The 70-metre-high twin bell towers of Sacré-Coeur parish church are one of the constants on the skyline of the residential streets near S...

Sacré-Coeur: the 24-hour timekeeper near Saint-Jean railway station

The 70-metre-high twin bell towers of Sacré-Coeur parish church are one of the constants on the skyline of the residential streets near Saint-Jean railway station. 

They have towered over the surrounding échoppes since 1870. The church was one of many to be built during that second half of the 19th century as part of a drive led by the then Archbishop of Bordeaux, Cardinal Donnet. In fact, spires and steeples were going up or being restored at such a rate that Baron Haussmann, best-known as the Prefect and city-planner behind the tree-lined boulevards of Paris (but who had also spent time serving at Blaye, in Gironde), is quoted as telling Donnet that Gironde was beginning to “look like a hedgehog” (“Notre département, Monseigneur, ressemblera d’ici peu à un hérisson !”).

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The concrete-and-glass development to be found in the central Bordeaux district of Mériadeck is far-removed from the city’s more traditi...

Mériadeck: this used to be the vision of the future inner-city

The concrete-and-glass development to be found in the central Bordeaux district of Mériadeck is far-removed from the city’s more traditional image of picturesque squares and harmonious façades. This large-scale urban high-rise jungle, which has always struggled to gain acceptance from the people of Bordeaux, began to evolve into its present shape in the 1960s. Its complex story began many years before that though…

This area, located just a few hundred metres to the west of Cathédrale Saint-André, was initially wetland which the city strived to drain to avoid epidemics in the 17th century. A monastery for the Chartreux community of monks was built there (where the Chartreuse cemetery, created in 1791, can be seen today) but was soon destroyed and the inhospitable marshland took hold once again.

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Andernos-les-Bains is a resort on the Bassin d’Arcachon which is possibly best-known for its jetty , the longest of its type in Europe ...

The Gallo-Roman villa with a view in Andernos-les-Bains

Andernos-les-Bains is a resort on the Bassin d’Arcachon which is possibly best-known for its jetty, the longest of its type in Europe (232 metres!). Today though, we are investigating the ruins of a Gallo-Roman villa that can be viewed alongside Saint-Éloi church, which overlooks the beach just a short distance to the north of the town centre.

The church dates back to the 11th century and, over the centuries, storms have caused the shoreline to move and the Arcachon bay waters have gradually gained ground. It has been established that, as recently as the early 19th century, the church lay 100 metres inland, surrounded by its cemetery.

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Question: Where in Bordeaux can you view cows, roses and vines, stroll alongside a mock Pyrenean mountain stream, sit on a bench from Mun...

Parc Floral: the green and pleasant land with an international flavour!

Question: Where in Bordeaux can you view cows, roses and vines, stroll alongside a mock Pyrenean mountain stream, sit on a bench from Munich, dispose of litter in a dustbin from Madrid and unwind in a Japanese garden? Answer: the Parc Floral in the Bordeaux-Lac quarter to the north of the city.

The 1992 opening of the Parc Floral tied in with an international flower festival, Les Floralies Internationales de Bordeaux. Over the 20-or-so ensuing years, the 50-acre landscaped park and its neighbouring 320-acre wood, le Bois de Bordeaux, have become the territory of joggers, ramblers and cyclists, and cultural events are also occasionally held there.

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He is celebrated by a square, a monument and a lycée (not to mention a fast-food outlet) in Bordeaux, and enjoys simi...

Camille Jullian: the man who reconstructed the history of Bordeaux

He is celebrated by a square, a monument and a lycée (not to mention a fast-food outlet) in Bordeaux, and enjoys similar accolades in Paris and his birthplace Marseille, but who was Camille Jullian?

During his life, which stretched from 1859 until 1933, Camille Jullian became a renowned historian, philologist (specialising in the study of written texts) and epigraphist (deciphering ancient inscriptions). He is best remembered for his multiple door-stopper of an epic that was “Histoire de la Gaule”, released in eight instalments between 1907 and 1928.

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