Population 235,891 (2008)
Area 1,172.79 km2
Mayor Alain Juppe (UMP)
|Points of interest Grand Theatre de Bordeaux, Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux Cathedral, Musee dAquitaine, Pont de pierre|
Colleges and Universities Bordeaux Montaigne University, BEM Management School, University of Bordeaux 1, Montesquieu University – Bordeaux IV, Universite Bordeaux Segalen
Bordeaux ( Gascon: Bordeu; Basque: ) is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.
- Map of Bordeaux
- Top 14 reasons to visit bordeaux frances aquitaine region
- Main sights
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- Bordeaux style and food
Map of Bordeaux
The small municipality (commune) of Bordeaux proper has a population of 239,399 (January 2011),. Together with its suburbs and satellite towns Bordeaux is the center of the Metropole de Bordeaux, with 737 492 inhabitants the 4th largest in France. With 62% of the s 1,46 million people working inside the Metropole of Bordeaux, its urban area is the 5th largest in France after Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Lille and before Toulouse. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture of the Gironde department. Its inhabitants are called "Bordelais" (for men) or "Bordelaises" (women). The term "Bordelais" may also refer to the city and its surrounding region.
Top 14 reasons to visit bordeaux frances aquitaine region
The citys nicknames are "La perle dAquitaine" (The Pearl of Aquitaine), and "La Belle Endormie" (Sleeping Beauty) in reference to the old center which had black walls due to pollution. Nowadays, this is not the case. In fact, a part of the city, Le Port de La Lune, was almost completely renovated.
Bordeaux is the worlds major wine industry capital. It is home to the worlds main wine fair, Vinexpo , while the wine economy in the metro area takes in 14.5 billion euros each year. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century. The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble" of the 18th century.
Histogram on demographic change
In historical times, around 300 BCE it was the settlement of a Celtic tribe, the Bituriges Vivisci, who named the town Burdigala, probably of Aquitainian origin. The name Bourde is still the name of a river south of the city.
In 107 BCE, the Battle of Burdigala was fought by the Romans who were defending the Allobroges, a Gallic tribe allied to Rome, and the Tigurini led by Divico. The Romans were defeated and their commander, the consul Lucius Cassius Longinus was killed in the action.
The city fell under Roman rule around 60 BC, its importance lying in the commerce of tin and lead towards Rome. Later it became capital of Roman Aquitaine, flourishing especially during the Severan dynasty (3rd century). In 276 it was sacked by the Vandals. Further ravage was brought by the same Vandals in 409, the Visigoths in 414 and the Franks in 498, beginning a period of obscurity for the city.
In the late 6th century, the city re-emerged as the seat of a county and an archdiocese within the Merovingian kingdom of the Franks, but royal Frankish power was never strong. The city started to play a regional role as a major urban center on the fringes of the newly founded Frankish Duchy of Vasconia. Circa 585, a certain Gallactorius is cited as count of Bordeaux and fighting the Basques.
The city was plundered by the troops of Abd er Rahman in 732 after storming the fortified city and overwhelming the Aquitanian garrison. Duke Eudes mustered a force ready to engage the Umayyads outside Bordeaux, eventually taking on them in the Battle of the River Garonne somewhere near the river Dordogne, described as taking a heavy death toll. After duke Eudess defeat, the Aquitanian duke could still save part of its troops and keep his grip on Aquitaine after the Battle of Poitiers.
In 735, the Aquitanian duke Hunald led a rebellion after his father Eudess death, at which Charles responded by sending an expedition that captured and plundered Bordeaux again, but it was not retained for long. The following year, the Frankish commander descended again over Aquitaine, but clashed in battle with the Aquitanians and left to take on hostile Burgundian authorities and magnates. In 745, Aquitaine faced yet another expedition by Charles sons Pepin and Carloman against Hunald, the Aquitanian princeps (or duke) strong in Bordeaux. Hunald was defeated, and his son Waifer replaced him, who in turn confirmed Bordeaux as the capital city (along with Bourges in the north).
During the last stage of the war against Aquitaine (760-768), it was one of Waifers last important strongholds to fall to King Pepin the Shorts troops. Next to Bordeaux, Charlemagne built the fortress of Fronsac (Frontiacus, Franciacus) on a hill across the border with the Basques (Wascones), where Basque commanders came over to vow loyalty to him (769).
In 778, Seguin (or Sihimin) was appointed count of Bordeaux, probably undermining the power of the Duke Lupo, and possibly leading to the Battle of Roncevaux Pass that very year. In 814, Seguin was made Duke of Vasconia, but he was deposed in 816 for failing to suppress or sympathise with a Basque rebellion. Under the Carolingians, sometimes the Counts of Bordeaux held the title concomitantly with that of Duke of Vasconia. They were meant to keep the Basques in check and defend the mouth of the Garonne from the Vikings when the latter appeared c. 844 in the region of Bordeaux. In Autumn 845, count Seguin II marched on the Vikings assaulting Bordeaux and Saintes, but was captured and put to death. There are no bishops mentioned during the whole 8th century and part of the 9th in Bordeaux.
From the 12th to the 15th century, Bordeaux regained importance following the marriage of Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine with the French-speaking Count Henri Plantagenet, born in Le Mans, who became, within months of their wedding, King Henry II of England. The city flourished, primarily due to the wine trade, and the cathedral of St. Andre was built. It was also the capital of an independent state under Edward, the Black Prince (1362–1372), but in the end, after the Battle of Castillon (1453), it was annexed by France which extended its territory. The Chateau Trompette (Trumpet Castle) and the Fort du Ha, built by Charles VII of France, were the symbols of the new domination, which however deprived the city of its wealth by halting the wine commerce with England.
In 1462, Bordeaux obtained a parliament, but regained importance only in the 16th century when it became the center of the distribution of sugar and slaves from the West Indies along with the traditional wine.
Bordeaux adhered to the Fronde, being effectively annexed to the Kingdom of France only in 1653, when the army of Louis XIV entered the city.
The 18th century was the golden age of Bordeaux. Many downtown buildings (about 5,000), including those on the quays, are from this period. Victor Hugo found the town so beautiful he once said: "Take Versailles, add Antwerp, and you have Bordeaux". Baron Haussmann, a long-time prefect of Bordeaux, used Bordeauxs 18th-century large-scale rebuilding as a model when he was asked by Emperor Napoleon III to transform a then still quasi-medieval Paris into a "modern" capital that would make France proud.
In 1814, towards the end of the Peninsula war, the Duke of Wellington sent William Beresford with two divisions, who seized Bordeaux without much resistance on 12 March. Bordeaux was largely anti-Bonapartist and had a majority that supported the Bourbons, so the British troops were treated as liberators.
In 1870, at the beginning of the Franco-Prussian war against Prussia, the French government relocated to Bordeaux from Paris. This happened again during the First World War and again very briefly during the Second World War, when it became clear that Paris would soon fall into German hands. However, on the last of these occasions the French capital was soon moved again to Vichy. In May and June 1940, Bordeaux was the site of the life-saving actions of the Portuguese consul-general, Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who illegally granted thousands of Portuguese visas, which were needed to pass the Spanish border, to refugees fleeing the German Occupation.
From 1940 to 1943, the Italian Royal Navy (Regia Marina Italiana) established BETASOM, a submarine base at Bordeaux. Italian submarines participated in the Battle of the Atlantic from this base, which was also a major base for German U-boats as headquarters of 12th U-boat Flotilla. The massive, reinforced concrete U-boat pens have proved impractical to demolish and are now partly used as a cultural center for exhibitions.
Bordeaux is located close to the European Atlantic coast, in the southwest of France and in the north of the Aquitaine region. It is around 500 km (310 mi) southwest of Paris. The city is built on a bend of the river Garonne, and is divided into two parts: the right bank to the east and left bank in the west. Historically the left bank is more developed because when flowing outside the bend, the water makes a furrow of the required depth to allow the passing of merchant ships, which used to offload on this side of the river. In Bordeaux, the Garonne River is accessible to ocean liners. The right bank of the Garonne is a low-lying, often marshy plain.
Bordeaux is a major centre for business is France as it has the 6th largest metropolitan population in France.
Bordeaux is classified "City of Art and History". The city is home to 362 monuments historiques (only Paris has more in France) with some buildings dating back to Roman times. Bordeaux has been inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble".
Bordeaux is home to one of Europes biggest 18th-century architectural urban areas, making it a sought-after destination for tourists and cinema production crews. It stands out as one of the first French cities, after Nancy, to have entered an era of urbanism and metropolitan big scale projects, with the team Gabriel father and son, architects for King Louis XV, under the supervision of two intendants (Governors), first Nicolas-Francois Dupre de Saint-Maur then the Marquis (Marquess) de Tourny.
Bordeaux is also the first city in France to have created, in the 1980s, an architecture exhibition and research center, Arc en reve. Bordeaux offers a large number of cinemas, theatres and is the home of the Opera national de Bordeaux. There are many music venues of varying capacity. The city also offers several festivals throughout the year.