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Tourist Sites in and around Bordeaux

Tourist sites and attractions within a radius of km* from the city center

* The distances are point to point and not driving distances!

UNESCO Heritage List At around: 0.18 km

Saint Michel Basilica Saint Michel Basilica of Bordeaux with its UNESCO listed, free standing bell tower was built between the middle of the 15th century - during the reign and at the order of King Louis XI - and the beginning of the 16th century in a flamboyant gothic architectural style.
The construction was initially entrusted to architect Jehan Lebas who started church's building in 1462. The bell tower was built between 1472 and 1492. It is 114.6 meter tall , the tallest church bell tower in Aquitaine and the second tallest in France, second only to the bell tower of the Strasbourg Cathedral. It is known under the name "La flèche Saint Michel" (Saint Michel Arrow!) and...

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At around: 0.43 km

La Grosse Cloche - Saint Eloi Church The Gross Cloche - The Big Bell - that gives the name to the tower it is located in, is one of the symbols of Bordeaux.
The bell's 2 towers - 40 meters in height - were built in 1485. The assembly is topped by a weathervane that represents a leopard - the symbol of Aquitaine. The building hosts now a historic exhibition. In the same complex one can also visit the beautiful Saint Eloi Church - the first church of Bordeaux built of gothic style.
In August 1548 because of high taxes imposed on the city, the Bordeaux merchants rose up. To punish them - besides taking away other privileges - the Constable Anne de Montmorency (at the time...

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At around: 0.61 km

Cailhau Gate and Palace Square Cailhau Gate was built at the end of the 15th century to commemorate the victory of King Charles VII over English armies at the battle of Castillon in 1453, victory that brought Bordeaux and Aquitaine in the French kingdom, after 400 years of English rule.
It is a 35 meters structure with elegant Renaissance elements: conical roofs, sculpted decorations, mullioned windows. Throughout the centuries it was renovated in 1882 and more recently in 1960.
On the city side it faces "Palace Square". The name of the square comes from the ancient palace that had occupied the place from year 1000 until the beginning of the 19th century when it was demolished.
The Palace called "Palais de l’Ombrière" was initially the residence of...

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At around: 0.94 km

Place de La Bourse and the Water Mirror "Place de la Bourse" and "Le miroir d'eau" are among the emblematic places of Bordeaux. Place de la Bourse situate between quay "Maréchal Lyautey" and the quay “de la Douane” is an architectural masterpiece of the 18th Century created by Ange-Jacques Gabriel during the reign of King Louis XV.
In the middle of the square in 1869 was placed the Fountain of the Three Graces.
Since 2006 in front of the square there has been placed the biggest water mirror of the world (3450 square meters), work of the architect Jean-Max Llorca.
Between the water mirror and the "Place de la Bourse" there was created the "Garden of the Lights" (Jardin des Lumières) a favorite walking and resting place for the bordelais....

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UNESCO Heritage List At around: 1.01 km

Saint André Cathedral Saint André Cathedral was initially built in the 12th century - when it replaced the former seat of the Bordeaux diocese that was there since 4th AD century - and then extensively renovated in the 16th century.
It is listed in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The cathedral was consecrated on the 1st of may 1096 by Pope Urban II, the champion of the First Crusade.
Saint André cathedral witnessed throughout centuries many events that marked the history of Europe. On the 27th of July 1137 it is here that the marriage between Eleanor of Aquitaine and future Louis VII takes place (of course this marriage is later annulled when Eleanor marries Henri Plantagenet the future King of England).
It is also here...

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At around: 1.07 km

Rohan Palace -Bordeaux City Hall Rohan Palace is the former residence of the archbishop of Bordeaux. It bears the name of the cardinal Ferdinand-Maximilien-Mériadec, prince de Rohan on whose order it has been built between 1772 and 1784.
The palace remained however as the archbishop residence only until French Revolution and after that it had other different uses - criminal court during the Terror, Imperial Palace under Napoleon I and Royal Palace during Restoration. In 1835 it became Bordeaux City Hall
The building features a magnificent staircase, beautiful wood paneled quarters and an impressive dining room decorated with with "trompe l'oeil" paintings. ...

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UNESCO Heritage List At around: 1.11 km

Saint Seurin Basilica For its local importance Saint Seurin was conferred the title of "basilica" in 1823 but the church existed since 11th century.
The church bears the name of Saint Seurin or Saint Severinus, according to tradition the 4th bishop of Bordeaux, who was buried in the cemetery that used to surround the location.
In the 11th century the community of monks that already existed on the site took to the construction of a church to accommodate the influx of pilgrims that were stopping here on their way to Saint James de Compostela.
In the 13th century this church is added the monumental gothic style entrance on the south side (see pictures) composed of 3 arcades one of which contains the tympanum.
During the 14th and...

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At around: 1.35 km

Notre Dame Church Arguably the most beautiful baroque style church of Bordeaux.
The church and the adiacent cloistre - that hosts now the "Chambre régionale des comptes" - are the only buildings left from a Dominican convent built during Louis XIV times between 1684 and 1707. The church was the place where the funeral religious services for the spanish painter Goya - who lived also in Bordeaux - were hold....

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At around: 1.53 km

Quinconces Square Quinconces, the largest square in Europe,is situated on the Garonne's banks.
It features the monument of the Girondins and the 2 monumental columns of 21 meters each, erected in 1828 and dedicated to the marine and the commerce.
The monument of Girondins - the Girondins were the moderate parlamentary faction during the French revolution, faction named so because some of its members were from La Gironde department- is a 50 meters column erected between 1893 and 1902. It represents through its bottom sculptures the victory of "Concorde" and of the Republic. On the pinnacle of the column sits the statue that represents the Liberty breaking its chains. Notice also on the side of the monument (to be viewed...

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At around: 2.07 km

Saint-Louis des Chartrons Saint-Louis des Chartrons church is situated in one of Bordeaux’ less visited zones, the district of Chartrons, North from the old town.
The name Chartrons comes from the first monastery "Nostra Dama Deus Chartrons" founded here in 1383 by monks belonging to the Order of Chartreux (or the Carthusian order).
The Saint Louis de Chartron church was built between 1874 and 1879, on the site of an older chapel built in 1726, and is the work of the architect Charles-Louis Brun.
It is a typical neo-gothic construction listed as Historic Monument. The church houses the biggest symphonic organ of the Aquitaine region and is the site of year-round organ concerts....

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UNESCO Heritage List At around: 2.97 km

Port de la Lune - The Port of Moon Port de la Lune is the largest urban ensemble in the world -1810 hectares- recognized in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
It is the old port of Bordeaux and the name "Lune" that means in French moon comes from its location on the crescent-shaped meander of the Garonne river. The ensemble, running from the Quai de Bacalan on the north side to the Quai de Paludate on the south side, is an outstanding example of the architecture of the 18th century preserved in mint condition....

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At around: 20.78 km

Château de Vayres The castle of Vayres with his Italian renaissance architecture and his gardens "à la Francaise" is one of the most important monuments of Aquitaine region. It was a property of Henri III de Navarre future Henri IV de France from his mother side.
The castle was in the property of d'Albret family since 1287 when Rose de Bourg brought the castle as her dowry at her marriage with Amanieu VII d'Albret.
King Henri stayed in the castle several times unti 1583 when the castle was sold to Ogier de Gourgues, a member of the parliament of Bordeaux. The new owner rebuilt it with the help of the famous architect of the time Louis de Foix.
At the end of 17th century Jacques...

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National Monument At around: 29.55 km

Cadillac Castle The name Cadillac is well known all over the world because of the Detroit based General Motors manufactured Cadillac car. Few know however that it comes from the name of the French founder of Detroit, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, a name that makes reference to the little French town of Cadillac in the heart of the Bordeaux wine region.
Historically Cadillac is a bastide founded in 1280 by the Edward I, King of England for the defense of Bordeaux.
In 1315 the bastide surrounds itself with a defensive structure from which survive 2 gates, 3 towers and almost the entire wall.
The most important historic...

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UNESCO Heritage List At around: 32.65 km

Fort Medoc Fort Medoc, Fort Pate and Citadel de Blaye were the three Vauban fortifications designed to protect the Gironde Estuary and Bordeaux from attacks from the water. Fort Medoc is the second in size after Citadel de Blaye. It consists of four bastions connected by walls, two turned to the river (bastions of the Dolphin and Sea) and two on the Médoc (bastions of the King and France). It is surrounded by ditches that are connected to Gironde via a system of locks that allow the water to be maintained regardless of the tide. The fort was built starting from 1690 and its completion took 32 years even though the army took possession of it in 1691 while many of its features were...
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UNESCO Heritage List At around: 33.14 km

Saint Emilion Saint Emilion and its jurisdiction - located in the department of Gironde - was added in 1999 to the UNESCO's World Heritage List.
While the region has been inhabited since the Neolithic era - more then 10,000 years ago - the name Saint Emillion comes from a Breton hermit named Emilian who settled here in the 8th century. Not many things are known about Emilian. We know only that he lived the cross-shaped cave - cave that can still be visited - until his death in 767 AD.
Being situated in the Aquitaine region Saint Emillion came under English rule after the marriage of Eleonor of Aquitaine to king Henry Plantagenet of England on the 18th of May...

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UNESCO Heritage List At around: 33.86 km

Blaye Citadel The Blaye citadel is one of the fortifications that together with Fort Medoc and Fort Paté formed a defense system built on the Gironde estuary for the protection of Bordeaux.
Built on the Roman military fortification that during the Middle Ages became a medieval fortress the 34ha citadel is the work of the engineering genius Vauban and represented at its time, at the end of the 17th century, an example of state-of-the-art military architecture.
As a part of the so called "Vauban network" of forts spread all over France the Blaye citadel is listed since 2008 in the UNESCO's World Heritage.
The citadel of nowadays is a fortified village with homes, stores and restaurants. From its side overlooking the estuary one can admire the...

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Mysterious At around: 44.48 km

Villandraut Castle Villandraut castle is a still impressive structure located in the town of Villandraut some 60km south of Bordeaux (near the famous Sauternes wine region). It is listed as a Historic Monument since 1886 and along with Roquetaillade, Budos and Blanquefort is one of the so called "clementin castels" built by different de Got family members the most famous of whom was Pope Clement V.
The town of Villandraut is the birth place of Raymond Bertrand de Got (1264 - 20 April 1314) successively canon and sacristan of the Cathedral of Saint-André in Bordeaux, vicar-general to his brother the archbishop of Lyon, bishop of St-Bertrand-de-Comminges and private secretary to Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303) and archbishop of Bordeaux beginning in 1297.
In 1305 with...

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At around: 44.5 km

Castets-en-Dorthe Castets-en-Dorthe marks the junction of the Canal lateral de la Garonne with the river. It is the "Atlantic" end of the Canal of the Two Seas.
Before the canal "flows" into Garonne it passes through 3 locks the most important one being the last one - number 53 - that can be handled only by authorized personnel that takes into consideration the level of the Garonne river at the moment and the Atlantic tides!
There are 2 more interesting sites that can be visitedin the little town of Castets-en-Dorthe.The Saint Romain church end the Hamel Castle.
Saint Romain church was built in the 13th century during the time of the French pope Clement V. It is listed as historical monument since 1925.

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At around: 44.74 km

Roquetaillade Castle Masterpiece of feudal and Renaissance architecture, the Roquetaillade castle - Roquetaillade means rock cutting - was initally built at the order of the English King Eduard 1 (at a time when Aquitaine region was under English crown)and is owned since the 14th century by the same family.
Pearched as many fortresses on the top of a hill the very way through the English style park leading to the castle makes a pleasant short walk.
For movie lovers: Roquetaillade Castle was used for shooting films like Brotherhood of the Wolf , the TV Serie Highlander, and Fantômas contre Scotland Yard. The castle has also its own wineyard and produces AOC (Appelation d'Origine Controlee) Graves wine that can be tasted at the...

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At around: 47.38 km

Montaigne Castle The Castle of Montaigne situated in Perigord close to Bergerac and Saint-Emilion is the birth place of Michel Eyquem, Seigneur de Montaigne (1533-1592), French writer, philosopher - he said "Fortune, seeing that she could not make fools wise, has made them lucky" and "Confidence in the goodness of another is good proof of one's own goodness" - and political figure, elected 2 times mayor of Bordeaux.
During the last years of his life Michael de Montaigne was a close friend of Henry III of Navarre, later to be King Henri IV of France, who visited the castle at least 2 times: in December 1584 when the king was battling catholics and he had to flee close to the protestant cities...

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