With 350 building listed as historical monuments and three world heritage buildings, Bordeaux treasures some of France’s most prestigious monuments and architectural gems. Once settled in one of the most picturesque cities in France, what better way to get to know the town that to reach for the Kodak, adjust your lens and commence on a quest for the perfect holiday snap.
For by far the most breathtaking panoramic view of the city, entails a bit of climbing. Right in the heart of the old city, the Tower Eglise Pey Berland is a free standing bell tower which stands 112 metres tall next to the Saint Andre Cathedral. Built between 1440 and 1446, originally to provide the Cathedral with larger bells, the tower itself is a testament to prestigious Bordeaux gothic architecture, with perturbing steeples and gargoyles lining the upper balcony. After climbing the 228 stone steps, twisting steeply around a narrow staircase, the reward is a remarkable view of the adjacent cathedral and provides the opportunity to snap an amazing city landscape photo, where french tiled roofs outstretch to the distant horizon.
An unmissable building to catch on camara is the impressive Grand Theatre which is probably the finest architectural pieces of the city, and Bordeaux’s most iconic monument. Built as a tribute to the Bordeaux Bourgeoisie, the building is now one of the last remaining 18th century theatres in the world, and is stunningly beautiful. The opera house also offers both theatrical and musical performances, and a chic restaurant that overlooks the main town square.
If head shots are what you are after, an alternative perspective can be found on a Sunday morning at the Saint- Michel market. This particular area is home to a large immigrant population, and people from all nationalities and ages flock to buy and sell antiques, vintage clothes, records, food, making for an authentic and lively atmosphere. After the market is over, you can choose from one of the many Moroccan cafes in the St Michel main square to have a fresh mint tea and admire the attractive white stone church nearby.
Etymologically speaking, Bordeaux translates as “beside the water”, and so documenting your trip would not be complete without a trip to the water’s edge. Here you will find the famous Miroir D’eau (Water mirror), locate on the quay directly in front of the Place de La Bourse. An ingenious 21st creation, the piece consists of a large shallow body of water, which acts as a magical mirror reflecting the symmetrical architecture behind. Every half an hour, a light spay is set off, and on summer days both children and adults kick off their shoes and get lost in the water vapour, creating a feeling of mirage and mystique for passersby. Perhaps to really get caught up in the Bordeaux experience, this is the time to put down the camera for a second, and have a splash around too.