Select the essential places to see in Bordeaux It is not an easy task. This French city has cataloged more than 350 monuments, which makes it the second with the greatest artistic heritage in the nation, only behind Paris.
Called the "Pearl of Aquitaine" for being the capital of this region and of the prefecture of Gironde, the city of Bordeaux is also known for the vineyards that surround it But, above all, it is steeped in history, as it was founded in the XNUMXrd century BC under the name of Burdigala. Already in Roman times it was the capital of the Gaul Aquitaine, although its great splendor came in the XNUMXth century. Precisely, its historic center, known as Port of the Moon and listed as Heritage, has many neoclassical buildings of this century. But, if you want to know the essential places to see in Bordeaux, we encourage you to continue reading.
Table of Contents
- 1 Bordeaux Cathedral and other religious monuments
- 2 The Plaza de la Bolsa and other urban spaces
- 3 The Rohan Palace and the Grand Theater
- 4 The Stone Bridge, another of the essential sites to see in Bordeaux
- 5 The Cailhau gate and others of the old wall
- 6 The City of Wine, emblem of modern Bordeaux, and other museums
Bordeaux Cathedral and other religious monuments
La St. Andrew's cathedral It is the most important religious construction in the Gallic city. It was built in the XNUMXth century following the Romanesque canons. However, later reforms gave it its current style, which is angevin gothic. It has a Latin cross plan and impressive dimensions, 124 meters long.
Exempt to it you have the no less impressive Pey-Berland tower, built in the XNUMXth century as a bell tower. The reason for building it separately was to protect the temple from the vibrations produced by the bells. You can climb to its top. It only costs six euros and offers you wonderful views of the city.
On the other hand, no less spectacular is the basilica of saint michel, erected between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries in the style flamboyant gothic. As in the previous case, the bell tower is exempt and surprises with its height of 114 meters. But its interior holds another pleasant surprise for you. has a wonderful organ box Louis XV style built by Audebert y cessy that house instruments created by the prestigious organist micot.
Finally, among the many temples that Bordeaux has, we advise you to visit two others as well. The first is the basilica of San Severino, whose construction dates from the XNUMXth century, although it has also undergone numerous reforms. In fact, its façade is Neo-Romanesque, while its south portal is Gothic. Also, inside, you should look at the altar, decorated with medieval reliefs and, above all, at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Roses, with its precious alabaster altarpieces.
For its part, the second is the Holy Cross Abbey. It is an old Benedictine monastery that was founded around the XNUMXth century and from which the church remains. However, this was built in the XI. answer the call santo-ingés romanesque to be developed in that old province of France which included Bordeaux. As for the interior, you should also pay attention to its imposing organ dating from the XNUMXth century.
The Plaza de la Bolsa and other urban spaces
One of the essential places to see in Bordeaux is the Place de la Bourse. is the old Royal Square and, in its center, you can see a sculpture of the Three Graces. But its most characteristic element is the so-called mirror of water, a kind of reflective aquifer that is the largest in the world of its kind and that, precisely, acts as a mirror.
However, the buildings that make up the square have more artistic value. Mainly, there are two: the stock exchange palace, which currently functions as a Chamber of Commerce, and the National Customs Museum. Both were built in the XNUMXth century and are genuinely neoclassical.
But this is not the only marvelous square that Bordeaux offers you. The des Quincoces It is one of the largest of all Europe, with almost one hundred and thirty thousand square meters. Its urbanization took place at the beginning of the XNUMXth century and, in its central part, there is an impressive monument to the girondins killed during the French Revolution.
Furthermore, the parliament square It is very close to the Stock Exchange and is listed as a historical monument. Like this one, it was urbanized in the XNUMXth century and its buildings are neoclassical, although the central fountain, the work of Louis-Michel Garros, was installed a hundred years later.
Finally, the Sainte-Catherine Street it is the commercial artery par excellence of Bordeaux. It is a pedestrian street with just over a kilometer in length that also connects several of the main monuments of the city.
The Rohan Palace and the Grand Theater
They are two of the essential sites to see in Bordeaux both for their historical importance and for their monumental value. He rohan palace It is the seat of the Town Hall and was built in the XNUMXth century. Once again, it meets the canons of neoclassicism and was the work of the architect Richard Bonfin. Outstanding elements are its staircase and its garden, the latter surrounded by two other buildings that, in turn, house the Museum of Fine Arts.
Furthermore, the Bordeaux Grand Theater It is considered one of the most important in all France. It was also built in the XNUMXth century by the great architect victor louis. for his style, reminds of a classic temple, with its portico of twelve Corinthian columns and its twelve statues on the frontispiece. You will also be surprised by its dimensions, as it measures 88 meters long by 47 meters wide.
The Stone Bridge, another of the essential sites to see in Bordeaux
It is perhaps one of the emblems from the Aquitaine city. It was built on the Garonne River by order of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1810. In fact, his seventeen arches they have symbolic value: it is the number added to the letters of the name and surname of the French leader.
Its authors were engineers charles deschamps y Jean-Baptiste Billaudel, who had to face problems derived from the strong currents of the river. Likewise, several white medallions placed on the bricks pay tribute to the emperor. But it also appears in some points the city coat of arms. Since 2002, the bridge has been listed as a historical monument.
The Cailhau gate and others of the old wall
We must also include among the essential sites to see in Bordeaux the gates of its old wall. Among those that it conserves, we will talk about three. The gate of aquitaine it was built as late as 1753. It is neoclassical in style and its triangular pediment stands out with the city's coat of arms carved in its center.
More spectacular is the call great bell, which is medieval. In fact, it was the bell tower of the old Town Hall and consists of two forty-meter towers and, in the middle of them, a wide hole where the enormous bell is located.
It is also medieval and Gothic in style cailhau gate, with its wide pointed central arch. It was built to commemorate the victory of Charles VII in the battle of Fornovo. As an anecdote, we will tell you that this monarch died after hitting his head against a door that was too low. Perhaps that is why an effigy of him and a sign remind the passerby to be careful when passing under the lintel. Also, inside you have a sign about the flower beds who built the medieval city and its tools.
Also, Cailhau is the gateway to the Sainte Pierre neighborhood, one of the most beautiful in Bordeaux, with its picturesque streets. Precisely, in this is the parliament square which we told you about before. But it is also an area of bars and restaurants where you can recharge your batteries.
The City of Wine, emblem of modern Bordeaux, and other museums
The site that we recommend below is very different from the previous ones. Because it is a modern building that houses what is probably the most important wine museum in the world. We have already mentioned the enormous winemaking tradition of the Bordeaux area, whose wines are famous all over the planet.
Therefore, few sites are so appropriate to install this museum. The building itself is a work of art, with its rounded shapes that simulate a decanter. But, with its streaky appearance, it also resembles a gnarled strain. As for the museum, it covers the history of wine from six thousand years ago to the present day. It has three thousand square meters of surface to expose twenty interactive themed areas. And, to end your visit, you can taste a good broth in the viewpoint that is 35 meters high. Imagine the views.
On the other hand, you have many other interesting museums in Bordeaux. We have already mentioned you in passing the one of fine arts, which houses works by Rubens, Veronese, Titian, Delacroix, Picasso and other great painters. We have also told you about National Customs. But, in addition, we advise you to visit the Aquitaine Museum, which traces the history of Bordeaux from Antiquity to the present day.
In conclusion, we have shown you the essential places to see in Bordeaux. But, logically, there are many others in this beautiful city of France that deserve your visit. For example, the Great Synagogue, built at the end of the XNUMXth century and which is one of the largest in Europe; the Lescure neighborhood, all of it a jewel of Art Deco or the precious Botanical Garden. Cheer up to visit Bordeaux and enjoy everything it offers you.
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