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Bordeaux coat of arms
Bordeaux (France)
Lilia sola regunt lunam undas castra leonem
( Latin for "Lily alone dominate the moon, the waves, the fort and the lion")
region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Department Gironde
Arrondissement Bordeaux
Canton Bordeaux-1 , Bordeaux-2 , Bordeaux-3 , Bordeaux-4 , Bordeaux-5
Community association Bordeaux metropolis
Coordinates 44 ° 50 ′  N , 0 ° 35 ′  W Coordinates: 44 ° 50 ′  N , 0 ° 35 ′  W
height 1-42 m
surface 49.36 km 2
Residents 254,436 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 5,155 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 33000-33300, 33800
INSEE code

Template: Infobox municipality in France / maintenance / different coat of arms in Wikidata

Bordeaux [ bɔʀˈdo ]; French Bordeaux ? / i ; ( Occitan Bordèu ) is a university town and the political, economic and scientific center of the French southwest. Audio file / audio sample

Their inhabitants call themselves Bordelais . The city is particularly famous for its Bordeaux wine and its cuisine , but also for its architectural and cultural heritage. Bordeaux is the seat of the prefecture of the Gironde department and capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region , as well as the seat of an archbishop and a German consulate general. The city has the reputation of a secret capital of France due to the many museums that are located there and due to the fact that during the German invasions of France in 1870/71, 1914, 1940 the seat of government was regularly moved from Paris to Bordeaux.

Bordeaux itself has 254,436 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2017). However, the greater Bordeaux metropolitan area has around 773,542 inhabitants and also includes 26 surrounding municipalities that are organized in the Bordeaux Métropole municipal association. The area is 578.3 km² and the population density is 1338 inhabitants / km². This association is in turn part of an agglomeration (Aire urbaine de Bordeaux) , which includes the wider catchment area with a total of 51 municipalities and thus has 1,215,769 inhabitants who live on 5,613.4 km², which corresponds to a population density of 216 inhabitants / km². Bordeaux is thus the largest city in the Gironde department and the Aquitaine region and the ninth largest city in France . The agglomeration ranks sixth in France. The arrondissement of the same name , which consists of 21 cantons , is also administered from Bordeaux .


Bordeaux is a city located in southwest France, about 45 kilometers from the Atlantic , on the Garonne , which stretches in a wide arc through the city. This shape of a crescent moon gave the city the name Port de la lune (port of the moon) . A few kilometers downstream, the Garonne joins the Dordogne to form the Gironde estuary, which is over 70 kilometers long . The tidal forces can therefore be observed right into the urban area . At high tide, the incoming sea water pushes the river back and raises the level by about 4 - 5 meters. The resulting currents create whirlpools and restless surface water. Occasionally, a real wave can move dozens of kilometers upstream. This phenomenon is called mascaret (spring tide) in Bordeaux .


The left bank of the Garonne, on which by far the largest part of the urban area is located, consists of wide, swampy plains from which low hills rise. These consist of sediment sediments and for the most part have gravel and gravel as the subsoil. The soils are poor, but due to the water permeability and the ability to store heat, they are ideal for viticulture . The city of Bordeaux lies between the downstream Médoc and the upstream area of ​​the Graves , which are geomorphologically very similar. Famous wineries are not uncommon even in the heavily urbanized conurbation.

The right bank merges almost immediately into a limestone plateau up to 90 meters high, so that there is a striking steep step. Around 20 kilometers away, the plateau is home to world-famous wine-growing regions such as Saint-Émilion , Pomerol and Fronsac , where some of the most expensive wines in the world are grown.


Bordeaux is located on the southern edge of the temperate climate zone. The very mild winters and the long, warm summers already show the subtropical-Mediterranean influence. Precipitation is frequent in all seasons; With a rainfall of over 900 millimeters per year, relatively high amounts are achieved by French standards. These fall mainly in the winter months, in summer more in the form of thermal thunderstorms . The highest amount of precipitation ever recorded in France within half an hour was reported in July 1883 from Bordeaux. A “double thunderstorm” in 1982 also caused enormous damage, when on May 31st the entire monthly target rained down within an hour and three days later another half in 50 minutes.

The annual mean temperature is around 12.8 ° C with an average minimum of 5.9 ° C in January and a maximum of 20.2 ° C in July. The temperature maxima shifted backwards in time are due to the oceanic climate. Despite the balanced temperature profile, extreme temperatures can occur in the right weather conditions: During the heat wave of 2003 , the maximum values ​​reached at least 35 ° C on twelve consecutive days, including 41 ° C on one day.

The city has a lot of solar radiation. With around 2,000 hours of sunshine per year, Bordeaux surpasses most French regions with the exception of the Mediterranean region and individual coastal areas on the Atlantic.

The microclimates of Bordeaux and the surrounding area are decisive for the excellent wine-growing conditions: The city and the surrounding wine-growing areas are protected from the sea winds by a wide strip of pine forest ( Forêt des Landes ). In addition, the Gironde ensures a temperature-equalizing effect, as this body of water gives off stored heat during the day at night and also reflects the solar radiation into the surrounding area over a wide area.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Bordeaux
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 9.4 11.2 13.7 16.3 19.7 23.2 26.0 25.6 23.7 18.9 13.1 9.9 O 17.6
Min. Temperature (° C) 2.3 3.1 3.9 6.3 9.5 12.4 14.4 14.2 12.2 9.1 5.1 2.9 O 8th
Precipitation ( mm ) 100 86 74 64 74 61 52 60 77 87 92 105 Σ 932
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 2.8 3.9 5.2 6.3 6.8 8.1 8.9 8.0 6.9 5.3 3.4 2.7 O 5.7
Rainy days ( d ) 13 12 12 11 11 9 7th 8th 9 10 12 12 Σ 126
Water temperature (° C) 11 11 11 12 14th 16 18th 19th 19th 16 14th 13 O 14.5
Humidity ( % ) 88 84 78 76 77 76 75 76 79 85 87 88 O 80.7
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Bordeaux district
City structure of Bordeaux. dark red: old town; light red: within the boulevard; orange: outer districts
Town houses in the Hôtel de Ville district, with the cathedral's north portal in the background
Pavé des Chartrons, the former seat of many wine merchants and upper class residential area
Mériadeck, a new district built in the 1970s

Bordeaux is administratively divided into eight urban arrondissements . Arrondissements 1 to 6 are located on the left bank of the Garonne and are numbered from north to south, the seventh denotes the right bank of the Garonne and the eighth the incorporated district of Caudéran. Since historically grown things are mostly not taken into account, this has meant that residents do not identify with their arrondissements - as in Paris, for example. Instead, it is common to indicate the place of residence by district or city ​​district . Usually these also provide some information about the standard of living .

Vieux Bordeaux (old town)

Since 2007, the old town of Bordeaux has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known as the Historic Center of Bordeaux ("Port of the Moon") . The area within the former city walls is the historic core of Bordeaux. It is delimited by the ring-shaped structure of the main streets and the banks of the Garonne and divided by two main axes:

From north to south, Rue Sainte-Catherine , which is over one kilometer long and has now been completely redesigned as a pedestrian zone , runs from Place du Grand Théâtre to Place de la Victoire , where the old university buildings are located. Here and to the west of it is the business district of Bordeaux with a focus on trade and services, to the east as far as the Garonne there is predominantly - in some cases very old - residential developments.

The east-west axis is formed by the Pont de pierre , the only bridge crossing within the historic center. The Cours Victor Hugo continues . To the north, residential and business locations of high to very high standards predominate , to the south simple locations.

In the north-western part in the quarters of Quinconces and Hôtel de Ville there are fine restaurants and cafés, representative branches of banks and financial service providers, cinemas and retail stores for upscale and luxury needs. This is where the so-called Triangle d'or (Golden Triangle) , an almost equilateral triangle formed from three avenues and considered the shop window of fine Bordeaux, is already located in the times of the artistic directors . In the north-eastern part in the districts of Saint-Pierre and Saint-Eloi there are restaurants, hotels and pubs. The originally alternative charm is slowly giving way to a certain chic. The south-western part in the Victoire district is strongly influenced by students, but is also a preferred place of residence for the middle class . In the south-east in the districts of Capucins , Saint-Michel and Sainte-Croix , low-income groups predominate with the elderly, workers, the unemployed and immigrants.

The former faubourgs (suburbs)

The residential belt between Cours and Boulevard emerged from former suburbs outside the city wall and, with exceptions, has a similar structure: preferred locations predominate in the north and simple locations in the south.

The Chartrons and Grand Parc districts lie in the north along the Garonne , the former is the seat of many wine merchants and has a bourgeois character, while the latter is a large settlement for low-income groups.

The north-west around the Palais Gallien is home to the Saint-Seurin district , an upscale residential area and seat of many consulates .

To the west, the Mériadeck shopping and administration center rises up, the only inner-city high-rise complex . For its construction, large areas of simple quarters were demolished, the condition of which was viewed as dilapidated and unsanitary. Although high-quality residential development was planned between the commercial and administrative areas , there was no increased settlement of the upper class ; on the contrary, the buildings have already acquired a light patina . The generous traffic development, however, led to the settlement of some hotels of higher standards. Around Mériadeck, the original development for the lower to middle middle class has been preserved, which mostly consists of one to two-story rows of houses with small gardens. These so-called échoppes are very popular with the population today.

Saint Genès in the southwest is dominated by the upper class , while the station district in the south is still a residential area for the poor to this day. Industry and commerce , railway lines and unappealing infrastructure such as the central slaughterhouses characterize the picture.

After decades of neglect, the right bank of the Garonne has come into the focus of urban planners. In place of the industrial and railroad-dominated Bastide and Benauge districts , a completely new residential area for the upper class is being built directly opposite the old town. This takes place above all in La Bastide on the southern area of ​​the former railroad and freight railroad area and the adjacent industrial areas. It started with this, the reconstruction of the old station Gare d'Orléans to a multiplex cinema and the opening of the Botanical Garden Jardin botanique de Bordeaux in the year of 2003.

Across the boulevard , in the north, lies the Lac quarter without any noteworthy residential developments, as well as Bacalan , traditional dockworkers' area and today strongly characterized by unemployment. To the west is Caudéran , a suburb incorporated in 1964 with loose buildings and a few representative villas. This is where Parc Bordelais is located, the largest public green space in the city. In the southwest joins Saint-Augustin , a quarter of the middle to upper middle class; here are the Stade Jacques-Chaban-Delmas stadium and the central hospital.


The Bordeaux metropolis . red: Bordeaux; orange: member municipalities

As in almost all French metropolitan areas, the core city of Bordeaux is surrounded by a belt of independent municipalities that have grown inseparably together with it, but have not been incorporated. While Bordeaux lost its population overall in the 20th century, some of these suburbs have grown to ten times their original population. The area of ​​the agglomeration is particularly remarkable on the left bank of the Garonne: for decades the city has literally been eating its way into the surrounding pine forest, repeatedly pushing a belt of currently preferred peripheral residential areas in front of it. For land use also almost always low buildings contributes.

The highly dense part of the agglomeration lies roughly within the motorway ring. The intersections between the ring-shaped boulevard and the arterial roads are the so-called Barrières . These by no means form clear boundaries between Bordeaux and the suburbs, on the contrary, due to their traffic situation, they have become small secondary centers in the city center, half of which are in Bordeaux, the other half in the neighboring municipalities, each of which also has its own city center. These places have populations between 10,000 and 70,000 inhabitants.

Outside these cities or on the other side of the motorway ring, the development is loosing up, the population density is lower and the average income of the residents is higher. Some large facilities such as airports and industrial estates break up the uniform picture. The municipalities in this outer belt have between 5,000 and 25,000 inhabitants. On the opposite side of the Garonne, the transition is unexpected due to the limited space available. While there are high-rise buildings on a larger scale near the city limits in Lormont and Cenon , rural areas are already beginning immediately to the east.

Flora and fauna

The urban area is so compacted on almost 90% of the area that there is no space for natural habitats. Here the vegetation is limited to parks, green strips and empty building sites. The animal world also only exists insofar as it can adapt to almost completely built-up areas. Bordeaux, in particular, has a massive problem with its rat population , which the city council has been fighting for years through improved garbage disposal and greater control of dining facilities.

Near-natural space can be found in the far north of the urban area and occasionally on the banks of the Garonne opposite the old town. Particularly in the north, which has been designated as a local recreation area, some areas have deliberately not been cultivated, so that flora and fauna still exist here, as is typical along the Gironde: a number of migratory birds have their resting places here, in the woody trees there are some Species of small game and in swampy places are also inhabitants of wetlands ( amphibians , etc.).

The vineyards form their own biotope , although they have disappeared in the urban area of ​​Bordeaux. In some neighboring cities such as Pessac or Villenave-d'Ornon, however, wine is cultivated. Here are partridges and rabbits and their predators (birds of prey, etc.) their habitats. The aquatic habitat is relatively undisturbed. In the Garonne there are a number of organisms that have adapted to the conditions in brackish water reservoirs, see Gironde . In the artificially created lakes mainly ornamental and fishing fish live.


The history of Bordeaux stretches over a period of approximately 2,300 years. It is shaped by the Celts , Romans , Franks and the Anglo-French antagonism. Bordeaux has been part of France without interruption since the middle of the 15th century. Over the centuries, the city achieved three economic heydays, mainly due to the strategic location of the trade and transport links.


The city goes back to a Celtic settlement from the 3rd century BC. BC , which was called Burdigala under the Romans and was raised to the capital of the province of Aquitania. During this time Bordeaux experienced its first heyday, which lasted several hundred years; Both the viticulture practiced back then and the favorable location as a seaport were the reasons for this. Since the immediate surrounding area was swampy - the Aquitaine word burd means swamp - and contaminated by malaria and therefore appeared unsuitable for settlement, Bordeaux is an example of a city being founded for purely strategic considerations. The Via Aquitania connected Bordeaux via Toulouse with Narbonne , the older Via Agrippa connected the city with Lyon and from there with the centers of Augusta Treverorum , Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium and Massilia .

The cityscape of ancient Burdigala must have been impressive; Travel accounts by Roman writers described it as a rich, splendid city. Even during the decline of the Western Rome , the city was able to maintain a certain standard of living within its fortifications, before a series of looting and devastation as a result of the great migration put an end to prosperity.

middle Ages

In the 5th century Bordeaux was conquered by the Visigoths and shortly afterwards by the Franks . At the latest after the division of the part of Charibert I of Paris, i.e. 567, Bordeaux belonged to Neustria. After the marriage of the neustrian king Chilperich I , he gave the city, together with Cahors , Limoges , Bearn and Bigorre as a morning gift to his bride Gailswintha . These five cities were strategically located to the area of ​​the father-in-law Athanagild , the king of the Visigoths. After Chilperich had arranged for his wife to be murdered, this inheritance passed to the Kingdom of Austrasia , following a settlement by a Malberg summoned by Guntram , King of the Burgundians. Ultimately, not agreeing to this, Chilperich tried in 573, with his son Clovis as military leader, to recapture the cities. Although the conquest of Bordeaux succeeded in the short term, the troops of Clovis were driven out again by the Australian margrave Sigulf a month later.

In 732 Abd al-Rahman devastated the city during his campaign. After the defeat of the Arabs at Poitiers , they were pushed back behind the Pyrenees , but in the 9th century the Normans invaded and sacked the city again. Only then did Bordeaux begin to recover. A turning point came when Eleanor of Aquitaine, by marrying Henry II, made the south-west of France an English fiefdom . From the 12th to the 15th centuries, Bordeaux remained under the rule of the Kings of England and experienced a second economic boom. The city was given a new city wall and the Romanesque church was replaced by a Gothic building, the Saint-André cathedral . Bordeaux was the seat of an archbishop and the capital of the Principality of Guyenne, the English adaptation of the French term Aquitaine.

View of Bordeaux around 1634 with the Garonne in the foreground: Illustration from an atlas by Christophe Tassin

From 1462 to 1790 Bordeaux was the seat of the parlement de Bordeaux , which was responsible for Aquitaine and exercised legislature, jurisdiction and executive there on behalf of the Crown . In particular, as the court of appeal, it decided in the last instance all civil proceedings (in the written procedure) and all criminal proceedings (in the oral procedure). For centuries, the parlement de Bordeaux was in competition with the parlement de Toulouse , mostly about competence and priority disputes.

Compared to other French provinces, the standard of living in Bordeaux and the surrounding area was high. The food supply was sufficient and the city benefited from a trading network through which domestic wine could be exported and English finished goods imported. During the Hundred Years' War the English were able to stay in Bordeaux, and only after the Battle of Castillon did they have to finally evacuate the Guyenne. On October 19, 1453, Charles VII's troops entered the city. The return to France was by no means welcomed by the citizens, many of them powerful and wealthy merchants, as the previous sales markets in England were no longer available. The king also protected himself by having two large fortresses built, the Château de la Trompette in the north and the Château du Hâ in the west . These were mainly defensive structures, but the guns could also be directed against the population in the event of uprisings. In 1441 the University of Bordeaux was founded.

Modern times

From absolutism to the 20th century

Bordeaux based on a plan from 1840 facing west. The development has already expanded far beyond the medieval borders (marked in red). The preferred residential area is the area around the Jardin Public .
City view of Bordeaux after a colored engraving from around 1850. The terraces of the Place des Quinconces can be seen in the front right .

After a temporary decline, Bordeaux experienced its third heyday in the 18th century due to the flourishing Atlantic sea trade, especially with the Antilles . At that time, some capable artistic directors were sent to the city, who gave it a completely new face. Above all, the Marquis de Tourny achieved great things here. The old city walls were torn down and replaced by wide boulevards, the so-called Cours . Some of the most impressive private houses were built along these cours, some of which still appear today like palaces. The magnificent buildings on the edge of the Hafenquais also date from this period. The Grand Théâtre , built in the classical style, welcomed the most sought-after ensembles from all over France. The Palais de la Bourse, the seat of the stock exchange, is a masterpiece of mercantile architecture. This remodeling of Bordeaux in the spirit of enlightened absolutism impressed the young Georges-Eugène Haussmann and may in part serve as a model for the remodeling of Paris under Napoléon III. have become.

At the time of the French Revolution , Bordeaux became the capital of the Gironde department . In the National Assembly, the MPs called Girondins were a significant group that initially had considerable influence and played a key role in the declaration of human and civil rights and the new constitution . Politically, these Girondins could be assigned to the Liberals. With the reign of terror of the Jacobins around Maximilien de Robespierre in 1793/94 they lost their influence and were persecuted. A century later, the Monument aux Girondins was dedicated to them on the Place des Quinconces . The economic situation in Bordeaux also deteriorated again.

During the Napoleonic Wars, huge contingents were relocated to Spain, which among other things passed Bordeaux. It is thanks to this fact that the Pont de pierre, the first permanent bridge over the Garonne, was built in 1822 . The concerns of the local officials about not being able to cope with the technical challenges in view of the strong currents and the unpredictable floods are said to have prompted Napoleon to say “Impossible n'est pas français!” ( Impossible is not French! ).

During this time, the population grew significantly despite economic difficulties. Between the Cours and the new city limits, today's boulevard, which has partly remained the city limits to this day, new suburbs emerged, which spread out in a ring around the medieval core on the left bank of the Garonne. In the north-west and south-west were the quarters of the upper middle class, in between the simple residential areas for workers and petty bourgeoisie. The right bank of the Garonne developed slowly in comparison. During the emerging industrialization, most of the large companies settled here and in the port area. Bordeaux began to grow together with its neighboring cities.

Since the 20th century

In 1870/71 and during the First and Second World Wars , the French government withdrew from Paris to Bordeaux before the German troops were approaching . From July 1, 1940 to August 27, 1944, Bordeaux was occupied by troops of the German Wehrmacht , who built an important submarine harbor here and maintained a naval hospital from 1942 . Despite this fact and the exposed location near the Atlantic coast, which was expanded by the Germans into the " Atlantic Wall " and fortified in its entire length with bunkers, Bordeaux remained almost undamaged. The oil refineries north of Bordeaux were bombed from the air in August 1940.

During this time the city, like the whole of the French south-west, was a stronghold of the Resistance . On October 21, 1941, the war administrator Hans Gottfried Reimers was killed by the resistance fighter Pierre Rebière . The day before, Field Commander Karl Hotz had been assassinated in Nantes . That is why 48 hostages were shot in Nantes on October 22, 1941 and 50 prisoners in Bordeaux on October 24, 1941 by the German occupying forces.

Maurice Papon , the secretary of the Prefect of the Gironde, Sabatier, who collaborated with the National Socialists , tried to suppress the Resistance by cruel means. For his arbitrary rule and his shared responsibility for the Holocaust - he was responsible for the deportation of the Bordelais Jews - he was only brought to trial in Bordeaux in 1997 as one of the last representatives of the collaboration. Jacques Chaban-Delmas , one of the most important figures in the resistance against the German occupation, was elected mayor after the war and held this post for almost fifty years.

After the invasion of Normandy in June 1944, Hitler ordered the destruction of the port facilities and the Pont de pierre bridge in Bordeaux, which was built under Napoleon Bonaparte , when the German troops withdrew from Bordeaux . The division commander Lieutenant General Albin Nake, contrary to the order, concluded a secret agreement after negotiations with representatives of the local Resistance that the city of Bordeaux would not be destroyed if the German troops withdrawing without a fight were not attacked by the groups of the resistance but were given safe conduct. The German Sergeant Heinz Stahlschmidt had blown up the German ammunition depot with the 4,000 detonators waiting for the intended demolition on August 22, 1944, killing several German soldiers in the process. It is not clear whether this act of sabotage prevented the destruction of the city, since the German troops still had enough artillery to destroy the city. Both sides adhered to the agreement so that the destruction of Bordeaux did not take place, combat measures were avoided and the German troops and civilian forces could withdraw in three marching groups.

In the second half of the 20th century, Bordeaux went through a profound structural change. The seaport, which had previously been located in the city, was abandoned and replaced by a terminal near Le Verdon-sur-Mer at the Gironde estuary, which has the necessary water depth and capacity to handle container ships. The oil tankers serve a newly built large refinery in Pauillac , about 50 km away. After the May riots in 1968, the University of Bordeaux was relocated to a new campus in the suburb of Talence in order to keep the students at a distance. In the north, a trade fair site, hotels and shopping centers were built on previously fallow land. An administrative city was built near the city center, for which an entire neighborhood was demolished. In addition, a motorway ring was built to cope with the increasing traffic problems. In the 1970s, Ford , IBM , Siemens and Aérospatiale , among others, settled in newly designated areas on the outskirts and in neighboring communities.

Not all of these brutal measures did justice to the effort, but the decline of the economy could be stopped. This was also made possible by the amalgamation of Bordeaux and its neighboring municipalities to form Bordeaux Métropole , a municipal association that regulates inter-municipal tasks such as structural policy, local transport, and supply and disposal.

During the 1990s, Bordeaux became fully aware of its historical heritage. The old town , which has almost completely retained its historical appearance, has been increasingly traffic-calmed and the residential areas have been upgraded. Historic buildings have been renovated, the front to the Garonne has been restored and new buildings such as the Cité Mondiale du Vin have been carefully integrated into the cityscape. In 1994, a large-scale urban redevelopment project was presented with the main goal of reuniting the city with the Garonne. Old warehouses were demolished, cycle paths and promenades were built and the industrial wastelands on the right side of the Garonne were given new, high-quality buildings. In 2004 the tram , which had been replaced by buses since the 1960s, was inaugurated again with three new lines. Efforts to preserve and carefully modernize the old core were rewarded in 2007 with the inclusion of the old town in the UNESCO World Heritage List .



In the immediate vicinity of Bordeaux, the language border runs between the Langue d'oïl and the Langue d'oc , which here experiences a wide bulge to the south. In the course of the Middle Ages , the Langue d'oil advanced to Blaye , which is only 30 kilometers from Bordeaux. At the same time, the Occitan area from the Gironde is divided into different dialects like a fan. Originally, an Occitan dialect of Gascognic was spoken in everyday life in Bordeaux , while the right-hand side of the Garonne was already influenced by the Auvergnat, and from Libourne onwards, the limousine variant. With the establishment of standard French as everyday language from the 19th century , at least since the First World War, these dialects, the so-called patois , were pushed back. In Bordeaux, the patois disappeared particularly early: This is due to the urban structure, but was certainly reinforced by the fact that even within the urban area different, difficult to understand patois were spoken. Occitan had already disappeared from everyday life for good before 1970. What remains today is a typical, "south-western" accent. This renounces the nasal pronunciation or only suggests it. In addition, the vowels are often pronounced lighter and shorter than in standard French, which can increase the speed of speech considerably.

Population development and density

In 2005, the French Institute for Statistics INSEE estimated the population of Bordeaux at around 230,000. This means that since the last census there has been a population increase of over 14,000 - a growth that more than doubles the French average. This is a clear trend reversal, because since 1900 the population in the urban area had been falling steadily for almost a hundred years. At the beginning of the 20th century there were still more than 260,000 inhabitants, but even after the incorporation of Caudéran in the 1960s - around 1980 - it was threatened with falling below the 200,000 inhabitant limit. The growth within the agglomeration continues unabated, the population of which was already 754,000 at the last census in 1999. In 2010 the CUB had 720,000 inhabitants.

year 1876 1896 1921 1936 1954 1968 * 1982 1990 1999 2006 2017
Residents 215,100 256,900 267,400 256,400 257.946 270.996 208.159 210.336 215.363 232.260 254,436
* after the incorporation of Caudéran in 1964. Since 2000, simplified census regulations based on partial surveys have been in effect.

Since incorporation in France is rather cautious, the urban area of ​​Bordeaux has reached a certain upper population limit. The population density is extraordinarily high and, with more than 4,000 inhabitants per km², is above that of comparable cities in German-speaking countries - in some cases considerably above that in the residential area close to the city center. On the other hand, the CUB has 1,200, the agglomeration only 713 inhabitants per km² and still has considerable reserves for densifying the living space.

Population structure

Bordeaux has an overall favorable population structure . The metropolitan area has always been attractive to immigrants, as the climate, living conditions and opportunities for development were given. In particular, the educational institutions, and to a lesser extent the newly settled economic sectors, have the effect that the residents are below average in age and above average in national comparison.

The ethnic composition has developed some peculiarities over time. For centuries, Bordeaux was considered a focal point for Portuguese and Spanish exiles , especially political refugees and Sephardic Jews suffering from reprisals in their homeland . This also explains why an above-average number of Portuguese guest workers later settled in Bordeaux, who built up a flourishing community here. Immigrants from the Maghreb , today predominantly French citizens , also play a role, but not nearly as large as in the metropolitan areas of Paris , Lyon or Marseille .


The Jewish faith of their builder can be seen on some house facades.

Bordeaux has traditionally been a place of religious tolerance. During the religious wars , which had catastrophic consequences in the immediate vicinity, the city willingly took in refugees. This was not done completely unselfishly, because the Huguenots contributed a lot to economic output. There has also been a large Jewish community and the worth seeing synagogue for a long time . In contrast to most cities in northern and eastern France, immigrants help to stabilize the Catholic population, because in Bordeaux they come mainly from southern Europe .

Since there are no official statistics on religious affiliation in France, it is not possible to give exact figures for Bordeaux either. If the average French population is taken as a basis (60% Catholics, 8% Muslims, 2% Protestants, 1% Jews, 1% other communities, 28% without religion), Bordeaux deviates slightly from these figures. Special factors such as the generally above-average number of Muslims in cities, the above-average number of Protestants in southern France and the above-average representatives of the Jewish faith in Bordeaux suggest that the Catholic population is below 60%.


Bordeaux is traditionally a stronghold of French-style liberalism . The experience gained through free trade , which was already well developed here in the Middle Ages , resulted in the very self-confident citizens formulating their interests early on and even enforcing them under feudal or absolutist systems. While this attitude was considered progressive before the French Revolution, it was soon brought into disrepute, because the bourgeois liberal attitude was also associated with the unconditional advocacy of private property and the pursuit of individual prosperity.

Despite some changes in the political landscape, the majority of Bordeaux has remained true to this tradition: While Aquitaine, and here in particular the Gironde department , has remained a stronghold of the socialists , Bordeaux itself has opted for bourgeois council majorities since the middle of the 20th century, and so have its mayors elected from among the parties of the conservatives or business liberals.


Michel de Montaigne, Mayor of Bordeaux in the 16th century

The city has been headed by the following mayors since the 20th century:

1900–1904: Paul-Louis Lande
1904–1908: Alfred Daney
1908-1912: Jean Bouche
1912-1919: Charles Gruet
1919–1925: Fernand Philippart
1925–1944: Adrien Marquet
1944-1947: Fernand Audeguil
1947–1995: Jacques Chaban-Delmas ( RPR )
1995–2004: Alain Juppé (RPR, later UMP )
2004–2006: Hugues Martin (UMP)
2006–2020: Alain Juppé (UMP)
since 2020: Pierre Hurmic (Union de la gauche)

The most famous mayor of Bordeaux was Michel de Montaigne, writer and pioneering philosopher of humanism in the 16th century.

coat of arms

The three crescent moon as a facade decoration over a house entrance

Blazon : "In red under a blue shield head, in it three golden heraldic lilies in bars , over a blue wave shield base, in it three black wave threads and a lying silver crescent moon , a growing black grooved silver castle with a crenellated wall, central, closed round portal, four tinned, conical-footed round towers, Two on the left and two on the right, standing closely together, in the middle a growing tinned round tower with a round arched window, a silver bell hanging in it, all roofed over with a cone and elevated with a looking golden leopard .

Declaration of coat of arms: The coat of arms can be traced back to the time immediately after the end of the Hundred Years War. The lilies on a blue background in the head of the shield stand for royal France, the golden leopard on a red background symbolizes the Duchy of Guyenne and the castle the town hall of Bordeaux, which was then housed in the now defunct city palace. Today only the tower with the thick bell ( large cloche ) still exists . The crescent moon in the river waves indicates the name Port de la Lune and thus underlines the role of the city in maritime trade. This arrangement of symbols underlines the French claim to city and landscape and is reflected in the city's motto. In the full coat of arms, the slogan can be found in a banner below the shield; Above the shield is a wall crown with seven battlements - sometimes replaced by a count's crown - and on the left and on the right it is held by two antelopes.

As a symbol for Bordeaux, the crescent moon has acquired a special meaning over time. For a few hundred years, a graphic form has developed that shows three crossed sickles and is used as a shortened form of the coat of arms. The city administration uses this symbol as a plaque to identify urban property or urban activity, also as an image-promoting brand symbol, similar to a logo. It is also very popular among the population: The trois croissants decorate house facades, items of clothing or are available as stickers, etc.

Town twinning

Bordeaux lists 20 twin cities :

city country since
Ashdod IsraelIsrael Israel 1984
Baku AzerbaijanAzerbaijan Azerbaijan 1979
Bamako MaliMali Mali 1999
Bilbao SpainSpain Spain 2000
Bristol United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 1947
Casablanca MoroccoMorocco Morocco 1988
Fukuoka JapanJapan Japan 1982
Krakow PolandPoland Poland 1993
Lima PeruPeru Peru 1956
los Angeles United StatesUnited States California, USA 1964
Madrid SpainSpain Spain 1984
Munich GermanyGermany Germany 1964
Oran AlgeriaAlgeria Algeria 2003
Ouagadougou Burkina FasoBurkina Faso Burkina Faso 2005
postage PortugalPortugal Portugal 1978
Quebec CanadaCanada Canada 1962
Ramallah Palastina autonomous areasPalestine Palestine 2007
Riga LatviaLatvia Latvia 1993
Samsun TurkeyTurkey Turkey 2010
St. Petersburg RussiaRussia Russia 1992
Wuhan China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 1998


Cité Mondiale du Vin, congress and event center all about wine
Allée de Tourny with the Maison Internationale du Vin, center of retail for luxury goods

Bordeaux's economy has always been inextricably linked to wine and the port. Even today, trade, transport and services play a crucial role in the local economy. On the other hand, Bordeaux became an industrial location very late and a short time later got into a structural crisis. After mastering them, mostly future technologies have been settled there. Nevertheless, the unemployment rate is the highest in the region at 11.2% in the employment office district and a worrying 19.7% in the city area.

Service sector

Wine and sea trade are still important economic factors today. Although the port only ranks sixth in France, the undisputed position of its wine in the world has been preserved to this day. Six million hectoliters from 14,000 manufacturers through 400 dealers are processed annually via Bordeaux, which corresponds to an annual turnover of 14.5 billion euros.

Outside of the wine business, too, the main focus of Bordelais economic output lies in the tertiary sector , which contributes almost 90% to economic output. Wholesalers and retailers are well represented and some of them focus on the sale of regional or specialized products. Due to the convenient location, land and sea freight forwarders operate a wide range of activities from here, with 90 million tons of goods being handled by road, ten times the amount handled by sea. As the administrative center of the region and the département, the city has a strong administrative position. There are also the university and institutes such as the Institute for Oenology . Trade fairs and congresses are the reason for the high number of business overnight stays; private overnight stays are due to the growing role of tourism. The picture is rounded off by almost 3,200 different service companies.

Bordeaux has positioned itself as a trade fair location since the 1970s. The largest public fair is the Salon du Livre book fair, which takes place every year in May ; Trade fairs such as Vinexpo or Vinitech are primarily aimed at commercial visitors.


The agglomeration has 88 industrial areas, which are supplemented by six so-called “technology poles”. Bordeaux has declared five industrial focal points to be strategic location factors: aerospace with 20,000 direct jobs at 30 locations, electronics, chemical and pharmaceutical industry, automobile construction, for example the automobile manufacturer Ford, which has set up its worldwide transmission production here, and construction materials.


Santé Navale, postcard illustration from 1900

There is a large and varied range of educational opportunities in Bordeaux. 70,000 students alone are distributed among the four universities, which appear together as the University of Bordeaux , but are formally independent of each other. In addition to the university, the city has eight engineering colleges , four business schools , the Institut d'études politiques de Bordeaux and five other universities, including the Santé Navale , which trains for the health of the Navy. The École nationale de la magistrature (ENM) , the French training center for judges and prosecutors, is located in Bordeaux . Saint-Joseph de Tivoli is considered one of the oldest schools in the city.


Bordeaux is the location of the Sud Ouest media group, which in addition to the regional daily newspaper Sud Ouest and its Sunday edition also publishes a number of guides, magazines and illustrated books. The daily newspaper is distributed as far as the Charente , the Limousin and the Pyrenees ; the circulation is among the highest in France. Book publishers are rich in tradition in Bordeaux , which is why the city is also the location of a book fair. In addition, the television and radio stations, z. B. France 3 , regional offices in Bordeaux, the local TV station TV 7 Bordeaux is also located here. Some private radio stations are also located in Bordeaux.


North portal of the Cathédrale Saint-André with the 81 meter high towers
Saint-Pierre church
Saint-Louis church on rue Notre-Dame
Jean Catherineau's tomb on the Cimetière de la Chartreuse
Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux
Porte Cailhau
Place de la Bourse with Miroir d'eau and tram
Pont de pierre, central bridge in the old town

Bordeaux is a city that impresses not with its outstanding individual buildings, but with the grandiose, almost completely preserved system of the city, which has preserved its historical image to this day. In this it is similar to cities like Amsterdam or Lisbon . The urban layout prompted Victor Hugo to comment that Bordeaux was a mixture of Versailles and Antwerp , i.e. of palatial architecture and a trading city on the river. Especially in the historical center, but also beyond, it offers surprising impressions again and again, be it through the late Baroque arrangement of streets and squares or through the impressive harmony of its rows of houses, through parks and gardens. The “facade” facing the Garonne is world famous: for several kilometers, tall, narrow town houses stretch along the banks, interrupted by individual representative buildings. The roofs of churches and old city gates tower up behind it. The historical ensemble is considered the largest, most closed and most beautiful in all of France and is used as a backdrop for many film and television productions.

Sacred buildings

  • Saint-André Cathedral : It is a single-nave Angevin Romanesque building with Gothic extensions and, with a length of 127 meters, one of the largest cathedrals in France. The free-standing Pey-Berland tower was added in the flamboyant style between 1440 and 1450. With a height of 50 meters, it is the highest public vantage point in the city ( → Lage ).
  • Saint-Michel Basilica : This gothic-flamboyant basilica has a free-standing tower, which with a height of 114 meters still towers over the two 81-meter-high towers of the Saint-André cathedral and has been the tallest building in Bordeaux for a long time since its construction in the 16th century . The stained glass from the second half of the 20th century ( → Lage ) is significant .
  • Church Saint-Pierre: The late Gothic parish church in the Old Town offers a portal with small archivolts figures ( → location ).
  • Church of Sainte-Croix : The western front of the Romanesque abbey church, which was built in the 12th century on previous early Christian buildings , was completely renovated by Paul Abadie in the 19th century , so that one can almost speak of a new building. The facade of the church dates mainly from the 12th century and with its figural decorations represents one of the highlights of the Angevin Romanesque. Inside is the largest organ of Dom Bedos . ( → location ).
  • Church Saint Louis-de-Chartrons : This Gothic church, with its two towers one of the highest churches in Bordeaux. The organ from 1881 is also famous. At night the towers are illuminated in blue ( → location ).
  • Church of Our Lady: The baroque Dominican church was built in the late 17th century ( → location ).
  • Church of Sainte Marie de la Bastide: This church is located on the east side of the river. It is one of the tallest structures in the La Bastide district . The dome of the tower is similar to that of the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur in Paris ( → Lage ).
  • Basilica  Saint-Seurin : The Gothic church with a sculpture portal from the 13th century shows elements of Gallo-Roman architecture in its crypt and in the tower hall ( → location ).
  • Synagogue of Bordeaux : The synagogue was built by the then extraordinarily large Jewish community at the end of the 19th century and is one of the largest and most beautiful of its kind ( → location ).
  • Church Sacre Cœur de Bordeaux: The church is also one of its two towers of the highest churches in Bordeaux. It is located on the southern edge of the old town near the main train station ( → location ).
  • Church of Saint Bruno: The Romanesque church has an elaborately designed choir made of granite and marble, decorated with several figures ( → location ). Across the street is the Great Bordeaux Cemetery, the Cimetière de la Chartreuse , with many mausoleums, funerary chapels and other artistically designed tombs. Particularly famous is the tomb of Jean Catherineau (1802–1874), a large, creepy-looking figure of a grim reaper . The most famous person buried here was the painter Francisco de Goya ( → Lage ).

Secular buildings

  • The Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux was built from 1773 to 1780 by Victor Louis in the style of classicism with Italian influences. The theater was opened on April 7, 1780. The drama Athalie was performed by Jean Racine . The theater is one of the landmarks of Bordeaux and after its completion was considered the largest and most beautiful in all of France, where the most famous ensembles gave their performances. The original furnishings in blue, gold and marble have been restored inside since 1991 ( → Lage ).
  • The Palais Rohan is the former seat of the Archbishop. Built between 1771 and 1784 for Archbishop Mériadec de Rohan , it was rededicated as the town hall in 1835. Most of the interior has been preserved. On the back, two wings house the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux ( → Lage ).
  • The Grosse Cloche or Porte Saint-Eloi is the former town hall tower, which functioned as the city gate after the main building was closed. It is named after the huge, almost eight-ton bell that is suspended in its central part. It is flanked by two 41 meter high towers. The clock was installed in 1759 and the bell in 1775. The bell is another landmark of Bordeaux, which can also be found in the city arms ( → location ).
  • The Porte Cailhau , also a former city gate, is one of the few evidence of medieval times with the large cloche . It was built in 1495 in honor of Charles VIII ( → Lage ).
  • The Porte de Bourgogne or Porte des Salinières is another former city gate opposite the Pont de pierre bridge , which was built in the middle of the 18th century ( → location ). There are three other former city gates of a similar design: Porte Dijeaux ( → Lage ), Porte d'Aquitaine ( → Lage ) and Porte de la Monnaie ( → Lage ).
  • The Palais Gallien is not a palace, but the remains of a Roman amphitheater from the 3rd century , which had a capacity of 15,000 spectators ( → location ).

Modern architecture

The new building of the Palace of Justice based on a design by Richard Rogers impresses with the meeting rooms shaped like giant eggs, which are integrated as free-standing oval structures in a glass architecture with a corrugated roof. The Cité des civilizations du vin is equipped with 2,500 reflective aluminum panels on the facade of the 55 meter high tower of the building. It is supposed to make you feel like shiny wine in a glass.

MÉCA Maison de l'Économie Créative et de la Culture en Aquitaine

In June 2019 the MÉCA was opened as Maison de l'Économie Créative et de la Culture en Aquitaine ("House of the creative economy and culture in Nouvelle-Aquitaine"). Near the main train station, the MÉCA is an architectural highlight of the new Euroatlantique quarter.

Streets, squares, bridges

  • The Place des Quinconces is with an area of 126,000 sqm one of the largest undeveloped places in Europe. The square was established on the site of the former Château de la Trompette in 1820 after the fortifications were razed . Towards the Garonne it was adorned in 1829 with two 21 meter high columns and a flight of stairs . On the city side, the square is closed off by the Monument aux Girondins , the memorial of the Girondins , a column with two fountains and many other figures erected between 1894 and 1902, which was erected in memory of the Gironde MPs who fell victim to the republican terror .
  • The Place du Parlement is a rectangular square with closed, classicist buildings from the first half of the 18th century and was used as a marketplace. Today it is part of the pedestrian zone and houses numerous restaurants and cafés.
  • The Place de la Bourse is the most prominent part of the kilometer-long front of the Garonne. The magnificent architectural ensemble was built in the middle of the 18th century . The Palais de la Bourse , the old port exchange, now houses a customs museum. The square was built as Place Royale from 1733 to 1743. There, where the Three Graces Fountain from 1864 now stands, there was a monument to King Louis XV. which was destroyed in the French Revolution . The architect of the ensemble was Jacques Gabriel V (1667–1742) together with his son Jacques-Ange Gabriel (1698–1782).
  • The Place de la Victoire is a circular square with the Porte d'Aquitaine , an impressive triumphal arch from the mid-18th century, built in the middle.
  • The Pont de pierre , the city's first bridge, was ordered by Napoleon but built later. Legend has it that the 17 arches of the bridge stand for the 17 letters of the name "Napoléon Bonaparte".
  • The Pont d'Aquitaine , the motorway bridge from 1967, is designed so that ocean-going ships can pass.
  • The Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas , located between Pont de pierre and Pont d'Aquitaine , is a road bridge built as a lift bridge that enables ocean-going ships, especially cruise ships, to travel to the old town.
  • The Allée de Tourny , built between 1743 and 1757, is the showpiece of the street system designed by the artistic directors. Originally, the north side was only one story so as not to obstruct the fortress' field of fire. At the end of the avenue is the Hôtel Meyer , built in 1796 for the Hamburg consul Meyer. Here Friedrich Hölderlin worked as a private tutor.
  • The Mériadeck district , a large administrative and service center, is the result of newer urban planning.
  • Many streets and squares are named after slave traders of the 18th century. B. Rue Pierre-Baour, Place Johnson-Guillaume, Rue David-Gradis, Place John-Lewis-Brown, Rue Pierre-Desse, Rue François-Bonafé .


The cultural infrastructure of Bordeaux is enriched by a number of very well-known museums. The largest of them is the Musée d'Aquitaine , one of the largest regional museums in France. The rich collection on regional history is complemented by the Center Jean Moulin , which offers an extensive exhibition on the history of the Resistance . Economic history also finds its place. The south wing of the Palais de la Bourse is reserved for the customs museum. Above all, the eventful history of sea ​​trade in Bordeaux is exhibited here.

Art occupies a prominent place in the museums of Bordeaux. A large art collection, mainly of classical paintings, is located in the Galerie des Beaux-Arts and in the Musée des Beaux-Arts , which was set up in the rear wing of the town hall. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs is in the immediate vicinity . A large and famous collection on the art of furnishing and interior design is housed here in a city palace from the 18th century .

Modern art can be found in the Musée d'art contemporain (CAPC) in the old customs buildings of the city port. In the Entrepôt Lainé , an old warehouse, mainly traveling exhibitions are shown.

In the Musée des Arts décoratifs et du Design there is an extensive collection on the French restoration and on Prince Heinrich, Duke of Bordeaux , the presumptive heir to the throne of King Charles X of France . The focus of the collection is a life-size statue of the prince at the age of seven made of bisque porcelain from the porcelain factory in Sèvres , a unique piece originally owned by the royal family.


Bordeaux wine

Bordeaux is famous for its varied, exquisite cuisine. The proximity to the sea, the surrounding vineyards and the hinterland characterized by polycultures offer a variety of different local specialties. There are many dishes à la Bordelaise : These are served with - usually red - Bordeaux wine , often also with shallots , the use of which has largely replaced onions or garlic in the cuisine of the French southwest.

The markets buy fish, oysters and seafood in particular from the nearby Arcachon , a center of oyster farming , and from Gironde. Usually white bread and butter are served with oysters, but also grilled minced pork, which sets a taste counterpoint. Spring is the main season for Als , bone-rich but tasty fish with white meat that is mainly caught in the Gironde. Lamproie à la Bordelaise , lamprey , a snake-shaped fish whose red blood is processed together with red wine into an elaborate sauce, is particularly sought-after and correspondingly expensive . The bond with Portugal has made stockfish very popular in Bordeaux. The Brandade de Morue is a cold or lukewarm salad made from boiled potatoes and diced cod, dressed with a vinaigrette and sometimes refined with cucumber or shallot.

In Bordeaux, “red meat”, especially beef, is given preference over all other types of meat. Here, too, there are many variants with red wine sauces, particularly well-known is entrecôte à la Bordelaise , the piece of rib between the ribs, covered with plenty of shallots. As in Périgord , confit , pickled pieces of goose or duck, is a staple of the kitchen. Foie gras or pâté is obtained not only from the Périgord but also from the Landes department . It is noteworthy that the Bordelais is almost the only region in France that has not produced its own cheese. In addition to products from neighboring regions, the Bordelais traditionally prefer Dutch cheese, which was introduced to the city hundreds of years ago.

Canelés on display in a specialty shop

Canelés are a real Bordelais specialty . These are small cakes that are baked in a characteristic, bundt cake-like shape and are no higher than 10 cm. A successful canelé has a caramelized crust that can range from golden yellow to dark brown, depending on the baking time. The inside, on the other hand, is soft, airy and creamy-sticky. Rum and vanilla provide the unmistakable taste. Canelés have to be eaten fresh every day, which is why they are not only expensive, but also cannot be exported. There are very few reputable providers. Canelés should only be baked from egg yolks without egg whites, as the egg whites are needed in the wine cellar for red wine. To clarify the red wine, it is whipped until it is foamy, placed on the surface of the wine and sinks down as a curtain in the wine, whereby the protein binds all the cloudy substances in the wine on its way down. The yolk, on the other hand, is left over when the eggs are broken and is used to bake canelés. So canelés are actually a solution to embarrassment in order not to throw too much egg yolk into the waste or a way of recycling leftovers.


Sporty flagship have passed since the Second World War the Girondins Bordeaux , the six-time French football champions , but were also have a handball team. In the first decades of the 20th century, however, it was mainly the VGA du Médoc and the SC de la Bastidienne that represented the city nationwide in this sport. In the south-west of France, rugby union is widespread and extremely popular alongside football . The local clubs are Stade Bordelais and CA Bordeaux-Bègles Gironde ; they put together a professional team called Union Bordeaux Bègles .

The city has a particularly close relationship with cycling . Bordeaux is a regular stage city of the Tour de France and, along with the arrival on the Paris Champs-Elysées, is considered the most prestigious arrival for sprinters. For a long time, there was also the one-day race between Bordeaux and Paris , in which the approximately 600 kilometers of road between the two cities had to be conquered within a day. It was therefore considered the toughest bike race in the world. This was also one reason why it was discontinued at the end of the 20th century. In Vélodrome de Bordeaux found in 1998 and 2006 UCI Track Cycling World Championships World Cup track cycling instead and 2007 Paralympic.

Bordeaux is also characterized by the surf tournaments that are regularly held on the Atlantic coast. The waves on the Côte d'Argent are considered to be one of the ideal destinations for surfers worldwide ; In nearby Lacanau , competitions take place annually with great public attention. Surfers also use the mascaret, a tidal wave in the Gironde that continues into the city under favorable conditions. In particular, the day and night are equally long slide up to three meters high waves in the estuary, which are used extensively by surfers.

Bordeaux was one of the venues for the 2016 European Football Championship . Up until now there was the Stade Chaban-Delmas in Bordeaux . Since the stadium could not be expanded without destroying the Art Deco style , a new stadium was built in the Lac district of Bordelais . In May 2015, after two and a half years of construction, the Matmut Atlantique was opened and is available for the staging of four preliminary round and one quarter-final of the 2016 European Championship.

In 2015 a three-cushion world championship was held for the first time in the Palais des Congrès . The city signed a 2-year contract with the world association Union Mondiale de Billard (UMB). The following year the city was again the venue.


Bordeaux has always been a very conveniently located city. The imperial roads already crossed here in Roman times and the port was one of the larger of its era. Since the Middle Ages, one of the main routes on the Camino de Santiago has passed through Bordeaux, the Via Turonensis . The Napoleonic road system also had one of its junctions in the city.


Road traffic plays an important role in Bordeaux, as international goods traffic from Portugal and almost all of Spain is routed through the city. In the summer there are several waves of individual vacationers. Private and commercial traffic meant that Bordeaux was integrated into the French motorway network very early on. This is where the A 10 (Paris-Bordeaux) intersects today , which continues south as the N 10 to Spain, the A 62 (Bordeaux-Toulouse-Narbonne), the A 63 (Bordeaux-Arcachon) to the sea and the A 89 ( Bordeaux-Lyon).

Even in the early post-war period, the traffic problems became so obvious that a continuous motorway ring was necessary. The A 10 has been crossing the Garonne via the Pont d'Aquitaine , a suspension bridge construction , since 1967 . During the seventies and eighties the ring was closed. In the south, this so-called Rocade crosses the Garonne a second time via the Pont François Mitterrand . Until then, road traffic was conducted exclusively over the two inner-city bridges Pont de pierre and Pont Saint-Jean . Since 2013 there is the between de Pont pierre and Aquitaine Bridge nearby Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas another road bridge. It is built as a lift bridge to enable ocean-going ships, especially cruise ships, to travel to the old town.


Pont Saint-Jean railway bridge on a postcard from around 1900
Bordeaux Saint-Jean main train station

Bordeaux is an important rail hub. The main train station in Bordeaux-Saint-Jean , built in 1898, testifies to the importance of the city in the century before last. This was initially a terminus and northwestern node of the Compagnie des Chemins de Fer du Midi , whose route network covered almost all of southern France. On the other side of the Garonne was its smaller counterpart, the Gare d'Orléans , which was the southwest end point of the Compagnie des Chemins de Fer Paris-Orléans .

The Pont Saint-Jean was built early on as the first railway bridge over the Garonne. After the merger of the two railway companies in 1934, the main station was expanded into a through station and the Gare d'Orléans lost its importance. After he gave up, he was threatened with demolition. Today a multiplex cinema is housed in the completely renovated building.

Today the important Paris - Irun axis runs through Bordeaux and is served by the TGV for its entire length . It has been developed as a high-speed route between Paris and Bordeaux. Many connections run daily between the two cities, the journey time is around two hours. In addition, a TGV route connects Bordeaux with the Mediterranean region via Toulouse .


Flight connections are becoming increasingly important in Bordeaux. The Bordeaux airport is in Mérignac in the west of the conurbation and can be reached with a shuttle bus. In the nineties, the airport significantly expanded its capacities by building a new terminal. Goods are also handled at the airport.


Former city port of Bordeaux on the Garonne, in the foreground the
Colbert warship

The Marine always played a prominent role in Bordeaux. At times the largest port in France, the city center is now only a destination for cruise ships and excursion boats. With 16 cruise ships and 13,000 passengers in 2004 alone, Bordeaux ranks second among the French ports in this regard. The industrial port facilities are now outside the urban area in a strip from Bassens on the Bordelais city limits to Le Verdon , over 100 km away.

The cruiser Colbert was also withdrawn as part of the redesign of the banks of the Garonne .

Up the Garonne is the river port, which is important for inland shipping and tourism. The construction of the Airbus A380 , some of which is being manufactured in Toulouse, sparked discussions . For the transport of the components on the Garonne, consideration was given to structurally adapting the historic Pont de pierre , i. H. to partially widen the arches of the bridge, which monument protection officials criticized. In order to be able to transport large Airbus parts such as the fuselage and cockpit under the Pont de pierre , these parts are loaded onto smaller barges in Pauillac and transported to Langon . Nevertheless, the passage is only possible when the Garonne water level is low, i.e. at low tide.

Tram line B near the cathedral

Public transport

Numerous bus and, since 2004, tram lines are operated by the TBC . The trams have a newly developed system through which the overhead lines in the city center could be replaced with conductor rails laid in the ground for aesthetic reasons. The decision was made when the buses could no longer move in the constant traffic jam and the construction of a subway was not possible due to the proximity to the sea and the low location of the city. After initial technical difficulties, which the residents had often raised against the new tram system, the tram is now working satisfactorily.

Since 2010, TBC has also operated a bicycle rental service with 174 stations and 1,700 bicycles via VCUB .


Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689–1755), state philosopher of the Enlightenment and propagandist of the separation of powers

In the 4th century the poet Decimius Magnus Ausonius , author of the Mosella written in Latin , and the later bishop Paulinus von Nola lived in Bordeaux and the surrounding area. Pope Clement V was Archbishop of the city before he was elected Pope in 1305. From 1557 to 1570 the philosopher Michel de Montaigne was mayor of Bordeaux. Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu , was born nearby and lived here. Johanna von Lestonnac , founder of the order and saint of the Roman Catholic Church, was his niece. The painter Francisco de Goya spent the last years of his life in Bordeaux and died there in 1828.

Sons and daughters

Famous people from Bordeaux include:


  • Graneri-Clavé, Mario (Ed.): Le Dictionnaire de Bordeaux. Nouvelles Editions Loubatières, Portet-sur-Garonne 2006, ISBN 2-86266-478-2
  • Robert Coustet, Marc Saboya: Bordeaux - La conquête de la modernité. Editions Mollat, Bordeaux 2005, ISBN 2-909351-85-8
  • Don Kladstrup, Petie Kladstrup: Wine & War. Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-423-34152-1
  • Michel Figeac, Pierre Guillaume (ed.): Histoire des Bordelais. Editions Mollat, Bordeaux 2003, ISBN 2-909351-75-0
  • Robert Joseph: Bordeaux and its wines. Hallwag, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-7742-0978-2
  • Gérard Nahon, Juifs et judaïsme à Bordeaux , Paris 2003, ISBN 2-909351-77-7 .
  • Manfred Görgens: Bordeaux & Atlantic coast. DuMont Reiseverlag, Cologne 2002, ISBN 3-7701-5851-2
  • Robert Étienne (ed.): Histoire de Bordeaux. Editions Privat, Toulouse 2001, ISBN 2-7089-8329-6
  • Paul Butel: Vivre à Bordeaux sous l'Ancien Régime. Editions Perrin, Paris 1999, ISBN 2-262-01127-3
  • René Terrisse: Bordeaux 1940–1944. Editions Perrin, Paris 1993, ISBN 2-262-00991-0
  • Paul Butel: Les négociants bordelais, l'Europe et les îles au XVIIème siècle. Aubier Montaigne, Paris 1992, ISBN 2-7007-1975-1

Web links

Wiktionary: Bordeaux  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Bordeaux  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Bordeaux  travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. Comparateur de territoire - Intercommunalité-Métropole de Bordeaux Métropole (243300316) | Insee. Retrieved July 30, 2018 (French).
  2. Comparateur de territoire - Aire urbaine de Bordeaux (006) | Insee. Retrieved July 30, 2018 (French).
  3. Augustin Thierry : The kings and queens of the Merovingians , 1840
  4. Pierer's Universal Lexikon , Volume 6. Altenburg 1858, p. 537.
  5. Peter Lieb : Conventional war or Nazi ideological war? , 2007, p. 482, which compares it with the withdrawal of German troops from Paris without a fight , online
  6. Francis Cordet : Carnets de guerre en Charente , 1939-1944, Publisher: Editions De Borée (1 April 2004), ISBN 978-2-844-94235-7 , page 307 ff
  7. Pierre Miquel : Bordeaux 29 août 1944, Une reddition négociée , publié le 24/05/2004, in L'Express online
  8. Global Religious Landscape
  9. ^ Global Christianity
  10. Rayonnement européen et mondial - Entreprendre - Bordeaux . Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  11. Bordeaux: Grand Théâtre ,, accessed on April 6, 2010
  12. Jane Anson: Bordeaux Cité des Civilizations du Vin rebrands , Decanter of September 3, 2015, accessed on October 17, 2015
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This version was added to the list of excellent articles on November 19, 2005 .