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 Everyone knows Paris, and it’s the first place they think of when France comes to mind. But France is so much more, and in my opinion you can have a far more interesting and typically French experience, by heading South to the historic city of Bordeaux. This lovely town is world famous for its marvelous architecture and luxurious wine. There is no better city to experience all the cuisine and culture that France has to offer than beautiful Bordeaux.
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1. Place de la Bourse
Bordeaux is a luxurious port city lying on the Garonne river, located in southwestern France’s Gironde department. 
2. The same at night
The city itself is home to only a quarter of a million citizens, though including its surrounding regions it is France’s 5th largest metropole. The city’s historic center is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
3. St. Michel Flea Market
In earlier times the city was known as ‘la perle d’Aquitaine’ (the Pearl of Aquitaine) and ‘La Belle Endormie’ (sleeping beauty), due to the old city walls which were blackened with pollution. Though today it shines in pristine glory.
4. Bordeaux is a cyclist's paradise
Bordeaux has the greatest number of listed buildings of any French city, Paris excluded. But it is the world’s premier wine city. It’s Bordeaux wine has been produced for well over a thousand years.
5. Bordeaux is the biggest wine growing area of France
The city has been a location of bustling human activity for millennia, with Celts having established the village Burdigala around 300 BC. 
6. Marché des Capucins
The city was part of the Roman Empire following the Divine Julius Caesar’s successful military campaigns in the Gaul (roughly modern day France).
7. Across the river Garonne at evening
Following the fall of the Roman Empire the region was a hotbed of political and military turmoil, pretty much right up until the late middle ages.
8. Lacanau, a wonderful beach is just a short drive away
Peace finally returned in 1154 as the Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine married Count Henri Plantagenet, who subsequently acquired the English throne as King Henry II.
9. The Wood Bridge of Bordeaux
For the next 300 years Bordeaux was actually an English possession. It enjoyed terrific prosperity, due in no small part due to its burgeoning reputation for wine, which is exported to vine poor England in great bulk.
10. Place Pey Berland
Following the Hundred Years War, Bordeaux fell into French hands, where it has remained ever since. 
11. CAPC Museum (a former wine warehouse)
During the 18th century the city enjoyed more prosperity as the age of Empires brought more wine-related wealth to Bordeaux. Trade continued with Great Britain, Germany and the West Indies.
12. Place du Parlement
Much of the city’s present architecture remains from this period of commercial growth. Around 5,000 18th century buildings stand as testament to the city’s fascinating history.
13. The canelé, Bordeaux's native pastry
However, when France went through its notorious revolution, the city was thrust back into complete turmoil.
14. Cap Ferret, a famous headland not far from the city
Some local political agitators, The Girondins, supported the Revolution, and the Republic. But when The Terror gripped the country, The Girondins rebelled and were virtually all executed by Guillotine.
15. Statue des Girondins
Around the turn of the 21st century much work was done to tidy up and refurbish the town. Quays along the Garonne have been developed, facades have been cleaned and a tram system has been started.
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