Let’s visit Bordeaux, the « European Best Destination » in 2015…
THE WATER MIRROR
Located across from Place de la Bourse, between Quai de la Douane and Quai Louis XVIII, this spectacular pool, designed by landscape artist Michel Corajoud, alternates a mirror effect and artificial misting in an extraordinary way. It is the world's largest reflecting pool, covering a massive 3,450 square metres.
The rhythmic changes in 2 cm of water on a gigantic slab of granite make this location truly magical. Children adore playing here and it is a meeting place for lovers as well as people who enjoy putting their feet in to the cool water in summer!
Located between the Garonne and beautiful 18th century façades, the Mirroir d'Eau is the most-photographed site in Bordeaux and is listed as a contemporary World Heritage Site by Unesco.
THE PLACE DE LA BOURSE
It took 20 years of hard work in the 18th century to build what has since become the city's very symbol! The square represents a break with medieval Bordeaux surrounded by walls for centuries.
Place de la Bourse was originally separated from the river by railings, but these disappeared during the French Revolution. The equestrian statue of the king was briefly replaced by one of Napoleon, followed by the Fountain of the Three Graces in 1869…
Of all the public buildings in Bordeaux, the Grand-Théâtre is unquestionably the most well-known and appreciated. It stands on the site of a former temple (Les Piliers de Tutelle) that was once in the middle of a Gallo-Roman forum.
The Grand Théâtre's construction was made necessary by the destruction of a performance hall in 1755.
CATHEDRAL AND PEY BERLAND TOWER
Located near the City Hall, this is the most beautiful religious monument in Bordeaux.
Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VII, the future king of France, were married here 1137, as were Anne of Austria and Louis XIII. The cathedral was used to store fodder during the French Revolution… a sad fate for this monument that also suffered from a devastating fire in the 19th century.
THE STONE BRIDGE
You cannot miss this bridge which symbolizes the link between the two banks of the Gironde (rive gauche et rive droite). Its size will surprise you : in 1820 it was one of the largest bridges in the world. It is an architectural achievement given the moving river seabed. That explains why there was only one bridge for a long time to connect the left bank to the right bank.
We advise you to cross the Pont de Pierre; enjoy the best views of Bordeaux from the right bank to realise the importance of the River in the development of this beautiful city.
THE BORDEAUX PUBLIC GARDEN
The creation of the Bordeaux public garden was initiated in 1746 by the Intendant Tourny, on a land of vines, which were deemed to be “bad”. This beautiful romantic garden was created to provide the people of Bordeaux with a pleasant, healthy and friendly place.
This garden is the perfect place for a break. There is an excellent brasserie for those who wish to have a good meal or a drink.
THE MARCHE DES CAPUCINS
The Marché des Capucins, also known as the “belly of Bordeaux” is the largest market in Bordeaux. You will find bakers, snack bars, restaurants, caterers, cheese, florists, wine merchants, oystergrowers, fishmongers but also organic regional products as well as food from all over the globe, fruit and vegetables, and olives. Everything you need for a great picnic in town.
QUAYS OF BORDEAUX
Discover the importance of the Garonne River that flows across Bordeaux and its quays and understand the importance of the city.
Whether from the left bank or the right bank, you can walk along the 'port de la lune ' which ows its name to the quarter moon shape of the river.
The docks of Bordeaux are the ideal place for a beautiful walk in nature whether by bike, on foot, on skates or by tram; there are many emblematic places to enjoy, such as the district of Chartrons. Walking on, you get to the 'Quai des Marques' and the 'Chaban Bridge'. If you are not in a hurry, take your time, cross the bridge and explore the left bank with amongst other places, the Darwin area and the Modern Garage. These pockets of independent culture are not to be missed!
Saint-Emilion is a charming medieval village located in the heart of the famous Bordeaux wine area. It is a very unique site were world-famous wineries, fine wine, beautiful architecture and great monuments are a perfect match.
Harmonious work of Men and Nature the landscapes of Saint-Emilion are testimonies of its History. In 1999 for the first time in the world a vineyard was written on the World Heritage List by the UNESCO as a Cultural Landscape, that is to say a historical landscape that remained intact but which is still carrying on its activity.
ARCACHON'S BAY AND THE HIGHEST DUNE IN EUROPE (Pyla Dune)
The Arcachon's bay is a fascinating world with multiple landscapes: oyster ports, sandy beaches, pine forests, a famous peninsula and the highest dune in Europe. The charming Bay through all seasons offers numerous activities: 220 km of cycling paths around it, bird watching, sports and oyster tasting as well as Bay trips on traditional boats.
The Dune du Pilat, is the tallest sand dune in Europe. The dune has a volume of about 60,000,000 m³, measuring around 500 m wide from east to west and 2.7 km in length from north to south. Its height is currently 110 meters above sea level. The dune is a famous tourist destination with more than one million visitors per year.
- LEGE-CAP FERRET
Whether it is big or small, space is the keyword on the Lège-Cap Ferret peninsula. Between the ocean and the forest, ramblers can enjoy a stroll along the footpaths and cycle paths or through the surrounding villages. On the western side of the peninsula, sheltered by the dune, the ocean beaches stretch 15,5 miles along the coast. On the eastern side, 9,3 miles of beaches scattered with inlets, ports and oyster-farming villages are lapped by the waters of the Arcachon Bay.
You can take a boat at the Bélisaire landing stage and enjoy a trip around the Île aux Oiseaux.
BLAYE, VAUBAN'S BOLT AND THE GIRONDE ESTUARY
A major work by the famous military engineer Vauban, the Bolt of the Estuary is located on either side of the Gironde to protect Bordeaux from foreign naval attacks. It consists of three fortifications: the Citadel of Blaye on the right bank, Fort Pâté on an island in the middle, and Fort Médoc on the left bank. The Bolt of the estuary has been a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, along with the 11 other fortresses making up the major Vauban sites.