In this internet age there is an active online community of people who track down ghost signs, th...

Ghost signs: phantom letters continuing to haunt the walls (chapter 1!)

In this internet age there is an active online community of people who track down ghost signs, those faded hand-painted advertisements and signage from bygone years which have somehow survived this far into the 21st century.

In France, particularly rural France, ghost signs (such as the one above to be found in Saint-Aubin-de-Médoc) remain a fairly common sight. With a little help from real-world friends and Twittersphere acquaintances, here is a first selection of a few such adverts and signs to be spotted in and around Bordeaux. A dedicated GoogleMap (which has also been added to the right-hand menu) will help you locate them all. There will be many more to come in other posts further down the line!

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A fourth self-guided walking tour of Bordeaux is now available to download and run on different i...

New guided walking tour now available: Elegant Bordeaux

A fourth self-guided walking tour of Bordeaux is now available to download and run on different iDevices. The latest addition to this range of lovingly handcrafted tours will take you on a meandering walk through the most elegant parts of the city.

Setting out from Esplanade des Quinconces, the two-hour Elegant Bordeaux Tour trek takes in the fine architecture, picturesque streets, peaceful market squares and magnificent churches of the Chartrons and Saint-Seurin districts.

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A few months ago, as part of a twin Invisible Bordeaux / Invisible Paris feature, we reviewed th...

Mitt Romney’s Latter-Day Saints basecamp in Talence

A few months ago, as part of a twin Invisible Bordeaux/Invisible Paris feature, we reviewed the formative years spent in France by Mitt Romney, the unsuccessful Republican candidate in the 2012 US presidential elections. During the six months he spent as a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints missionary in Bordeaux in 1968, the apartment he called home was on Place du Maucaillou in the Capucins district. Meanwhile, the centre of gravity of his missionary activities was this Mormon chapel on Rue Pierre-Romain in Talence.

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This statue of Charles-Michel Lespée, or Abbé de l’Épée, and his supporting cast of young girls ...

Castéja: the former school for the deaf with an uncertain future


This statue of Charles-Michel Lespée, or Abbé de l’Épée, and his supporting cast of young girls are looking out over the grand main entrance of a building known as “Castéja” and named, like a neighbouring road, after Pierre Castéja, mayor of Bordeaux between 1860 and 1863.

At the time of writing, Castéja is a massive empty shell and set to become a residential complex led by Gironde Habitat, comprising 180 apartments, an underground car park and a pre-schoo maternelle. The building’s glory years as "L'Institution nationale des sourdes-muettes", an educational institute for deaf and dumb girls from all over France, are therefore long gone.

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Invisible Bordeaux first crossed the path of architect Hector Loubatié when researching the Ciné...

Hector Loubatié’s architectural endeavours in Bordeaux and Pessac


Invisible Bordeaux first crossed the path of architect Hector Loubatié when researching the Ciné-Théâtre Girondin near Barrière de Pessac. It soon emerged that there were many more interesting examples of the Bordeaux-born architect's eclectic vocabulary to be uncovered in and around the city and its suburbs.  

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