BUR­DEOS, LA ES­PAÑO­LA

Bordeaux Moments - - Ici D'ailleurs -

Bor­deaux is a cos­mo­po­li­tan ci­ty. Among the ma­ny re­la­tion­ships for­ged over time and across the world, Bor­deaux’s re­la­tion­ship with Spain runs par­ti­cu­lar­ly deep. Na­tu­ral­ly, geo­gra­phi­cal proxi­mi­ty has a part to play in Bor­deaux’s spe­cial links that make it one of the rare French ci­ties to have a Spa­nish ver­sion of its name. The re­gion has al­ways re­mai­ned a close cou­sin for the Spa­nish who have come in search of ad­ven­ture or re­fuge. Thus, in 1492, the Al­ham­bra de­cree and the In­qui­si­tion for­ced ma­ny Je­wish fa­mi­lies to flee to Bor­deaux. The Lo­pez de Villa­nue­va fa­mi­ly, who was pro­ba­bly among them, had a daugh­ter who mar­ried Pierre Ey­quem, Lord of Mon­taigne. Their mar­riage pro­du­ced the fa­mous phi­lo­so­pher Mi­chel de Mon­taigne (1533). Just as illus­trious, the pain­ter Fran­cis­co Goya spent the last years of his life in this ci­ty (1824-1828), among the hun­dreds of li­be­ral re­for­mers and re­vo­lu­tio­na­ries who es­ta­bli­shed them­selves here. These ve­ne­rable im­mi­grants played a si­gni­fi­cant role in the eco­no­mic, so­cial and cultu­ral life of the ci­ty. A cen­tu­ry la­ter, thou­sands of Spa­nish re­pu­bli­can exiles mo­ved here, in­clu­ding a young Pa­blo San­chez who, in 1944, sa­ved the Pont de pierre from des­truc­tion by the Ger­mans, at the cost of his life. Less dra­ma­tic- or in­deed not- is the case of Gonzá­lez y García, who be­come fa­mous in the ca­ba­ret before ta­king the name Luis Ma­ria­no. From 1955, as much for po­li­ti­cal rea­sons as eco­no­mic ones, mi­gra­to­ry mo­ve­ment be­gan again, and in the 60's more than 60,000 Spa­niards were of­fi­cial­ly re­gis­te­red. From Cours Vic­tor Hu­go to Cours Yser, you could hear sounds from Ga­li­cia, As­tu­rias, Can­ta­bria, the Basque Country, Na­varre, Ara­gon and Cas­tile, in bars, res­tau­rants and shops. Even if ma­ny of the ol­der ge­ne­ra­tion have since re­tur­ned to where they came from, their children, born French, conti­nue to nou­rish Bor­deaux's culture and way of life.

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