Bordeaux is of course best known for being at the heart of the famous wine growing region in south-western France. It is, however, also known for the preponderance of elegant historical architecture and charming spaces in which to stroll along the banks of the River Garonne. If you would care to see things in addition to sitting with a glass of wine or meandering through the delightful streets and squares, here are ten of the highlights:
Place de la Bourse
Photo Courtesy: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c5/Bordeaux_-_Place_de_la_Bourse.jpg
This square, built between 1730 and 1775 is one of the best known sights of the city. It was designed by architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel and is widely considered to be an extremely beautiful part of Bordeaux. It faces the river Garonne and is a good place to begin your explorations.
Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux
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This imposing building is also an important historical site. It was opened on the 17th April 1780 and has been delighting locals and visitors with amazing performances ever since.
Photo Courtesy: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/35/Cathedrale_Saint_Andre_Bordeaux.jpg
This Romanesque Roman Catholic Cathedral was consecrated by Pope Urban II in 1096. Though only a wall in the nave remains of the original Romanesque structure. The cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Bordeaux-Bazas.
Photo Courtesy: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1f/Bordeaux_Tour_Pey_Berland_3.jpg
Next to the Cathedral you will find this Gothic 15th Century bell tower, named for its patron, Pey Berland. It offers amazing and far-stretching views out over the city.
Photo Courtesy: http://www.musee-aquitaine-bordeaux.fr/sites/musee-aquitaine.fr/files/images/article/exterieurc_mairie_de_bordeaux_photo_lysiane_gauthier.jpg
This chic building houses a collection of items and documents that tell the story of the history of Bordeaux and the surrounding area of Aquitaine. This museum in its current form was only created in the 1980s but the collections housed here have been gathered from a range of smaller museums and collections around the city.
Pont de Pierre
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This elegant stone bridge crosses the river Garonne in the Bastide area of the city. It was commissioned by Napoleon and inaugurated in 1822 and was the first bridge even built in Bordeaux. Before it was built the only way to cross the river was by boat.
Musee des Beaux-Arts
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This is one of the largest fine arts museums in France outside of Paris. It was established in 1801 by the painter Pierre Lacour and houses large collections of classical art dating from the Renaissance to the 19th Century.
Basilica of St. Michael
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This flamboyant Gothic church was built between the 14th and 16th Centuries. The pulpit depicts Saint Michael slaying a dragon. Also of note are the separate tower, crypt and 19th Century organ.
Church of the Holy Cross
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This Roman Catholic church was built in the late 11th and early 12th Century as the abbey church for a Benedictine Abbey that was founded in the 7th Century. Its façade is in the Romanesque architectural style.
Jardin Botanique de Bordeaux
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The pleasant tranquillity of the Botanic Gardens here in Bordeaux make this a lovely place to spend some time. It is open daily and anyone can enter free of charge.
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