On Rue du Palais-Gallien, just metres from the city-centre hub that is Place Gambetta, the seemin...

Introducing the former Hôtel des Postes (and seminary, factory, hostel, mint and radio studio)

On Rue du Palais-Gallien, just metres from the city-centre hub that is Place Gambetta, the seemingly timeless “Poste – Télégraphe – Téléphone” signage on what is today a swish residential complex serves as a reminder of the building’s previous incarnation as the central post office of Bordeaux.

There are in fact a number twists to the story of the building, which goes back to 1747 when a Lazariste seminary (la Congrégation des prêtres du Clergé, founded in 1643) was transferred from premises behind Saint-Siméon to this property, acquired by the religious community in 1739. Previous structures on this spot had included a church (in the 12th century) and a hospital (from the 13th century onwards).

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To the side of a main road that runs parallel to the Garonne, connecting Bordeaux with the Médoc ...

Saint-Jean-des-Palus chapel: deteriorating by the day

To the side of a main road that runs parallel to the Garonne, connecting Bordeaux with the Médoc wine-growing territory, a 19th-century place of worship is slowly crumbling into nothingness: la chapelle Saint-Jean-des-Palus, now also known as Saint-Jean-de-Lavenelle.

The chapel was built in 1872 to the designs of architect Louis Garros to serve a congregation made up of people who lived in the surrounding so-called “palus” riverside quarters, where the agricultural parcels of land were frequently flooded by water from the Garonne. The then-owners of the nearby Château de Grattequina (also designed by Louis Garros), the Gièse family, were behind the original idea to create what they hoped would become a bona fide parish church.

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Stade Chaban-Delmas is one of a dying breed: a top-flight sports stadium located in the heart of...

Stade Chaban-Delmas: nearing the end of this footballing life

Stade Chaban-Delmas is one of a dying breed: a top-flight sports stadium located in the heart of a city. For some time its future was uncertain, with Bordeaux shifting its focus to the Lac district where Stade Bordeaux-Atlantique is set to take over as the city’s premium sports venue in time for the 2016 European football championships. But it has now been decided that local rugby team Union Bordeaux-Bègles are set to become the permanent residents of the ageing Stade Chaban-Delmas

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The time has come for another hand-picked selection of faded hand-painted adver...

Ghost signs in and around Bordeaux, chapter 3

The time has come for another hand-picked selection of faded hand-painted adverts and signs, more commonly referred to as "ghost signs". Remember that all of these signs, and many more, can be located in the slowly-expanding dedicated GoogleMap!

The sign pictured left can be seen in Bourg-en-Gironde, at the point where the rivers Dordogne and Garonne join to form the Gironde. Most prominent is the ageing panel advert for Byrrh, the legendary wine-based apéritif that blends red wine, the fortified wine known as mistelle, and quinine, a  natural white crystalline. It sounds delicious.

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