Bordeaux: An architectural wonderland
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The name ‘Bordeaux’ weaves a spell of magic and mystery. To gourmets it signifies rich, high-quality wine. And yet, did you know that Bordeaux is a world heritage city today because of its bountiful architectural tradition? For over two centuries there have been no stylistic alterations to the architectural chic with 350 buildings listed as Historic Monuments and three as World Heritage buildings.
This port city of France is also the wine capital of the world and hosts the most famous wine event of the world, Vinexpo.
Traveling to Bordeaux? Well, don’t forget to book your accommodation in advance as Bordeaux is a well sought after tourist spot. With luxury oozing out of each pore of the city you wouldn’t be blamed for wanting to seek out luxury accommodation. And if you are looking for relatively inexpensive accommodation with all the trappings of a five star hotels we recommend Sainte Catherine which is close to the main shopping centre. The World Best Hotels is well known for its great services and cleanliness. The food is good but we do suggest that you check into a nearby café if you want a good hearty breakfast. The bill will end up easier on your pocket and you will not have to shell out five star hotel rates.
The Parliament Street right next door is a great place to eat, lined as it happens to be with some eateries and cafes. This luxury hotel (which is not really a luxury hotel) is also next to some wonderful bars, making the place a little noisy in the evenings. But the good news is that you won’t have to pay luxury hotel rates for your drinks and eats inside the hotel premises.
There are certain buildings and premises in Bordeaux that leave you absolutely awe-struck. St. Andre’s Cathedral, for instance, is jaw-dropping, to say the least. Parts of it seem to have been constructed over different periods in time, over different centuries, in fact. A few of its walls, though, remind you of the splendor associated with the 9th and 10th centuries. Right next to it is the flamboyantly gothic 15th century tower called the Tour Pey-Berland. A soaring edifice it contains the statue of Notre Dame-d'Aquitaine along with several imposing clocks.
If you wish to mingle with the crowds and make your visit slightly less ‘touristy’ we recommend you hop on to a tram bound for Porte de Bourgogne across the river Garonne. Here you will get to feast your eyes on this rather impressive early 19th century bridge known as Pont de Pierre dedicated to Napoléon the First. Difficult to construct initially because stalwart currents would bring it down, engineers succeeded only after 12 years. At night, the Pont de Pierre is a sheer visual treat.
Yet another architectural marvel is the Palais Rohan part of which houses the Museum of Fine Arts. Dating back to the middle Ages, it was the resident of the archbishop. The palace was re-hauled completely in 1771 and has never undergone any stylistic change since.
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