Top landmarks and must-see destinations in Bordeaux

Top landmarks and must-see destinations in Bordeaux, Southeast French building designs, Architecture France

Top Landmarks And Must-See Destinations in Bordeaux Guide

18 February 2023

Top landmarks and must-see destinations in Bordeaux
photo : Julien Tondu on Unsplash

Bordeaux is a beautiful city in southwestern France, full of incredible landmarks and must-see destinations. From the neoclassical architecture of the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux to the iconic beauty of the Chartrons district, Bordeaux has something for everyone. Whether you’re a tourist looking to take in the sights or a local looking to explore their own backyard, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to discover the best landmarks and must-see destinations in Bordeaux.

A Local’s Guide to the Top Landmarks and Must-See Destinations in Bordeaux

The Cathedral of Saint André

One of the most iconic landmarks in the city of Bordeaux, the Cathedral of Saint André stands out as a testament to the city’s rich history and culture. Located at Place Pey-Berland, this grand cathedral dates back to the early 13th century and is a stunning example of Gothic architecture. The interior of the church features beautiful stained glass windows and ornate sculptures, while the exterior is characterised by a wide central nave, impressive spires, and intricate buttresses. Visitors will appreciate the cathedral’s rich history, as it has been a focal point for religious and civic life since its construction. Whether you’re in Bordeaux to take in the sights or just passing through, a visit to the Cathedral of Saint André is a must.

The Palais Gallien

Any Bordeaux city break would be incomplete without visiting one of its palaces. Located in the heart of Bordeaux, the Palais Gallien is an iconic landmark that should not be missed when exploring the city. Built in the mid-19th century, the Palais Gallien is a historic monument that has stood for over two centuries.

As one of the oldest buildings in Bordeaux, the Palais Gallien offers visitors a glimpse into the city’s rich history and culture. The building’s exterior is made up of stunningly intricate stonework that dates back to the 19th century. From the outside, you can admire the large windows and elegant arched doorways that make up the building’s facade.

Inside, you can explore a variety of rooms, each with its own unique style and feel. The grand staircase, which was designed by renowned architect Victor Dubois, is one of the most popular features of the building. The Palais Gallien also houses a number of museums, galleries and shops that are worth exploring. Whether you’re looking to learn more about Bordeaux’s history, admire artwork or find unique souvenirs, you’re sure to find something interesting here. Be sure to check out the Musee des Beaux Arts, which houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures and prints from some of the most famous French artists.

The Tower of Hercules

The Tower of Hercules is a 2nd century Roman lighthouse located on the Quai Louis XVIII in the port of Bordeaux. It is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city and one of the few remaining Roman structures in France. The tower stands over 50 feet tall, with eight sides and four levels. It is illuminated at night, making it a striking sight for visitors. The tower was originally constructed in the 1st century, but was reconstructed in the 13th century after being destroyed by a storm.

It was part of the maritime defence system set up by the Romans to protect their shipping routes. Today, it serves as a reminder of Bordeaux’s rich history and its importance as a major port in France. Visitors can climb the 224 steps to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city and its famous bridges. Inside, visitors can find replicas of Roman coins and artefacts that tell the story of its long history. There is also an interactive exhibit dedicated to the lighthouse’s history and restoration.

The Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux

Bordeaux wine is not the only thing famous in this city. The Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Located in the heart of the city centre, this stunning neoclassical building is a must-see for anyone visiting Bordeaux. Originally built in 1780, the theatre is an architectural marvel that was lovingly restored in 2017.

Inside, you can admire its opulent décor, including beautiful chandeliers and velvet seats. The theatre stages some of the best performances in the region, ranging from grand operas to contemporary plays. The theatre also hosts a variety of concerts and special events throughout the year. Whether you’re a fan of classical music or modern theatre, you’ll find something to enjoy at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux.

Visiting the theatre is a great way to get a sense of local culture and history. You can take a guided tour around the building, explore the auditorium and check out the impressive architecture up close. As one of Bordeaux’s most treasured landmarks, the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux should definitely be on your list of must-see destinations in the city.

The Musée d’Art Contemporain

The Musée d’Art Contemporain, or Museum of Contemporary Art, is one of the most popular attractions in Bordeaux. The museum was first established in 1981 and has been a major cultural hub since then. It houses a wide array of contemporary art from all over the world, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, installations, and videos.

The museum also offers educational and interactive activities for both children and adults. From seminars to guided tours, the museum is sure to engage its visitors with thought-provoking art. The Musée d’Art Contemporain is located in the heart of Bordeaux’s old town, close to the Place de la Bourse and the Grand Théâtre. A visit to the museum is sure to be a memorable experience for any art enthusiast.

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Architecture in Bordeaux

Bordeaux Architecture Design – chronological list

Bordeaux Buildings

French Architects

French Architecture

European Architecture Walking Tours : city walks by e-architect

New Bordeaux Buildings

New Bordeaux Building Designs – Selection

Hyperion Tower
Design: Jean-Paul Viguier et Associés, Architects
Hyperion Tower
picture from architect
Tower Building in Bordeaux

MÉCA Bordeaux Building
Design: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group + FREAKS freearchitects
MÉCA Bordeaux Building by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and FREAKS freearchitects
photo : Laurian Ghinitoiu
MÉCA Bordeaux Building

La Cité du Vin Bordeaux Nominated for Mies van der Rohe 2017 Awards
Design: XTU
La Cité du Vin Bordeaux
images © XTU-Julien Lanoo
La Cité du Vin Bordeaux

Arc En Ciel
Design: Agence Bernard Bühler
Arc En Ciel Bordeaux

Bordeaux Installation Design
Design: Ball Nogues Studio
Bordeaux Installation Design

Maison at Bordeaux
Design: Rem Koolhaas, OMA Architects / OMA
Bordeaux house

BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

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