Bordeaux is often referred to locally as the ‘French Sleeping Beauty’. This elegant city has undergone considerable renovation. Many of its most beautiful Neo-classical buildings have been completely restored and a number of spacious boulevards are now just for pedestrians.
Sainte Catherine Street is (I think) the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe. Bordeaux – famous for its legendary wine, is surrounded by vineyards and wineries, but is also home to a prominent University with a student population of around 100,000. The centre is small enough to be visited on foot, but it is worth staying for longer in order to take in some of the excellent museums, enjoy their many festivals, and markets which abound.
Bordeaux is a UNESCO World Heritage site and was officially included on the list June 28th 2007. With a population of just over 1 million, it is twinned with many famous cities including Bristol UK, Quebec City Canada, Los Angeles USA and Munich Germany. Bordeaux, famous for its fine wine, produces around 850 million bottles of it annually!
The ‘Saint Michel’ church is one of the main landmarks in Bordeaux. It is an astonishing view! The church and its bell tower were built at the end of the XV century. Its steeple, (114 meters), is the second tallest in France. It has been struck by lightning twice, and at the end of the XVII century was seriously damaged by a hurricane, fortunately it was repaired in 1865.
The ‘Esplanade des Quinconces’ (the promenade) takes up over 12 hectares in the heart of Bordeaux by the river Garonne. Here you will see cyclists, rollerbladers, joggers and people simply walking, alongside cruise ships which often come to weigh their anchor along the Bordeaux waterfront.
The quays are bordered by the Place des Quinconces, the largest square in Europe.
Place du Parlement and Camille-Julian are also both lovely squares – but far smaller! Here you will find many bars and restaurants and can dine at a terrace, or just simply relax and watch the passers by.
Bordeaux is beautiful, easily accessible, young and vibrant, yet full of elegance.