Let's rewind 100 years to 1914 and Place Jean-Jaurès in central Bordeaux (known at the time as Place Richelieu), where the lens of th...

What happened to the statue of Sadi Carnot?

Let's rewind 100 years to 1914 and Place Jean-Jaurès in central Bordeaux (known at the time as Place Richelieu), where the lens of the postcard photographer has been pointed at the focal point of the square, the bronze statue of late president Sadi Carnot.

The statue was inaugurated in September 1896, two short years after President Carnot’s death. It was the result of the combined work of the sculptor Louis Ernest Barrias, the architect Jean-Louis Pascal and the Barbedienne foundry. The project was funded by public donations and by grants allocated by the city council and the State ministry for “Instruction Publique et des Beaux-Arts”. In all, the bill came to some 42,567 francs.

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Cours Gallieni was historically one of the main arteries into and out of Bordeaux, forming the main road to Pessac and the primary esc...

Ghost signs galore on Cours Gallieni


Cours Gallieni was historically one of the main arteries into and out of Bordeaux, forming the main road to Pessac and the primary escape route to Arcachon. As such it was no doubt a highly strategic spot in terms of advertising potential and many vintage wall-painted signs and ads can still be seen today. Let me take you down because we’re going to... Cours Gallieni to view its ghost signs galore! 

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Meet Jérôme Mabon, creator of the États Critiques movie review blog and occasional contributor to Bordeaux cultural webzine Happe:n . Jé...

Accessible Bordeaux: how wheelchair-friendly is the city?

Meet Jérôme Mabon, creator of the États Critiques movie review blog and occasional contributor to Bordeaux cultural webzine Happe:n. Jérôme also happens to be physically disabled and kindly agreed to provide me with a personal guided tour of Bordeaux as viewed through the eyes of a wheelchair user.

We arranged to meet up at one of Jérôme’s favourite (and accessible) bars, the legendary Chez Auguste on Place de la Victoire, where we discussed Bordeaux’s ranking in the annual “Baromètre de l’Accessibilité” as drawn up by the Association des Paralysés de France. The city currently lies 13th in the table which is topped by Grenoble, Nantes and Caen: “Bordeaux has its shortcomings and there is definite room for improvement, but I do think that position is a bit harsh. On the whole, I’m satisfied by what has been done in the city.”

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The scene is Arcachon, in the latter years of the nineteenth century, and local baker Sylvain Dornon (pictured left) has taken it upon hi...

Sylvain Dornon : the Arcachon baker who stilt-walked from Paris to Moscow

The scene is Arcachon, in the latter years of the nineteenth century, and local baker Sylvain Dornon (pictured left) has taken it upon himself to popularise the bygone Landaise tradition of walking on stilts. To do this he organises demonstrations and performances, then opts to stilt-walk up the Eiffel Tower, before venturing from Paris to Moscow. But let’s go back to the start…

The use of stilts, or “échasses”, was widespread throughout the Landes from the 18th century onwards. The wooden implements (and their leather foot-straps) were primarily employed by shepherds as both an easy way of manoeuvring through marshy land and as a means of extending their field of vision when watching over their flock of sheep. Other stilt users in the Landes were messengers and postmen, keen on time-saving and maintaining a steady step. But as the wetlands became drier, due to the work of Nicolas Brémontier and previous blog subject Jules Chambrelent, so the use of stilts began to die out. 

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