The world’s favourite city -Paris – has a rival within its own country!
Bordeaux – the other Paris in South West France.
Bordeaux – the other Paris is the 5th largest city in France and with a population of 240 thousand, so it’s very easily navigated. There have been settlements in this location on the Garonne River, since Roman times, so plenty of history.
The ancient heart of the city remains – under UNESCO world heritage protection.
The golden age for Bordeaux was the 18th century, with luscious honey coloured stone and lots of attention to detail. When Baron Haussmann was remodelling Paris, he used this town as his inspiration.
The Porte d’Aquitaine marks the symbolic entry to the town.
The rue Sainte-Catherine is one of the longest in Europe.
You may well shop until you drop on this 1.2km strip of retail! Where the street meets rue St.Remi is the entrance to Galerie Bordelaise, a shopping development of 1834.
I want to show you what is quite possibly the most exquisite fountain in the world.
I think it rivals Rome’s Trevi Fountain.
To one side of the inner city is 31 acres of space punctuated with extreme beauty. This city landmark is known by locals as the Monument aux Girondins. It was dedicated to a political faction that were massacred during the French Revolution.
The grand column reaches 50 metres into the sky. At the tip is a bronze statue of Liberty. There are masses of horses that are bursting with energy.
I expected to see them break free!
We’re lucky to still have this masterpiece. In 1942 during WW2 the Germans had plans to melt down the bronze to make cannons and they were removed. Luckily that didn’t eventuate and they were found in Angers, a city about half way between their home and Paris. They were returned, but not completely reinstated until as late as 1968.
From the fountain, take a comfortable stroll through a grove of trees towards the river, you will be glad you did.
Place de la Bourse was built in 1755 for Louis 15th as a symbol of the city’s prosperity.
Stand back close to the river and admire the affect made by the Miroir d’Eau. The mirror of water. It’s the largest reflecting pool in the world. One inch of water covers 37 thousand square feet of granite paving, giving the illusion of walking on water.
Many people know Bordeaux because of its most famous export that comes in a stemmed glass! Bordeaux is the world capital of the wine industry.
Grape vines were introduced here when the Romans were in this area.
There are 287 thousand acres of vineyards in this areas, contributing 14.5 billion Euros to the economy from roughly 960 MILLIOIN bottles of wine!
Bordeaux produces both red and white… and it could be an everyday quaffer, or one of the most expensive on the wine list.
Thank you to Chateaux Dauzac for showing us through the wine making process.