We find ourselves in a run-down part of a Leclerc shopping centre in the Chartrons district of Bo...

Gare Saint-Louis: once a railway station, now a deserted shopping mall

We find ourselves in a run-down part of a Leclerc shopping centre in the Chartrons district of Bordeaux. The building in question used to be one of the city’s railway stations: Gare Saint-Louis.

Invisible Bordeaux first encountered Gare Saint-Louis when researching the cycle path which runs all the way to Lacanau. The cycle path replaced a railway line which previously departed from Gare Saint-Louis. The station’s other destinations included Bordeaux Saint-Jean and the Médoc wine-growing area.

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These are difficult times for independent bookstores, but one shop which continues to weather the...

Talking past, present and future with Bradley’s Bookshop

These are difficult times for independent bookstores, but one shop which continues to weather the storm is Bradley’s, the only English-language bookshop in Bordeaux and one of the city’s most respected literary outlets. On a suitably rainy Saturday morning, I met Anne-Françoise Mazeau, who owns and runs the business, and long-time attendant Juline Druillole to learn more about Bradley’s past, present and future.

Bradley’s was founded in 1983 by a couple of expatriate Australians, Pauline and Paul Carpenter. They moved into premises on Place Gambetta and, instead of simply calling it “Carpenter’s”, opted to give the brand new bookshop Pauline’s maiden name: Bradley. The Carpenters spent 20 years at the helm of the store until their retirement in 2003, when the business was taken over by Englishman Terry Vincent.

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My Invisible Paris and Invisible Lyon counterparts and I regularly look to old postcards as a s...

The Bordeaux waterfront... as featured on old postcards

My Invisible Paris and Invisible Lyon counterparts and I regularly look to old postcards as a source of inspiration for subjects which end up being featured on our blogs. Therefore, without really trying, I appear to be slowly amassing a bona fide collection of interesting pictures of Bordeaux as it used to be.

The following all show various views of the waterfront, demonstrating how much it changed throughout the 20th century, and how much it has evolved in recent years with the city “reclaiming” the quayside for pedestrians, cyclists and rollerbladers, and installing the popular “Miroir d’Eau” attraction.

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A name that seems etched into the collective consciousness of La-Teste-de-Buch, on the southern r...

Jean Hameau: the La Teste doctor who paved the way for Pasteur

A name that seems etched into the collective consciousness of La-Teste-de-Buch, on the southern ridge of the Bassin d’Arcachon, is that of Dr Jean Hameau, whose research paved the way for the scientific achievements of Louis Pasteur.

Hameau was born in La Teste itself on October 5th 1779 in a small house located on what is now Rue du 14 Juillet. His father, André, was a local tailor who had married Jeanne Labouroir from Dax, further south in the Landes area. Aged just 16, Hameau began his medical studies under the guidance of one Dr Desquives in Ychoux, a few kilometres to the east of Biscarrosse. Two years later, in 1797, he departed for Paris, pursuing his studies at École de Santé de Paris where he spent four years and contributed to an initiative known as the “Centre de la Vaccine”.

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