Archive for February 21st, 2020

February 21, 2020

Bordeaux and Quinconces!

Well how about that I have written several posts on the wines of the region of Bordeaux but not much on its monuments! sacre bleu!!! This is one of my favorite cities in my belle France and candidate for my retirement years!!! We have spent several family trips here over the years.

The whole huge area around Bordeaux is connected by a beltway road, the “rocade” or the A630 that takes you into the city or out into the other areas and into Spain. My best is to go into the Médoc, the famous area of wines but it has a lot more. From the rocade you  take exit 4 to go into central Bordeaux or exit /sortie in French to no 7 that takes you into the side D1/D2 of wine country along the Garonne river, the other exit/sortie no 8 takes you into the beaches and central area of Medoc.

Its time for me to correct the unnaming and tell you about some of the monuments of the city of Bordeaux. Bordeaux is in the Gironde dept 33 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France and I like to tell you a bit on the Place des Quinconces or Esplanade.

The Place des Quinconces is one of the main squares in Bordeaux. It was created in the early 19C on the site of Château Trompette, it is made up of an esplanade descending gently towards the Garonne river framed to the north and south of tree plantations. The imposing monument to the Girondins and two rostral columns decorate the two ends. Its area of 12 hectares, which makes it the largest square in France and one of the largest in Europe.

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Half of the square is planted with trees, whose staggered arrangement gives it its name. A staggered arrangement is an arrangement of five units: four arranged in a square, one in the center. By reproducing the pattern, lines offset by half a unit are obtained. The place initially baptized Place Louis XVI then renamed Place Louis-Philippe takes its current name after the Revolution of 1848.

The layout of the square itself was carried out, after the demolition of the castle, in ten years between 1818 and 1828. In 1829, two large rostral columns, in neo-classical style and celebrating Commerce and Navigation, were built in the end of the esplanade on the Garonne side.

in 1883 it was decided to build a monument in the center of the hemicycle in memory of the Girondins and celebrating the French Republic. The 43-meter high column and the basins which are located at its foot were not completed until 1902. You can finds there the monumental statues of Montaigne and Montesquieu in white marble which were placed there in 1858

The Girondins monument consists of a large base framed by two basins, decorated with horses and bronze groups, and surmounted by a column 43 meters high where culminates at 54 meters in height the statue of liberty breaking its irons in green bronze.

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Among the sculptures: towards the Grand Théâtre: the triumph of the French Republic; towards the Chartrons: the triumph of Concorde. towards the Garonne river: we find the Tribune with the Gallic rooster, on its right: History and on its left: Eloquence has 2 people seated. Towards Place Tourny: monument erected in memory of the Girondins,  with the city of Bordeaux seated on the bow of a ship with a cornucopia. On the right of the base, a river allegory: the Dordogne and on the left the Garonne. At the foot of the chariot with horses: Ignorance, Lying and Vice. The quadriga of sea horses is a representation of Happiness! Awesome monument indeed!!

The city of BordeauxCity of Bordeaux on the Place des Quinconces

Tourist office of Bordeaux: Tourist office of Bordeaux on the Esplanade des Quinconces

And there you one or maybe the most popular walks to do in Bordeaux, the Quinconces square and the Girondins monument has become a symbol for the city and we love it! Hope you do too

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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February 21, 2020

Bordeaux, a clock and a gate!

Well how about that I have written several posts on the wines of the region of Bordeaux but not much on its monuments! sacre bleu!!! This is one of my favorite cities in my belle France and candidate for my retirement years!!! We have spent several family trips here over the years.

The whole huge area around Bordeaux is connected by a beltway road, the “rocade” or the A630 that takes you into the city or out into the other areas and into Spain. My best is to go into the Médoc, the famous area of wines but it has a lot more. From the rocade you  take exit 4 to go into central Bordeaux or exit /sortie in French to no 7 that takes you into the side D1/D2 of wine country along the Garonne river, the other exit/sortie no 8 takes you into the beaches and central area of Medoc.

Its time for me to correct the unnaming and tell you about some of the monuments of the city of Bordeaux. Bordeaux is in the Gironde dept 33 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France and I like to tell you a bit on the Grosse Cloche and the Porte Dijeaux.

The Grosse Cloche or big bell of Bordeaux is the belfry of the old city/town hall. It is one of the rare civil monuments that the city preserves from the Middle Ages. It was restored in 2016. It is located at the end of rue Saint James, at the foot of Saint Eloi Church facing rue du Mirail and slightly back from Cours Victor Hugo.

It was built in the 15C on the remains of the old Saint-Éloy Gate ,also called Saint James gate of the 13C attached to the Saint-Éloi Church of the 12C, open on the rampart of the 13C and under which the pilgrims of Saint James passed on their way to Compostela.

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It is made up of two circular towers 40 meters high connected by a central building and dominated by the golden leopard. The large bell is surmounted by a weather vane with an animal which we are often told is the golden leopard symbol of Guyenne. More likely, this leopard would in fact be the one inherited from the kings of England during the English domination of Bordeaux.  All the successive modifications made between the 15C and the 17C will transform the primitive physiognomy of this gate which has become a belfry, the bell tower of the city having been added to it since the 15C.. The city magistrates rang the bell to give the signal for the harvest and alert the population in the event of a fire. This is the reason why it has always been the symbol of the city and still appears on the city’s coat of arms today. The current bell was made in June 1775 and weighs 7,800 kg for two meters in height and diameter!

It rang the commemoration of the victory of May 8, 1945, since then,   due to its weight and the risk of cracks that could cause the vibrations of the bell, it rang only a few times when it was put back in place in the bell tower, following its restoration and during General de Gaulle’s visit to the city on April 10, 1961. Until June 2016, it rang every year five times a year. Since then, it also rings every first Sunday of the month.  The clock built in 1759 replaced that of 1567. Above it is a sundial.

The tourist office of BordeauxTourist office of Bordeaux on the Grosse Cloche

The Porte Dijeaux gate is a gateway to the city of Bordeaux. The Porte Dijeaux is located at the western end of the decumanus formed by the alignment of rue Porte Dijaux and rue Saint-Rémi. It leads to Place Gambetta slightly behind Place Gambetta at the end of Rue Bouffard. On the other side it is at the intersection of the street that bears its name and the rue des Remparts. It can also be reached from the Cours de l’Intendance by taking rue Bouffard. It is also visible to walkers coming from rue Sainte Catherine from the corner of the Galerie Bordelaise. Rue Porte Dijeaux is an important shopping street in Bordeaux. In terms of attendance, it comes second behind rue Sainte Catherine. It is also a pedestrian street.

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Porte Dijeaux is also known as Porte Dauphine under king Louis XIV. The origin of the name would be related to the temple of Jupiter which stood at this location in Gallo-Roman times. The Porte Dijeaux was an entrance to the west of the city of Bordeaux from Roman times and the first line of fortification. Outside, a half-moon merlon, 8 to 10 meters high, served as a redoubt. On the other side the triangle is occupied by the Royal symbols, crown and fleur-de-lis, but also two wings, a helmet and a fish. Under the triangle an animal head overhangs the number 1748 which corresponds to the date of its construction. This last gate was replaced by the current monument, built between 1748 and 1753, and it remains today isolated and deprived of its pedestrian lateral counters.

City of Bordeaux: City of Bordeaux story on the Porte Dijeaux

There is some information on the city of Bordeaux page but more from my books, unfortunately its the only gate I can find a picture so here it is but Bordeaux has several others just as nice. Hope you enjoy the post and do come walk the streets of Bordeaux they are loaded with gorgeous monuments with great architecture and history I Like

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

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February 21, 2020

Bordeaux and its Hôtel de Ville!

Well how about that I have written several posts on the wines of the region of Bordeaux but not much on its monuments! sacre bleu!!! This is one of my favorite cities in my belle France and candidate for my retirement years!!! We have spent several family trips here over the years.

The whole huge area around Bordeaux is connected by a beltway road, the “rocade” or the A630 that takes you into the city or out into the other areas and into Spain. My best is to go into the Médoc, the famous area of wines but it has a lot more. From the rocade you  take exit 4 to go into central Bordeaux or exit /sortie in French to no 7 that takes you into the side D1/D2 of wine country along the Garonne river, the other exit/sortie no 8 takes you into the beaches and central area of Medoc.

Its time for me to correct the unnaming and tell you about some of the monuments of the city of Bordeaux. Bordeaux is in the Gironde dept 33 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France and I like to tell you a bit on the Hotel de Ville.

bordeaux

It was the Hotel of the Archdiocese until the French revolution, hotel of the department then seat of the revolutionary tribunal in 1791, hotel of the prefecture in 1802, imperial palace of Napoleon I in 1808 and Royal castle in 1815 under king Louis XVIII, the Rohan palace becomes the Hôtel de Ville in 1835.  This was done following an exchange with the French Republic, the former archbishopric, called Palais Rohan, from the name of the prelate who had it built in the last quarter of the 18C: Ferdinand Maximilien Mériadeck, prince of Rohan Guémené.

The Hôtel de Ville is made in a monumental, sober, balanced neoclassical style. The palace has a portico of Ionic order, which precedes the main courtyard at the end of which is the harmonious facade with the pediment. The Rohan palace is made up of a large main building flanked by two low, angled wings that connect it to a colonnade. The square courtyard thus delimited is closed by an arcaded portico open on the street side, in the center of which opens a monumental portal. The exactly similar posterior facade is extended by two low pavilions with balusters, the windows of which are topped with garlands.

Inside, lounges with Louis XVI-style paneling in linden woodwork are decorated with plant motifs. The Archbishop’s dining room offers trompe-l’oeil decor in the Pompeii style. It was decorated in 1783-84 by the painter Giovanni Antonio Berinzago. It is said that it was in this room that the young Eugène Delacroix, then the prefect’s son, looking at the paintings by Berinzago in 1802 restored by Pierre Lacour, discovered his vocation.

Another decor in the style of the antique Renaissance clearly reflects the refinement of Bordeaux interiors of this period. The monumental staircase of honor located on the ground floor of the main building is considered one of the masterpieces of French stereotomy.  The municipal council hall was built in 1889. It is characteristic of the official architecture of the Third Republic. Finally, the building has been surrounded by beautiful English gardens since 1882. On each side of the rear garden are two wings which were built in 1880 to house the Museum of Fine Arts. This garden contains several remarkable works of art, including The Apostle by Raoul Larche.

The prefect , Charles Delacroix, “official father” of the famous painter Eugène Delacroix died there and, in 1808, Emperor Napoleon I settled there. As a result, the old archiepiscopal hotel was built as an Imperial Palace, the prefecture being transferred to the old Hôtel Saige. The Duchess of Angoulême resided there for four months in 1823 and, in 1828, it was the Duchess of Berry who hosted it when she inaugurated the new Saint-André hospital and laid the foundation stone for the rostral columns. In 1839, the new mayor David Johnston receives the eldest son of King Louis-Philippe I, Ferdinand-Philippe, Duke of Orleans who, in the company of his wife, inaugurates the foundation stone of the Bordeaux railway station at La Teste.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Bordeaux on the Hotel de Ville

Tourist office of Bordeaux on the Hotel de Ville

And there you go another wonderful monument in beautiful Bordeaux city. The Hôtel de Ville or city/town hall or the Rohan Palace is a must to visit !!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!!

 

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