollipops. Address: 20 Cours Pasteur, Bordeaux -- Official site: www.musee-aquitaine-bordeaux.fr/en
Esplanade des Quinconces
An expansive public space in central Bordeaux, the Esplanade des Quinconces is considered to be the largest square in Europe. This tranquil retreat in the heart of the city is just a few blocks away from Le Grand Théâtre. Flanked by the Quai Louis XVIII alongside the river, the esplanade offers peaceful waterfront views. Built from 1818 to 1828, the square's monumental fountain honors the Girondins, the group of republican politicians from the département of the Gironde who were deputies in the Legislative Assembly during the French Revolution. (Many Girondins were sent to the guillotine during the Terror). The original fountain was destroyed during World War II and later restored. There are also statues of Montesquieu and Montaigne. Another noteworthy site nearby is the Jardin Public, where you can visit the botanical gardens and the natural history museum. Address: Place des Quinconces, Bordeaux
Palais Gallien
The only remaining vestige of the Roman era in Bordeaux, the Palais Gallien was built in the late 2nd century and was located just outside the town of "Burdigala." This immense amphitheater could accommodate 15,000 spectators on wooden benches. Visiting this exceptional site allows you to envision life during Roman times. The amphitheater offered typical brutal Roman entertainment such as gladiator combats.
Address: Rue du Docteur Albert Barraud, Bordeaux
Tour Pey Berland
This richly decorated tower is the freestanding belfry for the Cathédrale Saint-André. Built in the 15th century for the Archbishop Pey Berland, the tower exemplifies flamboyant Gothic architecture with its ornate details, soaring spires, and angled corner buttresses. As a more recent addition, a 19th-century statue of Notre Dame d'Aquitaine adorns the top of the tower. Visitors can climb to the top to enjoy magnificent panoramic views of the city. There are also regular concerts held at the Place Pey-Berland that are free and open to the public.Address: Place Pey-Berland, Bordeaux
Pont de Pierre
One of the iconic sights in Bordeaux, the Pont de Pierre (Stone Bridge) blends perfectly with the city's elegant riverfront buildings. Imagined in 1817 by engineer Claude Descamps, the Pont de Pierre was completed in 1821 after years of construction work. The result is a beautiful feat of engineering. The bridge spans the Garonne River with 17 graceful arches supported by foundation piles that are set into the riverbed and well designed to withstand strong currents. In the history of Bordeaux, this was the first bridge to cross the Garonne River.
Croiseur Colbert
The Cruiser Colbert was once one of France's biggest warships. Built in 1953, the ship served until 1990 during the Gulf War. Visitors can tour 75 rooms including the kitchen, engine room, Captain's footbridge, and the Admiral's flat for a peek into life on board for the 600 sailors. Address: Quai des Chartrons, Bordeaux
Grosse Cloche
One of the remnants of medieval Bordeaux, the Grosse Cloche (Big Clock) is a monument built in the 13th and 15th centuries. The clock features predominantly in the gate tower that was part of the old city hall. This vestige of the Middle Ages in the historic city center has been restored to its former glory and adds to the ambiance of another era. Address: Rue Saint-James Cours, Bordeaux
Rue Sainte-Catherine
At the center of historic Bordeaux, the Rue Sainte-Catherine is the busiest shopping street in the city. This street is also the oldest existing thoroughfare in Bordeaux, as it was a road during Roman times.
Excursion To Wine Country
Surrounding Bordeaux are 1000's of wineries, creating countless gallons of wine yearly. Many wineries welcome site visitors, plus some offer free product samples.
Dining & Night life
Wherever you decide to choose dinner, don't forget to buy a Bordeaux wine with dinner. Not ordering wine in Bordeaux is tantamount not to ordering gelato in Florence -- you will find several things you simply avoid.
Gravelier is really a romantic place serving up imaginative dishes at reasonable prices. Le Chapon-Fin is costly, however the beautiful atmosphere greater than comprises for this. Le Vieux Bordeaux serves French food having a Basque influence, which combination creates among the best foods in most of Bordeaux. Jean Ramet provides a romantic setting for any candlelight dinner.
Bordeaux provides a diverse night life, with activities varying in the romantic towards the frantic. For that former, have a floating concert. When the weather conditions are nice, a ship will travel the GaRønne River and you'll be treated with a wonderful classical music. Or, catch an opera in the beautiful Grand Théâtre. If you are searching for a location to wind down, take a look at L'Ane Qui Tousse. Le Caesar'sis really hot nightclub that hosts party buffs – both locals and tourists
Shopping in Bordeaux should focus on dark red. La Vinotheque is among Bordeaux's finest wine retailers, having a large choice along with a friendly staff who'll not patronize you because of not understanding the subtle variations between your bottles. Within the wineries surrounding Bordeaux are lots of small wine houses, and you're sure to find something which tickles your palate. Château L'ensemble des Bouzigues is situated 47 miles south of Bordeaux in Saintes Gemmes.
If you're searching for something apart from spirits to raise your spirits, have some priceless antiques in Village Notre-Dame, an old-fashioned mall. Around the Rue du Chateau d'Eau, the Center Commercial Meriadeck hosts clothing stores and trendy boutiques. Bordeaux includes a thriving art community, plus some of their better works.

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