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Culture of Bordeaux. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

Bordeaux Quai Start your acquaintance with the sights of the city from visiting Esplanade des Quinconces Square, which is also known as the largest square in Europe. Until 1827 the square was located on the site of a large medieval castle. Nowadays Esplanade des Quinconces Square is no more used to house defensive structures. Instead of them the square is full of monuments dedicated to prominent political figures and citizens of the city. Near the square you will find Quartier des Chartrons – a beautiful quarter that amazes its guests by cobbled streets and beautiful architectural objects. Sometimes this part of the city is called "Little London". Among notable architectural sites of the city we should definitely mention Peter’s Bridge, the construction of which took place yet during the time of Napoleonic campaigns. The bridge consists of 17 arches and its full length estimates 500 meters. The bridge features magnificent views of the city. Tourists will get truly unforgettable memories if they decide to make a walk on the bridge at night, when Bordeaux is illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights.
There is a wonderful zoo in Bordeaux, Zoo de Pessac, a visit to which should be a mandatory point of the excursion program for holidaymakers with children. This zoo is quite small, but the … Open
Saint-Michel basilica is known among the most famous religious sites of the city. The construction of the basilica started yet in the 14th century and lasted for almost 200 years. The bell tower of the church is known as the tallest one in whole southern France. The beautiful Gothic building is decorated with statues and frescoes depicting saints and patrons of the city.
Saint Andre Cathedral is a no less beautiful Gothic building, which once housed the ceremony of marriage of Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine. The church was built specifically for the event; now everyone can appreciate the splendor of its interior decoration. Guests are also welcome to climb to the highest tower of the complex and admire magnificent views of Bordeaux from the bird's-eye view. Copyright
In Bordeaux travelers will find a wide selection of dining establishments that have different specialization and price levels. Many restaurants are real attractions, so visiting them is … Open
Garonne waterfront is simply the best place for unhurried walks. The waterfront is also known as the venue for various national celebrations and festivals. During your walk you can reach the square of Bourse, which is also an important object of excursions. The square is also the beginning of numerous streets, each of which is home to interesting architectural monuments, shops and restaurants. Tourists should also not forget to visit Exchange Square, which is the location of the famous Fountain of the Three Graces. The opening of the fountain was held in 1864. Nowadays the story of the fountain is known to every inhabitant of the city. It is based on a beautiful ancient Greek myth about Paris and beautiful goddesses. Museum of Fine Arts is one of the most visited cultural institutions of the city. Here visitors can enjoy priceless masterpieces by Reynolds, Rubens, Titian, Marquet and Matisse.
Bordeaux On the territory of Bordeaux there is a unique fountain, perhaps even the most original one in the entire world. It is called Le Miroir d'eau. The peculiarity of this fountain is that it is visible only from a certain angle. The fact is that the whole surface is covered with water and it becomes perfectly mirror-like, which makes the architectural ensemble (Place de la Bourse) look amazing. The fountain has long ago become a hallmark of Bordeaux, all thanks to the genius of an architect who created it, Michel Corajoud. The Place de la Bourse building, in front of which is situated a fountain, was built in the year 1755 in the classicism style. Taking a walk around the square next to the building will bring nothing short of pleasure.
Every two years Bordeaux hosts a famous celebration that attracts thousands of travelers from different countries of the world. This is the famous wine festival «Bordeaux Fete le Vin». … Open
From an architectural point of view, the Grand Théâtre is remarkable for its architectural style which is extremely outstanding. Built in the 18th century in the classical style, this theatre is famous for its richly decorated facade. The square in front of the building also deserves special praise – it is a very pleasant place for a walk. There is a modern sculpture in the form of a woman’s head on the square, which is remarkable because it is interesting to look at from any angle. Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux, on the other hand, immerses everyone in the atmosphere of the Middle Ages. The ancient gates were built at the end of the 15th century, but the landmark of the building — namely the bell — came to be only at the end of the 18th century. A clock appeared along with the bell, so the tower acquired a “peaceful” incarnation.
Chateau Pape Clement Bordeaux One of the favorite walking spots for locals is Pont de Pierre. The bridge is very romantic due to the view of the city that opens up from here and also for the fact that it is operational still. This bridge was built at the beginning of the 19th century. Along the way you can find sculptures with profiles of Napoleon (since it was built on his instructions), which gives the area a special flavor. The reason behind the construction is that the current of the river was very strong, and in the end, the bridge became another symbol of the city. Porte Cailhau is also an interesting structure. The medieval gates were built at the end of the 15th century and despite its venerable age, it still looks stunning. Nearby you can find many interesting cafes too.
Your rest in Bordeaux will bring you lots of unforgettable memories. Tourists are welcome to mix walks to historical places and sightseeing with visits to various entertainment centers, … Open
Among the religious monuments in the city, there are several interesting churches worth mentioning. Firstly there is the Cathédrale Saint-André, one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the city, which amazes with its majesty. The interior decoration is more than modest, however, it is good because the atmosphere inside is calm and peaceful. The Église Sainte-Croix, built in the Romanesque style, is another jewel of architecture that you should not fail to visit. The church was built at the beginning of the 12th century and is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Inside you can admire the beautiful fine art collection of the 17th-19th centuries. There is one more building worth mentioning, we are talking about Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez. This place will definitely appeal to connoisseurs of modern art.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Bordeaux and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Bordeaux and surroundings

Plan your own excursion through Bordeaux: churches, museums and castles

Cathedrale Saint-Andre, Bordeaux

» Cathedrale Saint-Andre was reconstructed many times. According to the chronicles, there had been buildings built in the 3rd century at the site.
»  This construction was first mentioned in chronicles in 814. The Normans destroyed it.
»  At the beginning of the 11th century, the first stone was laid in the cathedral's foundation in commemoration of the marriage of Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
»  In 1130, the northern Porte Royale entrance was added. Sculptures on it depict the Last Judgment.
»  There are 81-meter towers adjacent to Saint-Andrе. If you go up the 233 steps of the 66-meter Pey Berland Bell Tower, you can admire the view of the old town. At its top, there is the statue of the Virgin of Aquitaine and the bell that weighs 8 tons.
»  In the main building, you can see religious artifacts dating back to the Middle Ages. There are also tombs of Bordeaux archbishops.
»  During the Revolution, pipes of the first organ (1535) were melted down and metal was used for weapons. The organ was transferred from the other cathedral. After the reconstruction, it has a diameter of 15 m.
»  The outer facade is decorated with a lot of prolonged arches. They are made of stone and decorated with carving. Above the entrance, there is the ornament of the blossoming flower.

Basilica of St. Michael, Bordeaux

Location on the map:   Facts: » In the basilica, services visited by worshipers living outside the city. Industrialists donated to its construction.
»  It started to be built in the 14th century. The construction lasted over 2 centuries. The bell tower is 114 m high.
»  When it was reconstructed in 1791, 70 graves were found in the basement of the basilica. The bodies were well preserved in the clay soil. Mummies were deposited in the crypt of the cathedral. In 1990, the remains were buried at the city cemetery.
»  Its exterior is decorated with multiple prolonged stone arches. You can see openwork patterns on them. Above the entrance, there is a decorative element in the form of the outlet with floral ornaments.
»  The inner space is divided into 17 sectors. Each one is dedicated to particular craftsmen. Here, you can see old items and canvasses telling about past epochs. In one of the rooms, you can see the wooden altar of the 17th century. In the anglers’ sector, there is the statue of St. Catherin, the patroness of sailors.
»  The central room is 75 m long, 38 m wide, and 23 m high. The hallway leads to the open gallery with an organ in it.
»  22 bells proclaim the beginning of the service.

Eglise Sainte-Croix, Bordeaux

» The Benedictine Abbey possessed several church lands. It was first mentioned in the 7th century, after the death of St. Mommolen, the second abbot of the church. Eglise Sainte-Croix started to be built in the 11th century.
»  In the building, there is a spacious room that is 39 m high. The frame of the altar represents the worship of the Mother of God (there are engraved figurines on it). You can also see here two paintings of the French artist of the 17th century.
»  The organ was bought in 1750. In the late 20th century, it needed to be reconstructed. A new organ was placed in the old body instead. The acoustics of the church lets organize classical organ concerts.
»  During the Great Revolution, the building served as a hospital. 100 years later, it belonged to the Fine Art School.
»  In the 19th century, a new bell tower was built for the symmetry. There is one main and several additional ledges.
»  The building is built of light sandstone blocks. Its facade in the Roman style depicts figures symbolizing insatiability and lust.
»  Sainte-Croix is translated as Saint Cross Church.

Eglise Saint-Pierre, Bordeaux

» There was the Apostle Peter’s Sanctuary at the site of the modern cathedral. It was mentioned in the chronicles of the 6th century.
»  In the 12th century, the chapel was built here. There are preserved medieval gravestones found at the church cemetery. Nowadays, they are transferred to the museum for storage. It turns out that the English nationals were buried here when the region was a part of England.
»  The western wall with Gothic windows has been preserved.
»  The building you can see today was built in the 14th-15th centuries. There are a preserved altar and the sculpture of the 17th century. It represents the Mother of God mourning Jesus (the Virgin Mary with dead Christ on her knees).
»  One of the canvasses (1664) is situated in the niche to the left of the bell tower. The painting depicts St. Peter taking the keys of the gate of heaven.
»  Other interior elements date back to the 19th century.
»  Stained glass windows are very interesting. On the glass, you can see scenes from Apostle Peter’s life. He patronizes the cathedral.
»  The city cathedral has been the historic monument of the French cultural heritage.

Chaban-Delmas Stadium, Bordeaux

Location on the map:   Facts: » The stadium is a place for trainings of the local football team.
»  It was named after the state official Jacques Chaban-Delmas in 2001. He had ruled the city for many years. He was also famous as an excellent tennis player and rugby player.
»  The sports complex includes an amazing racing circuit.
»  In 1938, the international football championship was held here.
»  This sports ground was the first stadium where stands with the covering but without pillars have been constructed. They were abandoned during the construction not to distract people from the game, as pillars partially obstructed the spectators’ view of the field.
»  The reconstruction of the stadium’s dome caused additional difficulties too. It was decided to install additional seats on the cycling track in the open air.
»  To attract more fans to rugby world competitions, two big 37 m2 displays were bought in 2007.
»  Sportsmen’s changing rooms are linked with the field by the 120-meter tunnel.
»  The building of the sports arena is a historical construction.
»  About 35 000 fans can watch the game at the same time.
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What to visit during two-day excursion in Bordeaux

City Walks
Where: Place de la Comédie, Bordeaux; Telephone: +33 556 00 85 95;
Wine Museum
Where: 12, Cours du Médoc, Bordeaux; Telephone: +33 556 39 39 20;
Reference information
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Bordeaux and around
♥   Art museum 'Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux' Bordeaux, 1.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Bordeaux
♥   Basilique Saint-Seurin, Bordeaux, 1.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique Notre-Dame, Verdelais, 37 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique Notre-Dame, Arcachon, 52.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Ancienne cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Bazas, 52.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-fin-des-Terres, Soulac-sur-Mer, 87.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on Rentals in Bordeaux

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Photogallery of cultural heritage of Bordeaux

Landmarks of culture on Bordeaux map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Bordeaux

Culture guide to Bordeaux. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Bordeaux: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Bordeaux. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info! - online travel reservation expert providing reliable car rental and hotel booking services. We feature more than 25.000 destinations with 12.000 rental offices and 200.000 hotels worldwide.
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