Senlis is a city in the northern French department of Oise, Hautes de France. Cute, medieval and charming. It offered us great peek into history: The monarchs of the early French dynasties lived in Senlis, attracted by the proximity of the Chantilly forest. Senlis is situated on the river Nonette. Senlis was known in early Roman imperial times as Augustomagus. During the 3rd century, a seven-meter […]
So Milica called after a very long and hard day at work: Would you like to fly with me to Bordeaux for the weekend?
– Is Friday included?
-Yes it is, she said.
-Hm, I can’t risk the day off at work, it is too soon. I just got back from Christmas holidays.
5 mins later I am texting my friend: You know what? Life is too short, book these tickets!
This is how our arrival looked like: vineyards everywhere. We knew the Aquitaine region is famous by vineyards and that the city is the french capital of wine, but still, we were impressed with the surrounding. In fact, Bordeaux is the world’s major wine industry capital. It is home to the world’s main wine fair, Vinexpo.
Our weekend was about fine wine and well dining. 🙂
The historic part of the city is s an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble of the meadiaval period up to 18th century. It was the department of the Girondine – the important party of the French Revolution. After Paris, Bordeaux has the highest number of preserved historical buildings of any city in France, since the Revolution never included the city of Bordeaux.
If you ask me, the mediaval period lover, I enjoyed the architecture and hidden streets! 🙂
But let me start from the beginning:
In historical times, around 300 BC it was the settlement of a Celtic tribe, who named the town Burdigala, probably of Aquitanian origin.
In 2nd century BC the battle was hel and the city became part of The Roman Empire! Later it became capital of Roman Aquitaine with the famous Pont de pierre, or “Stone Bridge” over the river Garonne.
Actually, the bridge you see on the photo above is reconstructed during the First French Empire, under the orders of Napoleon I, and later again during the Bourbon Restoration.
Robberies of the city in 5th and 6th century of Vandals and the Franks are ony bringing a period of obscurity for the city. So the city started to build fortresses and city walls.
With the Merovingian kingdom of the Franks the it starts to be recuperated and the battles between England and Franks started.
This bell tower was named after its main feature: fat bell. It is one of the few remaining vestiges of the middle ages in Bordeaux. It used to be a jail as well.
Like the Grosse Cloche, Porte Cailhau was a medieval gateway to pass the city walls.
The inspiring church, out of many, for e was the Church of Saint Pierre with the nice stained glass and high, but really high arches:
The Cathedral of Saint Andrew of Bordeaux is from 11th century, originally romanesque. In this church in 1137 the 15-year-old Eleanor of Aquitaine married the future Louis VII, a few months before she became Queen (Queen consort of France and England. She was one of the most powerful and wealthiest women in western Europe during the High Middle Ages. She was patron of literary figures and led armies of the Second Crusade.
Moving towards 18 century well preserved architecture and Bordeaux facades. As mentined, the Revolution never hit this city so the facades and balconies are french unique.
The very famous is Place de la Bourse which inuguration started in mid 18th century signalling the first breach of the mediaval walls and symbolised an era of prosperity.
Unfortunately, we were not lucky to capture photos of the recent addition of Mirror d’eau.
Then, a vast esplanade with the colossal monument to Girondines at Place des Quinconces:
Opposite of which are two standing columns of two famous Bordelais philosophers Montaigne and Montesquieu.
The last day we left for walking down the Garonne river and enjoying the sun.
We entered the Cite du vin – museum of wine, which is kinda futuristic building but is shows you entire history of the wine. How it played the iportant role in the society since the ancioent societies and relligions until today.
Oh, and this little cute thing: