Bordeaux’s Art de Vivre

Bordeaux J'Adore - - Front Page - Marie-luce Ri­bot

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!

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