Bordeaux (; Gascon Bordèu ) is a port city on the Garonne in the Gironde department in Southwestern France.

The municipality (commune) of Bordeaux proper has a population of 257,804 (2019). Bordeaux is the centre of Bordeaux Métropole that has a population of 796,273 (2019), the 5th largest in France after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Lille with its immediate suburbs and closest satellite towns. The larger metropolitan area has a population of 1,232,550 (2016). It is the capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture of the Gironde department. Its inhabitants are called "Bordelais" (for men) or "Bordelaises" (women). The term "Bordelais" may also refer to the city and its surrounding region.

Being France's most prominent wine region, with 3,37 Billion € turnover it is both the center of a major wine-growing and wine-producing region hosting the world's most renowned estates, and a prominent powerhouse exercising significant influence on the world's wine and spirits industry, although no wine production is conducted within the city limits. It is home to the world's main wine fair, Vinexpo, and the wine economy in the metro area takes in 14.5 billion euros each year. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century. The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble" of the 18th century. After Paris, Bordeaux has the highest number of preserved historical buildings of any city in France.


5th Century BC to the 11th Century

Around 300 BC the region was the settlement of a Celtic tribe, the Bituriges Vivisci, named the town Burdigala, probably of Aquitanian origin.

In 107 BC the Battle of Burdigala was fought by the Romans who were defending the Allobroges, a Gallic tribe allied to Rome, and the Tigurini led by Divico. The Romans were defeated and their commander, the consul Lucius Cassius Longinus, was killed in battle.

The city came under Roman rule around 60 BC, and it became an important commercial centre for tin and lead. It continued to flourish, especially during the Severan dynasty (3rd century), and acquired the status of capital of Roman Aquitaine. During this period were built the amphitheatre and the momument Les Piliers de Tutelle.

File:Bordeaux - Pilliers de Tutelle.jpg|Les Piliers de Tutelle File:Bordeaux - Palais Gallien 2.jpg|The Roman amphitheatre

In 276 it was sacked by the Vandals. The Vandals attacked again in 409, followed by the Visigoths in 414, and the Franks in 498, and afterwards the city fell into a period of relative obscurity.In the late 6th century the city re-emerged as the seat of a county and an archdiocese within the Merovingian kingdom of the Franks, but royal Frankish power was never strong. The city started to play a regional role as a major urban center on the fringes of the newly founded Frankish Duchy of Vasconia. Around 585 Gallactorius was made count of Bordeaux and fought the Basques.

In 732 the city was plundered by the troops of Abd er Rahman who stormed the fortifications and overwhelmed the Aquitanian garrison. Duke Eudes mustered a force to engage the Umayyads, eventually engaging them in the Battle of the River Garonne somewhere near the river Dordogne. The battle had a high death toll, and although Eudes was defeated he had enough troops to engage in the Battle of Poitiers and so retain his grip on Aquitaine.

In 735 following his father Eudes's death, the Aquitanian duke Hunald led a rebellion to which Charles responded by launching an expedition that captured Bordeaux. However, it was not retained for long, during the following year the Frankish commander clashed in battle with the Aquitanians but then left to take on hostile Burgundian authorities and magnates. In 745 Aquitaine faced another expedition where Charles's sons Pepin and Carloman challenged Hunald's power and defeated him. Hunald's son Waifer replaced him and confirmed Bordeaux as the capital city (along with Bourges in the north).

During the last stage of the war against Aquitaine (760–768), it was one of Waifer's last important strongholds to fall to the troops of King Pepin the Short. Charlemagne built the fortress of Fronsac (Frontiacus, Franciacus) near Bordeaux on a hill across the border with the Basques (Wascones), where Basque commanders came and pledged their loyalty (769).

In 778 Seguin (or Sihimin) was appointed count of Bordeaux, probably undermining the power of the Duke Lupo, and possibly leading to the Battle of Roncevaux Pass. In 814 Seguin was made Duke of Vasconia, but was deposed in 816 for failing to suppress a Basque rebellion. Under the Carolingians, sometimes the Counts of Bordeaux held the title concomitantly with that of Duke of Vasconia. They were to keep the Basques in check and defend the mouth of the Garonne from the Vikings when they appeared in c. 844. In Autumn 845 the Vikings were raiding Bordeaux and Saintes, count Seguin II marched on them but was captured and executed.

Although the port of Bordeaux was a buzzing trade center, the stability and success of the city was constantly threatened by Germanic and Norman invasions. It wasn't until the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry Plantagenet in 1152 established some sort of protection, as it provided a connection with the English After this union, Bordeaux suddenly had access to naval protection, which made the attacks from the nomadic groups few and far between.

12th century to the 15th century, the English era

From the 12th to the 15th century Bordeaux regained importance following the marriage of Duchess Eléonore of Aquitaine to the French-speaking Count Henri Plantagenet, born in Le Mans, who within months of their wedding became King Henry II of England. The city flourished, primarily due to the wine trade, and the cathedral of St. André and the belfry (Grosse Cloche) were built. After granting a tax-free trade status with England, King Henry II was adored by the locals as they could be even more profitable in the wine trade, their main source of income. The city cathedral St. Cathédrale St-André was built in 1227, incorporating the artisan quarter of Saint-Paul. It was also the capital of an independent state under Edward, the Black Prince (1362–1372), but after the Battle of Castillon (1453) it was annexed by France, and so extended its territory.

15th century to the 17th century

In 1462 Bordeaux created a local parliament. However, it only begun to regain its importance during the 17th century when it became a major trading centre for sugar and slaves from the West Indies, along with its traditional wine exports.

Bordeaux adhered to the Fronde, being effectively annexed to the Kingdom of France only in 1653, when the army of Louis XIV entered the city.

18th century to the 19th century, the golden era

The 18th century saw another golden age of Bordeaux. The Port of the Moon supplied the majority of Europe with coffee, cocoa, sugar, cotton and indigo, becoming France's busiest port and the second busiest port in the world after London. Many downtown buildings (about 5,000), including those on the quays, are from this period. Victor Hugo found the town so beautiful he said: "Take Versailles, add Antwerp, and you have Bordeaux". Georges-Eugène Haussmann, a long-time prefect of Bordeaux, used Bordeaux's 18th-century large-scale rebuilding as a model when he was asked by Emperor Napoleon III to transform a then still quasi-medieval Paris into a "modern" capital that would make France proud.

Towards the end of the Peninsula war on 12 March 1814, the Duke of Wellington sent William Beresford with two divisions and seized Bordeaux encountering little resistance. Bordeaux was largely anti-Bonapartist and the majority supported the Bourbons, so the British troops were treated as liberators.

File:Deuxieme vue du port de Bordeaux prise du château Trompette.jpg|thumb|right|Port of the Moon in 1759 File:Hugo d'Alesi, vue cavalière de Bordeaux, 1899, Archives de Bordeaux métropole.jpg|Aerial view of the Port of the Moon in 1899 In 1870, at the beginning of the Franco-Prussian war against Prussia, the French government temporarily relocated to Bordeaux from Paris. This recurred during the World War I and again very briefly during the World War II, when it became clear that Paris would fall into German hands.

20th century

During World War II, Bordeaux fell under German Occupation.

In May and June 1940, Bordeaux was the site of the life-saving actions of the Portuguese consul-general, Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who illegally granted thousands of Portuguese visas, which were needed to pass the Spanish border, to refugees fleeing the German Occupation.

From 1941 to 1943, the Italian Royal Navy (Regia Marina Italiana) established BETASOM, a submarine base at Bordeaux. Italian submarines participated in the Battle of the Atlantic from this base, which was also a major base for German U-boats as headquarters of 12th U-boat Flotilla. The massive, reinforced concrete U-boat pens have proved impractical to demolish and are now partly used as a cultural center for exhibitions.


Bordeaux is located close to the European Atlantic coast, in the southwest of France and in the north of the Aquitaine region. It is around 500 km southwest of Paris. The city is built on a bend of the river Garonne, and is divided into two parts: the right bank to the east and left bank in the west. Historically the left bank is more developed because when flowing outside the bend, the water makes a furrow of the required depth to allow the passing of merchant ships, which used to offload on this side of the river. But, today, the right bank is developing, including new urban projects. In Bordeaux, the Garonne River is accessible to ocean liners through the Gironde estuary. The right bank of the Garonne is a low-lying, often marshy plain.


Bordeaux's climate is classified as a temperate oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb), or in the Trewartha climate classification system as temperate oceanic or Do climate. Bordeaux lies close to the humid subtropical climate zone, its summers not quite warm enough for that classification.

Winters are cool because of the prevalence of westerly winds from the Atlantic. Summers are warm and long due to the influence from the Bay of Biscay (surface temperature reaches 21 to). The average seasonal winter temperature is 7.1 °C, but recent winters have been warmer than this. Frosts in the winter occur several times during a winter, but snowfall is very rare, occurring only once every three years. The average summer seasonal temperature is 20.7 °C. The summer of 2003 set a record with an average temperature of 23.3 °C.


Bordeaux is a major centre for business in France as it has the sixth largest metropolitan population in France. It serves as a major regional center for trade, administration, services and industry.

, the GDP of Bordeaux is €32.7 Billion.


The vine was introduced to the Bordeaux region by the Romans, probably in the mid-first century, to provide wine for local consumption, and wine production has been continuous in the region since.Bordeaux wine growing area has about 116160 ha of vineyards, 57 appellations, 10,000 wine-producing estates (châteaux) and 13,000 grape growers. With an annual production of approximately 960 million bottles, the Bordeaux area produces large quantities of everyday wine as well as some of the most expensive wines in the world. Included among the latter are the area's five premier cru (first growth) red wines (four from Médoc and one, Château Haut-Brion, from Graves), established by the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855:

Both red and white wines are made in the Bordeaux region. Red Bordeaux wine is called claret in the United Kingdom. Red wines are generally made from a blend of grapes, and may be made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit verdot, Malbec, and, less commonly in recent years, Carménère.

White Bordeaux is made from Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle. Sauternes is a sub-region of Graves known for its intensely sweet, white, dessert wines such as Château d'Yquem.

Because of a wine glut (wine lake) in the generic production, the price squeeze induced by an increasingly strong international competition, and vine pull schemes, the number of growers has recently dropped from 14,000 and the area under vine has also decreased significantly. In the meantime, the global demand for first growths and the most famous labels markedly increased and their prices skyrocketed.

The Cité du Vin, a museum as well as a place of exhibitions, shows, movie projections and academic seminars on the theme of wine opened its doors in June 2016.


The Laser Mégajoule will be one of the most powerful lasers in the world, allowing fundamental research and the development of the laser and plasma technologies. This project, carried by the French Ministry of Defence, involves an investment of 2 billion euros. The "Road of the lasers", a major project of regional planning, promotes regional investment in optical and laser related industries leading to the Bordeaux area having the most important concentration of optical and laser expertise in Europe.

Some 20,000 people work for the aeronautic industry in Bordeaux. The city has some of the biggest companies including Dassault, EADS Sogerma, Snecma, Thales, SNPE, and others. The Dassault Falcon private jets are built there as well as the military aircraft Rafale and Mirage 2000, the Airbus A380 cockpit, the boosters of Ariane 5, and the M51 SLBM missile.

Tourism, especially wine tourism, is a major industry. mentioned Bordeaux as the best tourist destination in Europe in 2015.

Access to the port from the Atlantic is via the Gironde estuary. Almost nine million tonnes of goods arrive and leave each year.

Major companies

This list includes indigenous Bordeaux-based companies and companies that have major presence in Bordeaux, but are not necessarily headquartered there.

  • Arena
  • Groupe Bernard
  • Groupe Castel
  • Cdiscount
  • Dassault
  • Jock
  • Marie Brizard
  • McKesson Corporation
  • Oxbow
  • Ricard
  • Sanofi Aventis
  • Smurfit Kappa
  • Solectron
  • Thales Group


    At the January 2011 census, there were 239,399 inhabitants in the city proper (commune) of Bordeaux. Bordeaux in its hey day had a population of 262,662 in 1968. The majority of the population is French, but there are sizable groups of Italians, Spaniards (Up to 20% of the Bordeaux population claim some degree of Spanish heritage), Portuguese, Turks, Germans.

    The built-up area has grown for more than a century beyond the municipal borders of Bordeaux due to urban sprawl, so that by the January 2011 census there were 1,140,668 people living in the overall metropolitan area of Bordeaux, only a fifth of whom lived in the city proper.Largest communities of foreigners :


    Presidential elections of 2007

    At the 2007 presidential election, the Bordelais gave 31.37% of their votes to Ségolène Royal of the Socialist Party against 30.84% to Nicolas Sarkozy, president of the UMP. Then came François Bayrou with 22.01%, followed by Jean-Marie Le Pen who recorded 5.42%. None of the other candidates exceeded the 5% mark. Nationally, Nicolas Sarkozy led with 31.18%, then Ségolène Royal with 25.87%, followed by François Bayrou with 18.57%. After these came Jean-Marie Le Pen with 10.44%, none of the other candidates exceeded the 5% mark. In the second round, the city of Bordeaux gave Ségolène Royal 52.44% against 47.56% for Nicolas Sarkozy, the latter being elected President of the Republic with 53.06% against 46.94% for Ségolène Royal. The abstention rates for Bordeaux were 14.52% in the first round and 15.90% in the second round.

    Parliamentary elections of 2007

    In the parliamentary elections of 2007, the left won eight constituencies against only three for the right. It should be added that after the partial 2008 elections, the eighth district of Gironde switched to the left, bringing the count to nine. In Bordeaux, the left was for the first time in its history the majority as it held two of three constituencies following the elections. In the first division of the Gironde, the outgoing UMP MP Chantal Bourragué was well ahead with 44.81% against 25.39% for the Socialist candidate Beatrice Desaigues. In the second round, it was Chantal Bourragué who was re-elected with 54.45% against 45.55% for his socialist opponent. In the second district of Gironde the UMP mayor and all new Minister of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea Alain Juppé confronted the General Counsel PS Michèle Delaunay. In the first round, Alain Juppé was well ahead with 43.73% against 31.36% for Michèle Delaunay. In the second round, it was finally Michèle Delaunay who won the election with 50.93% of the votes against 49.07% for Alain Juppé, the margin being only 670 votes. The defeat of the so-called constituency "Mayor" showed that Bordeaux was rocking increasingly left. Finally, in the third constituency of the Gironde, Noël Mamère was well ahead with 39.82% against 28.42% for the UMP candidate Elizabeth Vine. In the second round, Noël Mamère was re-elected with 62.82% against 37.18% for his right-wing rival.

    Municipal elections of 2008

    In 2008 municipal elections saw the clash between mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppé and the President of the Regional Council of Aquitaine Socialist Alain Rousset. The PS had put up a Socialist heavyweight in the Gironde and had put great hopes in this election after the victory of Ségolène Royal and Michèle Delaunay in 2007. However, after a rather exciting campaign it was Alain Juppé who was widely elected in the first round with 56.62%, far ahead of Alain Rousset who has managed to get 34.14%. At present, of the eight cantons that has Bordeaux, five are held by the PS and three by the UMP, the left eating a little each time into the right's numbers.

    European elections of 2009

    In the European elections of 2009, Bordeaux voters largely voted for the UMP candidate Dominique Baudis, who won 31.54% against 15.00% for PS candidate Kader Arif. The candidate of Europe Ecology José Bové came second with 22.34%. None of the other candidates reached the 10% mark. The 2009 European elections were like the previous ones in eight constituencies. Bordeaux is located in the district "Southwest", here are the results:

    UMP candidate Dominique Baudis: 26.89%. His party gained four seats. PS candidate Kader Arif: 17.79%, gaining two seats in the European Parliament. Europe Ecology candidate Bove: 15.83%, obtaining two seats. MoDem candidate Robert Rochefort: 8.61%, winning a seat. Left Front candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon: 8.16%, gaining the last seat. At regional elections in 2010, the Socialist incumbent president Alain Rousset won the first round by totaling 35.19% in Bordeaux, but this score was lower than the plan for Gironde and Aquitaine. Xavier Darcos, Minister of Labour followed with 28.40% of the votes, scoring above the regional and departmental average. Then came Monique De Marco, Green candidate with 13.40%, followed by the member of Pyrenees-Atlantiques and candidate of the MoDem Jean Lassalle who registered a low 6.78% while qualifying to the second round on the whole Aquitaine, closely followed by Jacques Colombier, candidate of the National Front, who gained 6.48%. Finally the candidate of the Left Front Gérard Boulanger with 5.64%, no other candidate above the 5% mark. In the second round, Alain Rousset had a tidal wave win as national totals rose to 55.83%. If Xavier Darcos largely lost the election, he nevertheless achieved a score above the regional and departmental average obtaining 33.40%. Jean Lassalle, who qualified for the second round, passed the 10% mark by totaling 10.77%. The ballot was marked by abstention amounting to 55.51% in the first round and 53.59% in the second round.

    Only candidates obtaining more than 5% are listed

    Municipal administration

    The Mayor of the city is Nicolas Florian.

    Virginie Calmels is Deputy Mayor of Bordeaux in charge of the Economy, Employment and Sustainable Growth and Vice-President of the Urban Community of Bordeaux.

    Bordeaux is the capital of five cantons and the Prefecture of the Gironde and Aquitaine.

    The town is divided into three districts, the first three of Gironde. The headquarters of Urban Community of Bordeaux Mériadeck is located in the neighbourhood and the city is at the head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry that bears his name.

    The number of inhabitants of Bordeaux is greater than 199,999 and less than 250,000 and so the number of municipal councilors is 61. They are divided according to the following composition:

    Mayors of Bordeaux

    Since 1947, there have been 5 mayors of Bordeaux:
  • RPR was renamed to UMP in 2002 which was later renamed to Les Republicains in 2015



    The university was created by the archbishop Pey Berland in 1441 and was abolished in 1793, during the French Revolution, before reappearing in 1808 with Napoleon. Bordeaux accommodates approximately 70,000 students on one of the largest campuses of Europe (235 ha). The University of Bordeaux is divided into four:

  • The University Bordeaux 1, (Maths, Physical sciences and Technologies), 10,693 students in 2002
  • The University Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux Segalen (Medicine and Life sciences), 15,038 students in 2002
  • The University Bordeaux 3, Michel de Montaigne (Liberal Arts, Humanities, Languages, History), 14,785 students in 2002
  • The University Bordeaux 4, Montesquieu (Law, Economy and Management), 12,556 students in 2002
  • Institut of Political Sciences of Bordeaux. Although technically a part of the fourth university, it largely functions autonomously.


    Bordeaux has numerous public and private schools offering undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

    Engineering schools:
  • Arts et Métiers ParisTech, graduate school of industrial and mechanical engineering
  • ESME-Sudria, graduate school of engineering
  • École d'ingénieurs en modélisation mathématique et mécanique
  • École nationale supérieure d'électronique, informatique, télécommunications, mathématique et mécanique de Bordeaux (ENSEIRB-MATMECA)
  • École supérieure de technologie des biomolécules de Bordeaux
  • École nationale d'ingénieurs des travaux agricoles de Bordeaux
  • École nationale supérieure de chimie et physique de Bordeaux
  • École pour l'informatique et les nouvelles technologies
  • Institut des sciences et techniques des aliments de Bordeaux
  • Institut de cognitique
  • École supérieure d'informatique
  • École privée des sciences informatiques

    Business and management schools:

  • The Bordeaux MBA (International College of Bordeaux)
  • IUT Techniques de Commercialisation of Bordeaux (business school)
  • INSEEC Business School (Institut des hautes études économiques et commerciales)
  • KEDGE Business School (former BEM – Bordeaux Management School)
  • Vatel Bordeaux International Business School
  • E-Artsup
  • Institut supérieur européen de gestion group
  • Institut supérieur européen de formation par l'action


  • École nationale de la magistrature (National school for the judiciary)
  • École d'architecture et de paysage de Bordeaux
  • École des beaux-arts de Bordeaux
  • École française des attachés de presse et des professionnels de la communication (EFAP)
  • Conservatoire national des arts et métiers d'Aquitaine (CNAM)
  • École des Avocats ALIENOR de Bordeaux (law school)

    Weekend education

    The École Compleméntaire Japonaise de Bordeaux (ボルドー日本語補習授業校 Borudō Nihongo Hoshū Jugyō Kō), a part-time Japanese supplementary school, is held in the Salle de L'Athenee Municipal in Bordeaux.

    Main sights

    Heritage and architecture

    Bordeaux is classified "City of Art and History". The city is home to 362 monuments historiques (only Paris has more in France) with some buildings dating back to Roman times. Bordeaux, Port of the moon, has been inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble".

    Bordeaux is home to one of Europe's biggest 18th-century architectural urban areas, making it a sought-after destination for tourists and cinema production crews. It stands out as one of the first French cities, after Nancy, to have entered an era of urbanism and metropolitan big scale projects, with the team Gabriel father and son, architects for King Louis XV, under the supervision of two intendants (Governors), first Nicolas-François Dupré de Saint-Maur then the Marquis de Tourny.

    Saint-André Cathedral, Saint-Michel Basilica and Saint-Seurin Basilica are part of the World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France.


    Main sights include:
  • Place de la Bourse (1735–1755), designed by the Royal architect Jacques Gabriel as landscape for an equestrian statue of Louis XV, now replaced by the Fountain of the Three Graces.
  • Grand Théâtre (1780), a large neoclassical theater built in the 18th century.
  • Allées de Tourny
  • Cours de l'Intendance
  • Place du Chapelet
  • Place du Parlement
  • Place des Quinconces, the largest square in France.
  • Monument aux Girondins
  • Place Saint-Pierre
  • Pont de pierre (1822)
  • Saint Andrew's Cathedral, consecrated by Pope Urban II in 1096. Of the original Romanesque edifice only a wall in the nave remains. The Royal Gate is from the early 13th century, while the rest of the construction is mostly from the 14th and 15th centuries.
  • Tour Pey-Berland (1440–1450), a massive, quadrangular Gothic tower annexed to the cathedral.
  • Église Sainte-Croix (Church of the Holy Cross). It lies on the site of a 7th-century abbey destroyed by the Saracens. Rebuilt under the Carolingians, it was again destroyed by the Normans in 845 and 864. It is annexed to a Benedictine abbey founded in the 7th century, and was built in the late 11th and early 12th centuries. The façade is in Romanesque style
  • The Gothic Basilica of Saint Michael, constructed between the end of the 14th century and the 16th century.
  • Basilica of Saint Severinus, the most ancient church in Bordeaux. It was built in the early 6th century on the site of a palaeochristian necropolis. It has an 11th-century portico, while the apse and transept are from the following century. The 13th-century nave has chapels from the 11th and the 14th centuries. The ancient crypt houses sepulchres of the Merovingian family.
  • Église Saint-Pierre, gothic church
  • Église Saint-Éloi, gothic church
  • Église Saint-Bruno, baroque church decorated with frescoes
  • Église Notre-Dame, baroque church
  • Église Saint-Paul-Saint-François-Xavier, baroque church
  • Palais Rohan, former mansion of the archbishop, now city hall
  • Palais Gallien, the remains of a late 2nd-century Roman amphitheatre
  • Porte Cailhau, a medieval gatehouse of the old city walls.
  • La Grosse Cloche (15th century), the second remaining gate of the Medieval walls. It was the belfry of the old Town Hall. It consists of two 40 m circular towers and a central bell tower housing a bell weighing . The watch is from 1759.
  • La Grande Synagogue, built in 1878
  • Rue Sainte-Catherine, the longest pedestrian street of France
  • Darwin ecosystem, alternative place into former military barracks
  • The BETASOM submarine base

    File:Le Palais Gallien vestige gallo-romain à Bordeaux.jpg|Remains of the Roman amphitheatre File:Cathédrale St André Bordeaux 3.jpg|Saint Andrew's Cathedral File:Bordeaux Porte Cailhau R02.jpg|Porte Cailhau File:Grand Théâtre Bordeaux.jpg|Grand Théâtre File:Bordeaux Notre-Dame R01.jpg|the church Notre Dame File:151 - Le Pont de Pierre - Bordeaux.jpg|Pont de Pierre File:Bordeaux - Basilique Saint-Michel - Vue générale.jpg|Basilica of Saint Michael File:Puerta de Burdeos.JPG|Grosse cloche File:026 - Hôtel de ville Place Pey-Berland - Bordeaux.jpg|Palais Rohan (town hall) File:FacadeSainteCroixBordeauxsoir.jpg|140px|Église Sainte-Croix File:Bordeaux Place du Parlement R01.jpg|Place du Parlement File:Synagogue Bx 5.jpg|The Grand Synagogue File:Façades de deux ouvrages Art Déco du Quartier Lescure (Bordeaux).jpg|Facades of the Art déco district File:Darwin - Magasin général.jpg|Darwin district File:Basesousmarine.JPG|Submarine Pen

    Contemporary architecture

  • Cité Frugès, district of Pessac, built by Le Corbusier,1924-1926, listed as UNESCO heritage
  • Fire Station, la Benauge, Claude Ferret/Adrien Courtois/Yves Salier, 1951–1954
  • Mériadeck district, 1960-70's
  • Court of first instance, Richard Rogers, 1998
  • CTBA, wood and furniture research center, A. Loisier, 1998
  • Hangar 14 on the Quai des Chartrons, 1999
  • The Management Science faculty on the Bastide, Anne Lacaton/Jean-Philippe Vassal, 2006
  • The Jardin botanique de la Bastide, Catherine Mosbach/Françoise Hélène Jourda/Pascal Convert, 2007
  • The Nuyens School complex on the Bastide, Yves Ballot/Nathalie Franck, 2007
  • Seeko'o Hotel on the Quai des Chartrons, King Kong architects, 2007
  • Matmut Atlantique stadium, Herzog & de Meuron, 2015
  • Cité du Vin, XTU architects, Anouk Legendre & Nicolas Desmazières, 2016
  • MECA, Maison de l'Economie Créative et de la culture de la Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Bjarke Ingels, 2019

    File:Cité Frugès, Pessac 08.jpg|Cité Frugès, at Pessac File:Bordeaux Meriadeck.JPG|Mériadeck district File:Bordeaux Palais de Justice 23.JPG|Court of first instance File:Seeko'o Hotel, Bordeaux, July 2014 (03).JPG|Seeko'o hotel File:Cite du vin Bordeaux 2017 (37500642606).jpg|Cité du Vin File:RB 20200222 Bordeaux-11.jpg|MECA


  • Musée des Beaux Arts (Fine arts museum), one of the finest painting galleries in France with paintings by painter such as Tiziano, Veronese, Rubens, Van Dyck, Frans Hals, Claude, Chardin, Delacroix, Renoir, Seurat, Redon, Matisse and Picasso.
  • Musée d'Aquitaine (archeological and history museum)
  • Musée du Vin et du Négoce (museum of the wine trade)
  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs (museum of decorative arts)
  • Musée d'Histoire Naturelle (natural history museum)
  • Musée Mer Marine (Sea and Navy museum)
  • Cité du Vin
  • CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux (modern art museum)
  • Musée national des douanes (history of French customs)
  • Bordeaux Patrimoine Mondial (architectural and heritage interpretation centre)
  • Musée d'ethnologie (ethnology museum)
  • Institut culturel Bernard Magrez, modern and streetart museum into an 18th-century mansion
  • Cervantez Institute (into the house of Goya)
  • Cap Sciences
  • Centre Jean Moulin

    File:Beaux arts bordeaux.jpg|Musée des Beaux Arts File:Musée Aquitaine.JPG|Musée d'Aquitaine File:Hôtel de Lalande - Musée des arts décoratifs et du design de Bordeaux.jpg|Musée des Arts Décoratifs et du Design File:CAPC janvier 2018.jpg|CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux File:Musée du vin et du négoce de Bordeaux (3).jpg|Musée du vin et du négoce de Bordeaux

    Memory of slavery

    Slavery was part of a growing drive for the city. Firstly, during the 18th and 19th centuries, Bordeaux was an important slave port, which saw some 500 slave expeditions that cause the deportation of 150,000 Africans by Bordeaux shipowners. Secondly, even though the "Triangular trade" represented only 5% of Bordeaux's wealth, the city's direct trade with the Caribbean, that accounted for the other 95%, concerns the colonial stuffs made by the slave (sugar, coffee, cocoa). And thirdly, in that same period, a major migratory movement by Aquitanians took place to the Caribbean colonies, with Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) being the most popular destination. 40% of the white population of the island came from Aquitaine. They prospered with plantations incomes, until the first slave revolts which concluded in 1848 in the final abolition of slavery in France.

    Today a lot of traces and memorial sites are visible in the city. Moreover, in May 2009, the Museum of Aquitaine opened the spaces dedicated to "Bordeaux in the 18th century, trans-Atlantic trading and slavery". This work, richly illustrated with original documents, contributes to disseminate the state of knowledge on this question, presenting above all the facts and their chronology.

    The region of Bordeaux was also the land of several prominent abolitionists, as Montesquieu, Laffon deLadébat and Elisée Reclus. Others were members of the Society of the Friends of the Blacks as the revolutionaries Boyer-Fonfrède, Gensonné, Guadet and Ducos.

    File:Bordeaux place de la Bourse mascaron visage africain.JPG|African face mascaron on the place de la Bourse. File:Détail de la fresque du Grand-Théâtre de Bordeaux.jpg|Allegory of Bordeaux and her wealth, including two african slaves, ceiling of the Grand-Théâtre de Bordeaux. File:Salles consacrées à l'esclavage au Musée d'Aquitaine, Bordeaux.jpg|Spaces dedicaded to slave trade, Musée d'Aquitaine. File:Statue-fétiche Fon-Musée d'Aquitaine (1).jpg|Fon fetish, Musée d'Aquitaine. File:Buste en bronze de Toussaint Louverture, Bordeaux.jpg|Bronze bust of Toussaint Louverture. File:Statue de Modeste Testas, quai des Chartrons, Bordeaux.jpg|Bronze Statue of Modeste Testas, african slave deported by two Bordeaux traders and plantation owners.

    Parks and gardens

  • Jardin public de Bordeaux, with inside the Jardin botanique de Bordeaux
  • Jardin botanique de la Bastide
  • Parc bordelais
  • Parc aux Angéliques
  • Jardin des Lumières
  • Parc Rivière
  • Parc Floral

    File:Bordeaux Jardin Public R02.jpg|Jardin public File:Jardin botanique de Bordeaux 7.jpg|Jardin botanique File:Bordeaux Quai Louis XVIII R01.jpg|Jardin des Lumières File:Parc floral de Bordeaux 3298.jpg|Parc floral, Casablanca pavilion

    Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas

    Europe's longest-span vertical-lift bridge, the Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas, was opened in 2013 in Bordeaux, spanning the River Garonne. The central lift span is 117 m and can be lifted vertically up to 53 m to let tall ships pass underneath. The €160 million bridge was inaugurated by President François Hollande and Mayor Alain Juppé on 16 March 2013. The bridge was named after the late Jacques Chaban-Delmas, who was a former Prime Minister and Mayor of Bordeaux.


    Bordeaux has many shopping options. In the heart of Bordeaux is Rue Sainte-Catherine. This pedestrian-only shopping street has 1.2 km of shops, restaurants and cafés; it is also one of the longest shopping streets in Europe. Rue Sainte-Catherine starts at Place de la Victoire and ends at Place de la Comédie by the Grand Théâtre. The shops become progressively more upmarket as one moves towards Place de la Comédie and the nearby Cours de l'Intendance is where one finds the more exclusive shops and boutiques.


    Bordeaux is also the first city in France to have created, in the 1980s, an architecture exhibition and research centre, Arc en rêve. Bordeaux offers a large number of cinemas, theatres, and is the home of the Opéra national de Bordeaux. There are many music venues of varying capacity. The city also offers several festivals throughout the year.

    File:GrandTheatreBordeaux2.jpg|Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux File:Bordeaux - Théâtre Femina.jpg|Théâtre Femina File:RB 20200222 Bordeaux-11.jpg|MECA, Maison de l’Économie Créative et de la Culture en Aquitaine



    Bordeaux is an important road and motorway junction. The city is connected to Paris by the A10 motorway, with Lyon by the A89, with Toulouse by the A62, and with Spain by the A63. There is a 45 km ring road called the "Rocade" which is often very busy. Another ring road is under consideration.Bordeaux has five road bridges that cross the Garonne, the Pont de pierre built in the 1820s and three modern bridges built after 1960: the Pont Saint Jean, just south of the Pont de pierre (both located downtown), the Pont d'Aquitaine, a suspended bridge downstream from downtown, and the Pont François Mitterrand, located upstream of downtown. These two bridges are part of the ring road around Bordeaux. A fifth bridge, the Pont Jacques-Chaban-Delmas, was constructed in 2009–2012 and opened to traffic in March 2013. Located halfway between the Pont de pierre and the Pont d'Aquitaine and serving downtown rather than highway traffic, it is a vertical-lift bridge with a height comparable to the Pont de pierre in closed position, and to the Pont d'Aquitaine in open position. All five road bridges, including the two highway bridges, are open to cyclists and pedestrians as well. Another bridge, the Pont Jean-Jacques Bosc, is to be built in 2018.

    Lacking any steep hills, Bordeaux is relatively friendly to cyclists. Cycle paths (separate from the roadways) exist on the highway bridges, along the riverfront, on the university campuses, and incidentally elsewhere in the city. Cycle lanes and bus lanes that explicitly allow cyclists exist on many of the city's boulevards. A paid bicycle-sharing system with automated stations has been established in 2010.


    The main railway station, Gare de Bordeaux Saint-Jean, near the center of the city, has 12 million passengers a year. It is served by the French national (SNCF) railway's high speed train, the TGV, that gets to Paris in two hours, with connections to major European centers such as Lille, Brussels, Amsterdam, Cologne, Geneva and London. The TGV also serves Toulouse and Irun (Spain) from Bordeaux. A regular train service is provided to Nantes, Nice, Marseille and Lyon. The Gare Saint-Jean is the major hub for regional trains (TER) operated by the SNCF to Arcachon, Limoges, Agen, Périgueux, Langon, Pau, Le Médoc, Angoulême and Bayonne.

    Historically the train line used to terminate at a station on the right bank of the river Garonne near the Pont de Pierre, and passengers crossed the bridge to get into the city. Subsequently, a double-track steel railway bridge was constructed in the 1850s, by Gustave Eiffel, to bring trains across the river direct into Gare de Bordeaux Saint-Jean. The old station was later converted and in 2010 comprised a cinema and restaurants.

    The two-track Eiffel bridge with a speed limit of 30 km/h became a bottleneck and a new bridge was built, opening in 2009. The new bridge has four tracks and allows trains to pass at 60 km/h. During the planning there was much lobbying by the Eiffel family and other supporters to preserve the old bridge as a footbridge across the Garonne, with possibly a museum to document the history of the bridge and Gustave Eiffel's contribution. The decision was taken to save the bridge, but by early 2010 no plans had been announced as to its future use. The bridge remains intact, but unused and without any means of access.

    Since July 2017, the LGV Sud Europe Atlantique is fully operational and makes Bordeaux city 2h04 from Paris.


    Bordeaux is served by Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport, located 8 km from the city centre in the suburban city of Mérignac.

    Trams, buses and boats

    Bordeaux has an important public transport system called Transports Bordeaux Métropole (TBM). This company is run by the Keolis group. The network consists of:
  • 4 tram lines (A, B, C and D)
  • 75 bus routes, all connected to the tramway network (from 1 to 96)
  • 13 night bus routes (from 1 to 16)
  • An electric bus shuttle in the city centre
  • A boat shuttle on the Garonne river This network is operated from 5 am to 2 am.

    There had been several plans for a subway network to be set up, but they stalled for both geological and financial reasons. Work on the Tramway de Bordeaux system was started in the autumn of 2000, and services started in December 2003 connecting Bordeaux with its suburban areas. The tram system uses ground-level power supply technology (APS), a new cable-free technology developed by French company Alstom and designed to preserve the aesthetic environment by eliminating overhead cables in the historic city. Conventional overhead cables are used outside the city. The system was controversial for its considerable cost of installation, maintenance and also for the numerous initial technical problems that paralysed the network. Many streets and squares along the tramway route became pedestrian areas, with limited access for cars.

    The planned Bordeaux tramway system is to link with the airport to the city centre towards the end of 2019.


    There are more than 400 taxicabs in Bordeaux.

    Public transportation statistics

    The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Bordeaux, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 51 min. 12.% of public transit riders, ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 13 min, while 15.5% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is 7 km, while 8% travel for over 12 km in a single direction.


    The 41,458-capacity Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux is the largest stadium in Bordeaux. The stadium was opened in 2015 and replaced the Stade Chaban-Delmas, which was a venue for the FIFA World Cup in 1938 and 1998, as well as the 2007 Rugby World Cup. In the 1938 FIFA World Cup, it hosted a violent quarter-final known as the Battle of Bordeaux. The ground was formerly known as the Stade du Parc Lescure until 2001, when it was renamed in honour of the city's long-time mayor, Jacques Chaban-Delmas.

    There are two major sport teams in Bordeaux, Girondins de Bordeaux is the football team, playing in Ligue 1 in the French football championship. Union Bordeaux Bègles is a rugby team in the Top 14 in the Ligue Nationale de Rugby. Skateboarding, rollerblading, and BMX biking are activities enjoyed by many young inhabitants of the city. Bordeaux is home to a beautiful quay which runs along the Garonne river. On the quay there is a skate-park divided into three sections. One section is for Vert tricks, one for street style tricks, and one for little action sports athletes with easier features and softer materials. The skate-park is very well maintained by the municipality.

    Bordeaux is also the home to one of the strongest cricket teams in France and are champions of the South West League.

    There is a 250 m wooden velodrome, Vélodrome du Lac, in Bordeaux which hosts international cycling competition in the form of UCI Track Cycling World Cup events.

    The 2015 Trophee Eric Bompard was in Bordeaux. But the Free Skate was cancelled in all of the divisions due to the Paris bombing(s) and aftermath. The Short Program occurred hours before the bombing. French skaters Chafik Besseghier (68.36) in 10th place, Romain Ponsart (62.86) in 11th. Mae-Berenice-Meite (46.82) in 11th and Laurine Lecavelier (46.53) in 12th. Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres (65.75) in 2nd.

    Between 1951 and 1955, an annual Formula 1 motor race was held on a 2.5-kilometre circuit which looped around the Esplanade des Quinconces and along the waterfront, attracting drivers such as Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Jean Behra and Maurice Trintignant.

    Notable people

    File:Ausonius.jpg|Ausonius File:Anthony Frederick Sandys - Queen Eleanor.JPG|Eleanor of Aquitaine File:Richard II King of England.jpg|Richard II of England File:Michel-eyquem-de-montaigne 1.jpg|Michel de Montaigne File:Sta. Joana de Lestonnac.jpg|Sainte Jeanne de Lestonnac File:Charles Montesquieu.jpg|Montesquieu File:Rosa Bonheur, 1865, wearing the Legion of Honour.jpg|Rosa Bonheur File:095 Odilon Redon Mon portrait.jpg|Odilon Redon File:Self-Portrait Albert Marquet (1904).jpg|Albert Marquet
  • Ausonius (310-395), Roman poet and teacher of rhetoric
  • Jean Alaux (1786–1864), painter
  • Bertrand Andrieu (1761–1822), engraver
  • Jean Anouilh (1910–1987), dramatist
  • Lucien Arman (1811-1873), shipbuilder and politician
  • Yvonne Arnaud (1892–1958), pianist, singer and actress
  • Floyd Ayité (born 1988), Togolese footballer
  • Jonathan Ayité (born 1985), Togolese footballer
  • Christine Barbe, winemaker
  • Gérard Bayo (born 1936), writer and poet,
  • François Bigot (1703–1778), last "Intendant" of New France
  • Arnaud Binard (born 1971), actor and producer
  • Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899), animal painter and sculptor
  • Grégory Bourdy (born 1982), golfer
  • Samuel Boutal (born 1969), footballer
  • Edmond de Caillou (died c. February 1316) Gascon knight fighting in Scotland
  • Gérald Caussé, Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • René Clément (1913–1996), actor, director, writer
  • Jean-René Cruchet (1875–1959), pathologist
  • Boris Cyrulnik (born 1937), psychiatrist et psychoanalyst
  • Damia (1899–1978), singer and actress
  • Étienne Noël Damilaville (1723–1768), encyclopédiste
  • Lili Damita (1901–1994), actress
  • Frédéric Daquin, (born 1978), footballer
  • Danielle Darrieux (born 1917), actress
  • Bernard Delvaille (1931–2006), poet, essayist
  • David Diop (1927–1960), poet
  • Jean-Francois Domergue, footballer
  • Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204), duchess of Aquitaine, queen of France and queen of England
  • Jacques Ellul (1912–1994), sociologist, theologian, Christian anarchist
  • Marie Fel (1713–1794), opera singer
  • Jean-Luc Fournet (1965), papyrologist
  • Pierre-Jean Garat (1762–1823), singer
  • Armand Gensonné (1758–1793), politician
  • Stephen Girard (1750–1831), merchant, banker, and Philadelphia philanthropist
  • Jérôme Gnako (born 1968), footballer
  • Eugène Goossens (1867–1958), conductor, violinist
  • Anna Hamilton (1864-1935), doctor, superintendent of the Protestant Hospital at Bordeaux (1901-1934)
  • [[Pierre Lacour]] (1745-1814), painter
  • Léopold Lafleurance (1865–1953), flautist
  • Joseph Henri Joachim Lainé (1767–1835), statesman
  • Sainte Jeanne de Lestonnac (1556-1640), Roman Catholic saint and foundress of the Sisters of the Company of Mary, Our Lady
  • André Lhote (1885-1962), cubist painter
  • François Lhote (1743-1808), architect
  • Jean-Baptiste Lynch (1749-1835), politician
  • Lucenzo (born 1983), singer
  • Jean-Jacques Magendie (1766–1835), officer
  • François Magendie (1783–1855), physiologist
  • Bruno Marie-Rose (born 1965), athlete (sprinter)
  • Albert Marquet, (1875-1947), painter
  • François Mauriac (1885–1970), writer, Nobel laureate 1952
  • Benjamin Millepied (born 1977), dancer and choreographer
  • Édouard Molinaro (1928–2013), film director, screenwriter
  • Pierre Molinier (1900-1976), painter, photographer
  • Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592), essayist
  • Montesquieu (1689-1755), man of letters and political philosopher
  • Olivier Mony (1966–), writer and literary critic
  • Étienne Marie Antoine Champion de Nansouty (1768–1815), general
  • Elie Okobo, basketball player
  • Pierre Palmade (born 1968), actor and comedian
  • St. Paulinus of Nola (354–431), educator, religious figure
  • Émile Péreire (1800–1875), banker and industrialist
  • Albert Pitres (1848–1928), neurologist
  • Hippolyte Pradelles (1824-1913), naturalist painter
  • Georges Antoine Pons Rayet (1839–1906), astronomer, discoverer of the Wolf-Rayet stars, & founder of the Bordeaux Observatory
  • Odilon Redon (1840–1916), painter
  • Richard II of England (1367–1400), king
  • Pierre Rode (1774–1830), violinist
  • Olinde Rodrigues (1795–1851), mathematician, banker and social reformer
  • Marie-Sabine Roger (born 1957), writer
  • Bernard Sarrette (1765–1858), conductor and music pedagogue
  • François Seignouret (1783-1852), furniture manufacturer
  • Jean-Jacques Sempé (born 1932), cartoonist
  • Florent Serra (born 1981), tennis player
  • Alfred Smith, (1854-1932), painter
  • Philippe Sollers, (born 1936), writer
  • Wilfried Tekovi, (born 1989), Togolese footballer
  • Elie Vinet (1509-1587), historian and humanist of the Renaissance

    International relationship

    Twin towns - sister cities

    Bordeaux is twinned with:
  • Ashdod, Israel, since 1984
  • Bilbao, Spain
  • Baku, Azerbaijan, since 1985
  • Bristol, United Kingdom, since 1947
  • Casablanca, Morocco, since 1988
  • Fukuoka, Japan, since 1982
  • Lima, Peru, since 1957
  • Los Angeles, California United States, since 1968
  • Madrid, Spain, since 1984
  • Munich, Germany, since 1964
  • Oran, Algeria, since 2003
  • Porto, Portugal, since 1978
  • Quebec City, Quebec Canada, since 1962
  • Riga, Latvia
  • Saint Petersburg, Russia, since 1993
  • Wuhan, China, since 1998
  • Ramallah, Palestine
  • Kraków, Poland, since 1993


  • Samsun, Turkey, since 2010