The Esplanade des Quinconces is with around 126,000 m² one of the largest squares in France. The Chateau Trompette used to stand here, a fortress built in 1453 to control the British-friendly population of Bordeaux. Bordeaux belonged until then to England. The fortress was a symbol of suppression by the king. Napoleon demolished the fortress in 1818, thus creating this huge square. The Esplanade des Quinconces is still a large expanse surrounded by trees. To the east, the square borders the Garonne. To the west is one of the sights of Bordeaux, the Monument aux Girondins. It is dedicated to the local victims of the French Revolution of 1789. The monument was built in 1902 and consists of a 43-meter-high pillar, on which hovers an angel that blows up the chains of oppression. At the base of the column is a monumental fountain with allegorical groups of figures that symbolize, among other things, the rivers Garonne and Dordogne, as well as the triumph of the Republic and the triumph of unity.
The baroque Place de la Bourse was created in the time of the greatest economic importance of Bordeaux. Bordeaux was in the 18th century the most important seaport of France. The trade with the colonies overseas was handled mostly via Bordeaux. The city grew, became rich and beautiful. For the Place de la Bourse, the medieval city walls were demolished and Bordeaux opened to the Garonne, where the large sailing boats with goods from all parts of the world arrived. Bordeaux made France rich and the king sent his court architect Jacques Gabriel to design the Place de la Bourse. The gracious King Louis XV. erect an equestrian statue of himselve on the square, which did not survive the French Revolution. Today, here is the fountain of the three graces. The elegant ensemble consists of two large buildings in the north and south and the former Admiralty House in the center. In the northern building is the Stock Exchange and the Chamber of Commerce, in the south the Musée national des Douanes.
Between Garonne and Place de la Bourse is the miroir d'eau (water mirror). The 130 x 42 m large water surface was devised in the course of the remodeling of the bank by landscape designer Michel Corajoud. The miroir d'eau was realized according to the plans of Jean-Max Llorca and Pierre Gangnet in 2006. The fountain consists of granite plates from which small fountains gush or spray mist. A great fun for young and old. The thin water film also creates spectacular mirror effects, which has made the miroir d'eau the most popular photo opportunity of Bordeaux.
The Porte Cailhau is a defiant tower of the medieval city fortifications of Bordeaux. The tower was built in 1495 in the late Gothic style and is also a triumphal gate of Charles VIII, who immortalized his victories in Italy. Charles VIII had conquered Naples in February 1495 and on the way subjected the Republic of Florence. In order to drive Charles out of Italy, the Holy League of Venice was founded. The Italians succeeded in driving the French out of their homeland in the same year. In the 18th century, the city wallwas demolished, only the Port Cailhau and the Porte de la Grosse Cloche were spared. You can visit the Porte Cailhau and enjoy the view on the Garonne. At the Place du Palais in front of the Porte Cailhau, there are cafés, bars and restaurants that are very popular in the evening.
The region around Bordeaux is world famous for viticulture. The Cité du Vin is a tourist information center with museum and other facilities on how to make alcohol from grape juice. The Cité du Vin is located north of the city center near the bridge Jacques Chaban Delmas. The 55 m high tower symbolizes a wine glass with light reflections. The building by the architects XTU from Paris was opened in 2016.
During World War II, the port of Bordeaux was a base of the German submarine fleet, which hunted on supply ships that brought war material to Britain. To protect the submarines from bombing, a massive bunker was built. In the bunker the boats could be maintained and repaired. The construction of the 235 m long bunker began in 1941. The 11 submarine pitches were completed in 1943. 7 basins were built as dry dock and 4 as water basin. In French the bunker is called Base Sous-Marine and is today an exhibttion space of the city of Bordeaux. If exhibitions take place you can visit the historic submarine bunker.
Welcome to Bordeaux
Bordeaux is the capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Around 250,000 people live in Bordeaux, the region has about 6 million inhabitants. Bordeaux is known for its good wine and its beautiful city center, which has developed from a Roman colony. Bordeaux is an attractive travel destination, which also attracts tourists from all over the world with its endless sandy beaches on the atlantic ocean. The free travel guide of regiopia shows you the most important sights and attractions of Bordeaux.