Tourists who come to Bordeaux generally marvel at the beautiful buildings lining the quays before seeing anything else. However, many of them are unaware that the historic heart of Bordeaux is located behind the 18th century Place de la Bourse.
Since June 1, 2016, Bordeaux has a contemporary monument, which illustrates the city's dedication to the fruit of the vine: La Cité du Vin.The purpose of this museum is to create a space where sensory experiences are centered wholly around wine. This site is fully dedicated to this "nectar," as a living piece of French history and culture
Place de la Bourse has symbolised the city of Bordeaux around the world for centuries and played a major role in the city's development, trade, and reputation. Both the Bordelais and visitors alike adore this very elegant square.
It took 20 years of hard work in the 18th century to build what has since become the city's very symbol! The square represents a break with medieval Bordeaux surrounded by walls for centuries. The city was finally free to grow!
Intendant Boucher had tried to convince the town aldermen and the parliament to create the square and open up the city walls since 1720. He decided to entrust Jacques Gabriel, Louis XV's "First Architect" with designing this rectangular square with bevelled corners, as well as constructing the famous buildings decorated with mascarons and wrought iron.
The buildings framing this place royale consist of the Hôtel des Fermes, built by Gabriel's father, followed by the Hôtel de la Bourse built by Gabriel himself, and the isolated central pavilion (1735-1755). Place de la Bourse was originally separated from the river by railings, but these disappeared during the French Revolution. The equestrian statue of the king was briefly replaced by one of Napoleon, followed by the Fountain of the Three Graces in 1869…
Of all the public buildings in Bordeaux, the Grand-Théâtre is unquestionably the most well-known and appreciated. It stands on the site of a former temple (Les Piliers de Tutelle) that was once in the middle of a Gallo-Roman forum.
The Grand Théâtre's construction was made necessary by the destruction of a performance hall in 1755. The latter was located in the outbuildings of the former town hall, near the Grosse Cloche.
Architect François Lhote, assisted by Soufflot, initially proposed a project that was not accepted by the city aldermen. Eventually, Marshal de Richelieu, governor of the province of Guyenne, imposed the Parisian architect Victor Louis (1731-1800). In order to pay for the construction, the land located on the southern glacis of the Château Trompette was sold.
It took more than five years to build the Grand Théâtre and, after many vicissitudes, it was inaugurated in 1780 with a performance of Athalie, a play by Jean Racine.
The rectangular-shaped structure opens up onto Place de la Comédie to the west with a peristyle featuring 12 Corinthian columns supporting an entablature and a balustrade decorated with 12 statues (the nine muses and three goddesses). At the beginning, this peristyle was on the same level as Place de la Comédie. However, in the mid-19th century, it was decided to lower the level to make it easier for horse-drawn carriages to cross.
The Grand Théâtre was nevertheless innovative, and Victor Louis imagined a clever oblique arrangement of stones maintained by a metal tie beam at the angles of the peristyle in order to support them. This ingenious combination became known as "Victor Louis's nail".
Imbued with a long history, the Porte Cailhau offers a magnificent view of Bordeaux. Despite its age (just imagine – it dates from 1494!) this large, beautiful monument remains practically unchanged. It was built to commemorate Charles VIII's victory at Fornovo (Italy). This French king has left his mark on the tower since his likeness decorates a niche on the river side and a notice ask visitors to pay attention to the lintel and reminds them that Charles VIII died from walking quickly into just such a lintel...
The Port Cailhau, thirty-five metres tall, was integrated into the city walls. In 1864, it was rented by a public letter writer and a person whose job was to weigh salt. They were both evicted in order to renovate the monument. There is a magnificent view of the oldest bridge in Bordeaux, the Pont de Pierre, from here.
An exhibition displays the tools and materials used for construction purposes at the time the Porte Cailhau was built and an audio-visual presentation pieced together from old films immerses us in the world of stone masonry.
Book a tasting and discover the incredible diversity of wines produced at Chateau Prieuré Lichine
Although Benedictine monks were the first to cultivate vines here, the chateau is named after an indefatigable traveller, Alexis Lichine, became owner in 1951.
Since 1999, the chateau has been under the ownership of the Balande family, who have taken steps to modernise this historically unconventional estate.
After learning about the extraordinary history of this Fourth Growth chateau, visitors are invited to discover the art of producing fine wine. In the heart of a unique, fascinating terroir, contemporary winegrowing techniques (including a resolutely modern cellar building) are at the forefront of production at Chateau Prieuré Lichine...
More than 300 automated models of famous people, historic scenes of life in La Rochelle and animated display cases to enchant both old and young visitors alike. . Your visit will also take you to a reconstruction of Montmartre with its 1900s atmosphere with artists, musicians
The fairy castle Mélusine
Family go for 3h visit at the time of the knights! Upon your arrival, dress up for free and start exploring the castle through a new puzzle route for children and a quiz for the older ones.
In addition to Degas's masterpiece " The Cotton Office in New Orleans" , the museum presents a very fine collection of paintings from Flemish, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and French schools from the 15th to the 20th century. It is the second museum of Aquitaine by the richness of its collections.
Facing the station, the Joantho Gardens, named after the Municipal Councilor, who proposed the plan to Henri Faisans, mayor of Pau from 1888 to 1908. The look is up: the magnificent perspective that is on the arches of the Boulevard des Pyrenees.
Restored in the 19th century and classified National Museum, it presents 1000 years of history and offers visitors a rich decorative ensemble, as well as an impressive collection of Gobelins tapestries from the 16th to the 19th century.
Limoges's central market hall was built between 1885 and 1889. It is a remarkable example of 19th century architecture. The metal framework's triangular shapes each weigh 14 tonnes. It was designed by two engineers, who studied the Eiffel technique: Levesque (who spent a long time working with the manager of the Eiffel-Seyrig studies) and Pesce.
This large 18th-century-style building, designed by the Brousseau brothers, used to be the town's Bishop palace. The building was also used as a fire station as well as a hospital. It was restored from the 1802 concordat, onwards into the 19th century:
Imagined by Bernard Tschumi, this building made of Limousin Douglas pine wood and wrapped in polycarbonate fits perfectly, thanks to its transparency, into the surrounding forest. With a welcoming capacity of 6,000 seats, it is dedicated to the great artistic and cultural events of the city.
The Floral and Tropical Park of the Court of Aron invites you to a real tour of the world of botanical heritage. On an area of 10 hectares, a wide variety of plants, perennial and annual from five continents, will challenge you and make your admiration. Beginning in July, beyond the vaults of bamboo, banana trees, palms and groves of eucalyptus, you will discover the flowering lotus of Asia. Throughout the season, visit the tropical greenhouse and admire tillandsias, orchids, hoyas, begonias, tree ferns and other curiosities.
The Floral Park of the Court of Aron, a pleasant, fun and interesting for everyone! And it's not only a garden. You also can find there a mini-farm, play mini-golf, go through the Natural maze, explore the Dinoland (the corner of the dinosaurs), games and workshops for children and many more activities waiting for you in this place.
Belle Epoque in design yet highly modern in spirit. That’s how we could describe the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, a building that celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012. Located in the city centre, in full view of the Kursaal and on the banks of the River Urumea, the Victoria Eugenia Theatre proposes a varied and continually changing programme.
This sandstone building sporting plateresque motifs with Spanish Renaissance forms was created by the architect Francisco de Urcola in 1912. Particularly interesting on the facade are, over the Doric columns, four groups of sculptures representing the opera, tragedy, comedy and drama.
For decades the Victoria Eugenia Theatre has been the principal hub of the International Film Festival; since its renovation in 2007, the building now offers new cutting edge spaces and audiovisual technologies.
Monte Urgull is a natural area in the centre of San Sebastián that affords fabulous views of the sea and the city.
Witness to the wars suffered in their long history by the people of San Sebastián, a structure of ancient paths and fortifications can still be found on Monte Urgull today, including the splendid La Mota Castle.
In times of Sancho the Great, King of Navarre, the first defencive lookout point and San Sebastian's early walls were built. The date was around 1150. That first castle was a classic rock top construction, square, with a tower of each of the four corners and a keep to the rear. It was suffered numerous transformations over the years, just like the other fortifications on Monte Urgul.
Tradition and modernity are brought together in one of the most special areas of the city. Stroll through the fishing port and lose yourself in the streets of the Historical Quarter where the smell of pintxos emanates from every corner. Cross the Boulevard and leap through time to land in the centre of Donostia, and visit its pedestrian streets and spend a few hours shopping in its lovely shops and boutiques.
What is today San Sebastián's City Hall was home to the city’s Gran Casino from the time it was opened on 1st July 1897 until it was closed in 1924 with the prohibition of gambling. Its roulette tables and Dance Hall, currently the Plenary Hall, provided entertainment for politicians, writers and artists in the Belle Epoque period.
Standing in the Cristina Enea Park, the building is presently occupied by the Fundación Cristina Enea, created to raise awareness on environmental issues and sustainability.
The present distribution of the mansion, which dates from 1890, is the work of Jose de Osinalde. Today is ground floor is occupied by the Fundacion Cristina Enea. Entering through the front door, you will come to the reception and the large wooden stairway. The second floor houses the office ones used by the Duke of Mandas and two exhibition spaces. Lastly, the building has a gallery for traveling exhibitions that connect the main building to an educational room in the former chapel. There is also a rest area for visitors.
The Concha Bay is the image par excellence of San Sebastián: it is the most classic, the most photographed, the most visited of them all... The Concha Beach stands right in the centre of the city and stretches from the City Hall to the Pico del Loro (Parrot’s Beak). Its 1,500 metres of white sand are elegant and cosmopolitan (it will come as no surprise that the Concha is considered to be one of the best city beaches in Europe).
The The Concha promenade is punctuated with several elements famous in their own right and well known beyond the city: the Concha railing (one of the most universal icons of the city, unmistakable for its design), the lamp posts (replicated in the Film Festival awards, “los relojes” (“the clocks”, main access to the beach), the area around La Perla (with its variety of spa options, bars & restaurants, sports clubs, etc.). All of these elements make a stroll round the Concha (whether by the beach or the promenade) an essential activity for locals and tourists alike. You can continue your walk round the bay by taking the Paseo Nuevo promenade round the bottom of Monte Urgull and heading along the Zurriola Beach until coming to Sagüés in a spectacular city stroll covering around 6 kilometres.
Monte Igeldo is located at the end of La Concha Bay, marking the limit between the city and the sea. This is a place where the past meets the present, where you can relive your childhood years by visiting a picturesque fairground from yesteryear. Here, you can travel back to the past in a 1912 funicular railway, , while enjoying the most iconic views of the city.
At the summit, you will be able to make out all of the city as well as part of the Gipuzkoan coastline and the immense Cantabrian Sea. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the Bay, as well as the impressive power of the waves breaking against the cliffs. This place guards a special secret: a fairground that captures the essence of the “Belle Epoque".
Miramar Palace was built in 1893 on the order of Queen María Cristina of Austria, who used to spend her summers in Donostia/San Sebastián. After considering other places such as Monte Urgull and Aiete, the queen settled on this location, where there had previously been a hermitage which had to be moved to another spot. Nowadays, if you visit the Antiguo neighbourhood you will find the palace among its streets.
In first impressions, the palace is reminiscent of English noble country houses. Designed by the English architect Selden Womun and built by the master craftsman José Goikoa, for years it remained in the hands of the Spanish Royal Family, serving as their summer residence and as the college of Juan Carlos de Borbón.
Located at the back of the Poitiers Town Hall, this new garden built on ancient remains uncovered after archaeological excavations, is popular with young and old with its children's playground, green lawn and furniture. garden on the model of that of the Tuileries Garden in Paris.
If you would like enjoy a journey to the Orient, treat yourself to a Zen promenade in the Japanese Garden, which is labelled a Remarkable Garden.
Situated in the heart of Compans-Caffarelli Park, this garden’s exotic feel is a surprise. A veritable invitation to meditate and relax, it is a synthesis of the gardens you can find in Kyoto, Japan, constructed between the XIV and XVI Centuries.
It is made up of all the characteristic elements: a showcase of the worlds of minerals and plants and the aquatic world complete with traditional decorative features.
You can discover a rock garden with islands devoted to the crane and the turtle, nine rocks, a lake, a tea pavilion and a landscaped garden featuring a dry waterfall, Japanese stepping stones, a lantern, a red bridge, an Island of Paradise, a Mount Fuji and the headstones of three saints.
The largest church (115 metres in length), a jewel of Roman art begun in 1075 and consecrated in 1096. Pilgrimage church, designed to receive the crowds of pilgrims walking towards Compostela, and to shelter a religious community.
One of the symbols of Toulouse, this basilica of brick and stone is certainly imposing. Majestic and luminous, it was built between the XI and XIV Centuries in honour of St Saturnin (or Sernin), the first bishop of the city. An important stop along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, it inspires reverence and its vast proportions are ideal for strolling past the numerous reliquaries.
In this building entirely made of bricks, the contrast between its massive or even austere aspect of the exterior and the extraordinary lightness of the interior architecture where the famous palm-tree ribs thrust upwards.
In Toulouse there is no Mairie, but rather a majestic Capitole! An emblematic building, it is home to the town hall, a theatre and rooms of state where you can bump into celebrities from the city.
The seat of municipal power since its construction, commissioned by the Capitouls in the XII Century, transformed and embellished in every era, La Capitole shows its majestic Neo-Classical façade to the unmistakable square that shares its name.
Its walls could tell of the great moments in the history of Toulouse: from the Cathar episode to the creation of the Floral Games, from the Counts of Toulouse to the siege of the city.
On the first floor, you cross magnificent reception rooms that are decorated with the Allegories of Love by Paul Gervais, 10 giant canvases by Henri Martin and, notably, the Salle des Illustres whose paintings retrace the history of Toulouse and whose busts bring back to life the personalities that have defined the city.
A short hop from the Pont Neuf, a monumental stone doorway hides a masterpiece of the Classical Renaissance. You can even take tea here in the summer, if you are brave enough to face the lions and warriors…
The sumptuous courtyard of honour is the backdrop for two façades punctuated by antique columns and linked by a stairway tower. Everything matches the level of ambition of the man that commissioned it, Pierre d’Assézat, merchant and Capitoul of Toulouse, who made his fortune from pastel in the XVI Century. Bequeathed to the city in 1895, it was then home to the academies and learned societies where the Floral Games were created in 1323.
It was this exceptional venue that was selected by the Argentine Georges Bemberg in which to display his collection of art, which you can explore at the foundation that shares his name.
Beneath the loggia, you can quench your thirst as you contemplate the courtyard and façades of the most beautiful Renaissance mansion house of Toulouse.
This museum that brings together works from the Renaissance and Impressionist masterpieces can be found in the most beautiful mansion house of the city: a feast for the eyes.
This foundation housed in the Hôtel d’Assézat and created by Argentinian collector Georges Bemberg brings together numerous works of western art from the Renaissance to the early XX Century.
In the Renaissance-style salons, the first floor brings back to life the interiors of different eras by combining period furniture, tableaux and objet d’art. The 2nd floor is given over to modern paintings and it is important not to miss the 35 tableaux by post-impressionist Bonnard.
Among the artists on display we find Guardi, Cranach the Elder, Veronese, Titian, Fantin-Latour…
In order to fully appreciate this visit, lift your gaze and admire the well-preserved XVI Century ceiling on the 1st floor.
A museum rich in sculptures, the Musée des Augustins has a unique collection of Roman sculptures and also masterpieces from the area’s Gothic era as well as numerous 19th Century sculptures representing the vitality of Toulouse’s artistic creation.
The Donjon de Gouzon houses a space of Industrial Archeology on 4 levels.
This dungeon of the twelfth century. and thirteenth century, restored houses a museum space on four levels.
The vertical movement is ensured by an elevator (public commission of the Delegation to the Visual Arts), work of the architect designer Sylvain Dubuisson.
Walking on the moon, stepping aboard the Mir Space Station, gazing at the Ariane 5 rocket, dreaming with your head in the stars… You can do all of this at the Cité de l’Espace, a short hop from the centre of Toulouse.
The Cité offers 2,500m² of interactive exhibitions to help you become an expert on the Earth and the Universe as you learn everything about space flight and even find out how to predict the weather.
You can train like a genuine astronaut thanks to the moonwalk simulator and explore the life of astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Try on a space suit, jump into a lunar rover…
Its 5 hectares of gardens, which are home to life-sized replicas of spacecraft and a giant telescope, its IMAX® cinema with giant screen, its interactive planetarium and countless activities for young and old alike make this journey into outer space even more fun.
Construction was begun by Charles the Noble in 1397 on a 12th-century Romanesque building, and was completed in 1501. The high altar is crowned by a figure of the Virgin of Santa María la Real, in front of whom the kings of Navarre used to swear their oaths.