Known as the world capital of wine, the city of Bordeaux in France has it all: fine food, world’s best wines and stunning architecture with a UNESCO World Heritage status.
Bordeaux is often called a “little Paris” for its magnificent 18th and 19th century architecture, large squares and elegant boulevards. The city’s monumental heart lies between the spacious boulevards Cours Clemenceau, Cours de l’Intendance, Allées de Tourny that replaced narrow medieval streets and dark buildings in the 1700s. The neo-classic grandeur with vast open spaces declared the Bordeaux’s commercial and political role in the country. Very few cities in the world manage to interweave historic heritage and sleek modernity with such success. Place de la Bourse is a fine example of how it is done in Bordeaux. The 18th century sumptuous royal square is flanked by palace-like façades combined with the modern day creation Mirroir d'Eau are the most-photographed site in the city. A great expanse of shallow water on granite slabs reflects the buildings to a mesmerizing effect.
One of the iconic buildings in the city is the ornate basilica of St Michel, which took 200 years to complete. Its 114 meters high freestanding spire is the tallest building in Bordeaux. Climb up to the top for spectacular views over the cityscape. Stroll around the Saint Michel quarter surrounding the church to soak up in the relaxed atmosphere of this colorful and atmospheric neighborhood with its charming markets, cafes and restaurants.
The monumental Grand Théâtre features twelve colossal Corinthian columns and elaborate statues of nine muses and the goddesses Juno, Venus, and Minerva. Everyone who steps inside is awestruck by the Inside the theater, visitors are awed by opulent foyers and grand staircases.
Covering thirty-one acres, the Place des Quinconces is the largest city square in Europe that will leave you speechless and… helpless unsuccessfully trying to fit its expanse in one photo.
If you fill overwhelmed by Bordeaux’s grandeur and splendour, you can always escape for a relaxing visit to one of the region’s excellent vineyards in the countryside.
Photos via Flickr by: Stanislav Georgiev, Genevieve Ducret, Bertrand Duperrin.