The City of Bordeaux is proud of its reputation as a “City of Art and History.” Tourists and movie-makers come to one of the biggest 18th-Century architectural areas in Europe and its rich vineyards. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic area contains almost 350 buildings recognized as historic monuments and three religious World Heritage buildings.
The Church of Saint Pierre, in the center of Old Bordeaux, was built on the site of the Gallo-Roman port. In 1832, a bronze statue of Hercules was found beneath the Place Saint-Pierre that is assumed to have been used at the entrance to the Roman port.
The Port of Bordeaux is a relaxed, tolerant city with lively artistic, cultural, and music communities. Its charm is reflected in the long-standing rivalry with Paris, as it is called “Little Paris” by many.
The 6th Century Basilica of Saint-Seurin is the oldest church in the Port of Bordeaux, and it was constructed atop an earlier palaeochristian graveyard. The Basilica contains an 11th Century portico, 12th Century transept and apse, a 13th Century nave with 11th- and 14th-Century chapels. The Medieval La Grosse Cloche is the second surviving gate of the old city walls. With two circular towers and a central bell tower, it was old Town Hall’s belfry.
Each district within the Port of Bordeaux has sights that visitors will not want to miss. The Aquitaine Bridge north of Les Quais is an outstanding architectural accomplishment. The Victory Arch in the center of La Victoire recalls the city’s Roman past. The Public Gardens north of Gambetta Square are lush and green, a great place for a quiet stroll or a picnic. The Girondins Memorial at Quinconces Square celebrates the people who were sent to the guillotine by Robespierre.
Visitors interested in modern art will want to see the Musee D’Art Contemporain (French) on rue Ferrere. The Musee D’Aquitaine on cours Pasteur holds relics as old as 25 thousand years as well as many Gallo-Roman statues, including the bronze statue of Hercules.
Every day, visitors can take sightseeing tours that visit all of the region’s major sights. Wine tours reveal vineyards. Boat rides and visits to nearby resorts and points of interest are also available.