Friday, January 8, 2010

Top five monuments in Bordeaux

Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux

Bordeaux is a beautiful city. With great difficulty I have picked five of my personal favourites, the ones you should see even if you come for a very short stay.

The first one is Place de la Bourse. It has become the symbol of the new Bordeaux.  Incredibly beautiful at night when the building is all lit up. The water mirror in front of it was inaugurated as late as 2006, but is already a modern classic. From this point you see out over the Garonne river and the beautiful walking area along the quays, where many newly renovated fronts are from the 17th century.
Grand théâtre in Bordeaux

Grand théâtre is a masterpiece from the 17th century in newclassic style. Today it serves as the national opera. The front 12 pillars form an impressive entrance. Above them, there are 12 statues, the nine muses plus Minerva, Venus and Junon. The spectactors are led into the concert hall through a magnificent staircase.

Monuments aux Girondins

Monument aux Girondins stands on Europe`s biggest place, place de Quinconces. It measures 43 metres with a statue of the angel of liberty breaking its chains on top. Further down on the side you see the female statues that symbolise Bordeaux, the river Garonne and the Dordogne region. On the other side you see a rooster, a symbol for France, together with two women, Retoric and History.  Below you see details of the statues.
Details Monument aux Girondins

But there are no statues of the Girondins? There should have been, but they ran out of money!

On the same place you will find two big statues of Montaigne and Montesquieu, two wellknown French philosophers.

Saint André Cathedral

I am no big church lover, but the Saint André cathedral is really special. Go inside and admire the enormous volumes and the beautiful ceiling decorations. It was built in the medieval ages in a gothic style. On the place next to the cathedral there are several nice cafés with big terasses. From the tower Pey Berland next to the cathedral you can enjoy a fantastic view over the city of Bordeaux. 

Inside Saint André Cathedral

The cathedral is on the UNESCO world heritage list since long, together with the churches Saint Michel and Saint-Seurin. They were part of the pilgrim road to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle in Spain. From the tower of Saint Michel the view is great. The building was started in the 13th century  and finished 200 years later.

Saint Eloi

Bordeaux has several beautiful city portals. The oldest and most wellknown, Saint Eloi, is called the Grosse Cloche, the Big Bell, after its impressive bell weighing close to 8000 kilos. Traditionally the bell would sound every time something important happened. 

Bordeaux has 347 classified historical monuments, so I hope you will enjoy discovering the other 342 monuments on you own!

The tourist office in Bordeaux is very competent and arranges many different guided tours, by foot, by buss, by train and by boat.

Photo Place de la Bourse and inside the Saint André cathedral Nathan Bergeron Flickr
Grand théâtre Wikipedia
Photo Monument aux Girondins Wikipedia
Photo Grosse Cloche: C. Sotomayor


  1. Hi. While helping my 12 year old daughter with a Bordeaux power point project for her french class, we came across your very well written site. She is in a middle school in Miami, Florida. She says it was exactly what she was looking for. Thank you so very much

  2. Hi Lucy!
    I feel proud if what I wrote helped your daughter! Bordeaux is a fantastic city and I am preparing other articles about different parts!

  3. Dear Eva
    I'm sorry but you made a little mistake on the "monument des girondins" commentary the central statue (Bordeaux) is between 2 statues one forthe Garonne river and the other one for Dordogne river(not the Dordogne region).
    Exept that: good job!!


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