BURDEOS, LA ESPAÑOLA
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.