Bordeaux UNESCO World Heritage Site
Bordeaux is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the "prefecture" of the Gironde department. A vast area of Bordeaux is a classified UNESCO world heritage site, boasting 474 listed public buildings, 100 of which are grade 1 listed. The old french nicknames for the city were "La perle d'Aquitaine" (The Pearl of Aquitaine), and "La Belle Endormie" (Sleeping Beauty). Le Port de La Lune region of Bordeaux was almost completely renovated and many buildings have been cleaned and restored all of which enhances the beauty and historical importance of this amazing city.
Getting to Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a fantastic place to visit during your stay with us. Getting there is easy – it takes around 40 minutes by car or if you fancy relaxing during the trip in it’s possible to park on the outskirts and ride into Bordeaux’s on one of it's speedy new trams which takes you into the heart of Bordeaux. From here it’s possible to view the sights by foot, open topped buses or even by Bordeaux’s version of a “tut-tut”. One of the great ways of getting around the city is to rent a bicycle. There are numerous pick up and drop of points around the city and the rental of a bike is inexpensive.
Where to visit in Bordeaux
There is a suggested route which takes a little over 2 hours by foot (excluding any visits or refreshment stops). From the tram stop in the centre of Bordeaux is the Places des Quinconces which is overlooked by the Girondins Monument, a unique example of 19th century French civil architecture. Heading up the Cours du Chapeau-Rouge (a remarkable example of neo-classic style) buildings brings you to the Grand Théâtre which is surrounded by cafes and resturants. Just around the corner is the Rue de St Catherine, which boasts being the longest shopping street outside of Paris. If shoppings not on your adjenda it's possible to take a gentle stroll down towards the river ( via the Place de Parliment) and discover the wonderful statue in the centre of the 18th century Place de la Bourse which was built in 1730, and became the centre of a new district. Across the road from here you’ll discover europe’s largest “Miroir de l’eau” which is an ideal spot to cool down in summer and to pause and take in the stunning beauty of the river and bridges, buildings and monuments. Continuing along the quays, you will discover the Porte Cailhau, a Renaissance triumphal arch constructed in 1494 in honour of King Charles VIII. If you choose to continue a short distant further you’ll discover the Grosse Cloche, which symbolises municipal authority and features the city's medieval coat of arms. This guideline tour lists but a few of the famous and important listed buildings and monuments to be found within the city of Bordeaux.
It's possible to go on and on, why not come and visit and discover the magic of Bordeaux for yourself.
Other nearby UNESCO sites
Blaye Citadel and the Vauban fortifications
The Citadel of Blaye was designed between 1685 and 1689 as a walled city with a total area of 38 hectares and was built around a parade ground, a monastery dedicated to the Minims order, and several army barracks. Inside the fortress, there are several interesting buildings and ruins, including the 12th-Century Rudel castle, the Liverneuf gate (12th Century), and the Éguillette tower (15th century). In the 17th century, Louis XIV ordered Vauban to strengthen the existing fortifications at the Citadel of Blaye to protect the city of Bordeaux, located upstream of the estuary on the Garonne River. Vauban built two more forts - Fort Paté & Fort Médoc because at the time the cannons did not have sufficient range to cover the 3 km width of the river. Vauban set up cross-fires to provide complete cover and prevent enemies from sailing up to Bordeaux. The citadel of Blaye has been on the Unesco world heritage list since 2008.
Fortress on the Ile de Re
Also on the UNESCO world heritage list since 2008 is the fortress and walls found within the main port, of the Ile de Re. The old city of Saint Martin was fortified by Vauban in 1681 as a component of the belt of forts and citadels built to protect Rochefort which was a military harbour. It has since been used a depot for convicts their way to the penal settlements of New Caledonia and French Guiana (prisoners included Alfred Dreyfus who was convicted for treason and sent to the penal colony of Devil’s island).