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 metropolis. 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. 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. Marche des Capucins
The city was part of the Roman Empire following the Divine Julius Caesar’s successful military campaigns in Gaul (roughly modern day France).
7. Across the Garonne River in the 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 lovely 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, therefore, an English possession. It enjoyed terrific prosperity, due to its burgeoning reputation for wine, which it 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 increased 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 canele, 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 Bordeaux. Quays along the Garonne have been developed, facades have been cleaned, and a tram system has been started.
16. Porte Cailhau
Bordeaux's most famous son is, perhaps, Michel de Montaigne, the great essayist and humanist, whose superb prose and modern mind inspired English writers like Bacon and Shakespeare.