Bordeaux’s Art de Vivre
Between 1804 and 1806, Pierre Lacour painted A View of Some Ports and Quays in Bordeaux: The Chartrons and the Bacalan. This painting, which is brilliantly dissected in an exhibition at the Museum of Aquitaine, documents the story of Bordeaux's golden age of trade. At the beginning of the 19th Century, the Garonne and the city on its banks were merged in a symbiotic relationship. One could observe the boats jostling for position on the water, and a few metres away on the quayside, a diverse crowd going about its business. The sailor, the fishmonger and the porter all rubbed up against the high society of the day and if you looked closely, you might even spot a member of the illustrious Ferrière dynasty of wine merchants.
Just over two centuries later, after years of calm on the quays, this same view of Bordeaux could be the object of a contemporary art-work. Little by little, the Garonne has recovered her sense of life, with the comings and goings of the cruise-liners, the luxury river barges, the boat-taxis, and the few determined paddle-boarders and canoeists to have colonised the river as their playground. Back on terra firma, wine, the driving-force of the Bordelais economy in the age of Lacour, is now a treasure accessible to all. A museum dedicated to oenology and viticulture, La Cité du Vin, which opened last year, testifies to the extent to which our local resource is now universally revered. In every neighbourhood of Bordeaux, in humble bars and Michelin-starred restaurants, one can taste an impressive range of world-class wines from this region and beyond. If you get the chance to come during Vinexpo, the prestigious international forum for wine professionals, you’ll see Bordeaux in high spirits as she pays homage to the elixir she owes her fame to.
In recent years, Bordeaux’s urban regeneration has turned it into a tourist sensation. Heralded as the top travel destination of 2017 by The Lonely Planet, this city never stops metamorphosing. On July 2nd, the LGV Océane, a new generation of high speed train will make its debut, connecting Bordeaux to Paris in just two hours. All summer long, our dynamic city will host a series of cultural events for the enjoyment of locals and visitors. Under the title Landscapes, the programme will celebrate Bordeaux’s love affair with modern architecture.
Each Spring we put together a new edition of this indispensable guide to the city we love. Bordeaux J’adore is your travel Bible, so keep it close, and you won’t miss out on any of the Summer’s festivities. Enjoy yourself, you’re in Bordeaux!