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Top architectural sightseeing and landmarks of Bordeaux - ideas on city exploration routes

Plaza de la Bolsa Of course, in order to feel the magnificent atmosphere of Bordeaux, one needs to visit this place, walk on charming streets of the historical center, visit local cafes, and enjoy the look of the local landmarks - Cathedrale Saint-Andre, Eglise Sainte-Croix, Pont de Pierre, Monument aux Girondins, Chaban-Delmas Stadium and many others. In order to make your virtual tour to the city more interactive, we offer an unusual opportunity to fly over every notable landmark of Bordeaux. Simply start the video, and use the full-screen mode. Each landmark comes with extra information, containing a collection of interesting facts and a photo gallery. Let’s go!

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.

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.

Pont de Pierre, Bordeaux

» The stone crossing is an engineering installation constructed over 200 years ago.
»  The construction began upon the order of Napoleon who wanted his army to cross the river to enter Spain. His troops couldn’t cross the capricious river. Only ferry crossing operated at that time.
»  The stone bridge started to be constructed in 1819. The construction lasted 3 years and was finished in 1822. Four thousand workers were hired.
»  487-meter crossing on the stone foundation consists of arched bays. This is the number of letters in the name of the ruler, Napolеon Bonaparte.
»  All the stone pillars of the bridge are decorated with oval memorial signs. The side view of Bonaparte is engraved on medallions. There are Bordeaux emblems on some pillars.
»  In 2004, the stamp with the bridge and the tram on it. You can also see the crossing on the paintings of French artists.
»  Piers of the bridge need to be reinforced, as it has been revealed that it goes down to 1.5 mm every year.
»  At night, Pont de Pierre is illuminated by multiple floodlights.

Monument aux Girondins, Bordeaux

» Residents of Gironde represented the interests of petty bourgeois in the Legislative Assembly. In 1791, there was a party protected the rights of merchants and industrialists. During the Great Revolution, Girondists were prosecuted and imprisoned. Escaped prisoners started the rebellion that was suppressed by the authorities. Surviving Girondists were sentenced to death.
»  In the 60s of the 19th century, it was decided to perpetuate the names of fighters for their rights. The initiator of the monument’s construction was the descendant of one of the dead participation.
»  Three people - architects and the sculptor - competed for the grant for the construction. The jury decided to integrate their projects.
»  The construction lasted several years (1894-1902).
»  There is a memorial plate with the names of the first Girondists on the monument.
»  Nowadays, the object is a historical attraction.
»  There is a 50-meter column in the center of the fountain complex. It is crowned by the bronze statue of Victoria breaking the chains.
»  The base of the fountain is decorated with horses with snake tails. Beasts’ nostrils vomit water jets. At the bottom of the column, you can see sculptures symbolizing Accord, Republic, History, and Eloquence.

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.

Gates Cayo, Bordeaux

Location on the map:
Facts: » The Gates Cayo was constructed in 1495 in commemoration of the French ruler's victory over the Italian army. The triumphal arch is the symbol of the state power located near the harbor.
»  “Cayo” means “a stone block”. The arch is called like because of the sharp hard rock debris.
»  At that time, ships moored here and the goods were shipped. There were no special piers in the past. The receding bottom did not let big ships go closer to the bank.
»  So, the arch served not only as a memorial sign, but also a defensive fortress barrier.
»  Warriors could throw cannon balls and pour burning resin over the enemy from the expanded part of the platform. The 35-meter Gates is a specific entrance to the city.
»  You can see sculptures of rulers on the outer side facing the harbor.
»  There is a museum on the ground floor. Its exhibits will let you trace the history of the historical Gates and learn how the citizens lived in the past.
»  The open balcony is faced with wooden panels.
»  The facade facing the square is decorated with relief symbols of the royal power, lilies. Angels hold flowers.

Opera National de Bordeaux, Bordeaux

Location on the map:
Facts: » At the beginning of 1770, the relative of the Cardinal Richelieu decided to establish a theater.
»  It is assumed that the initiative was supported by the members of the Masonic lodge, as its symbols are represented by many decorative elements.
»  The foundation of the future Opera National de Bordeaux in Melpomene was laid on the remains of the castle of the period the Hundred Years' War. It was completed in 1780.
»  It is faced with natural stone. The rectangular building is supported by columns. It was the first time when metal mounting was used for decorative pillars.
»  There are 12 marble sculptures above the gallery. They symbolize goddesses and muses.
»  The lobby has a pointed glass dome. The interior of the audience hall is decorated with gilt, moldings, and scarlet velvet. The walls and the ceiling are painted. The wide marble staircase leads to theater boxes.
»  The hall accommodates 1 100 visitors. The fresco of the ceiling above theater goers depicts Apollo and maidens around them.
»  The theatrical batten weighs 1.2 tons. The chandelier is made of Bohemian glass. It consists of 400 lamps.
»  On the stands of the theatrical museum, you can see scenic outfits, theater guides, and pictures, some of which are aged over a hundred years.
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