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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