This port city in the Southwestern France is considered one of the most beautiful cities in its country. Bordeaux is the capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine and it is the sixth-most populated in France -even Parisians move to Bordeaux! -. In an economic perspective, it is famous for its red wine, which is exported almost everywhere thanks to its aging potential.
Its wine export business is not recent, but it has medieval origins: the success of Bordeaux wines increased in an amazing way after the marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Aliénor d’Aquitaine in the 12th century. They were able to make the entire Gironde area prosperous, starting by selling these products to English drinkers.
Some French people say that in Bordeaux you can taste the masterpieces of French gastronomy. Probably the best are the Canelés, typical pastries made with vanilla and rum, Then, the confit de vin de Sauternes au safran, which is used in a lot of dessert, but also to accompany meat and cheese. Finally, the well-known “Puits d’amour” are caramelized pastries originated in Captieux by the Seguin family. If you want to try these desserts, you can easily find several Maison Seguin bakeries in Bordeaux.
The city also boasts several important monuments, museums and art galleries. Here you are some of my favorite ones:
1. Bordeaux Statue of Liberty
It deals with a little clone of the American symbol, designed by Frédéric-Auguste Barthodi, the French sculptor which is the author of the original one situated in New York. This copy, conversely, stands in Soulac-sure-Mer, a small town near Bordeaux. Even it has been attacked several times, especially by groups of anti-American people, the Bordeaux community chose to dedicate this statue to the memory of the victims of 9/11.
2. Basilica of Saint Michael of Bordeaux
I believe it is one of the most suggestive church I have ever visited. With its Flamboyant Gothic elements, it creates an incomparable medieval atmosphere. The Basilica and its tower have been built between the 14th and 16th-centuries, and they undoubtedly lie at the heart of the quarter of Saint-Michel. However, a macabre history hides behind this medieval treasure. During the 18th century there was a cemetery next to the church, from which some bodies were exhumed because of the alteration of the building. Then, it has been decided to bury them in a crypt under the tower, instead of choosing the place in which they were originally. After some time, a witness went there and told that these bodies were turned into mummies, looking in mint conditions. Partly thanks to this legend, these 70 bodies attracted a lot of visitors for several years!
3. Victor Hugo car park
Victor Hugo car park is maybe the most surrealistic example of modern art you can find in the capital. The Jaguar was installed in central Bordeaux by the French architect Jean-François Dosso. This falling green car was initially designed as a temporary art installation, but today it is still situated at the entrance of the Victor Hugo market and Sport center, which offer a parking area available 24/7.