Fifteen kilometres to the north-west of Bordeaux lies Saint-Aubin-de-Médoc. The quiet town is more of a place to live than a place to visit, but the central square includes a number of buildings with tales to tell.
Up until the French Revolution, Saint-Aubin was mainly pastoral land coupled with a few vineyards. When a prominent land-owner fled the country after the Revolution, his extensive property reverted to the town and was sold on to individual owners, mainly farmers and foresters. By the time of the Second World War, the population numbered 500, many of whom were employed by the explosives factory in nearby Saint-Médard-en-Jalles (which still exists today).
In 1968, Saint-Aubin became a founding member of the greater Bordeaux authority, the Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux, and has since expanded rapidly, most notably as a commuter town for workers in the aerospace industry. More than 6,000 people now regard Saint-Aubin as their home. And this is what they can find in their town centre…
The town’s most prominent landmark is its church, parts of which (a curved oratory to the rear pictured above, bottom right) date back to the 12th century. Like building blocks, bits were added over the course of time, including the presbytery in the 18th century, and the belfry and bell in 1789, shortly before the Revolution. The church was fully restored in 1867. In more recent years, the interior was renovated (1989), the roofing was replaced (2004) and vines were planted alongside the main entrance where the cemetery was once located – it had been transferred to another part of the town in 1861.
|Bottom photo from information panel now on building.|
|Top photo from information panel now on building.|