Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Bordeaux - Day 2 (afternoon) - The 30th of November 2013


... We approached the river  and before having reached the Pont de Pierre noticed a rather unique fountain, which I later found out to be la Fontaine de la Grave.

The Pont de Pierre is a beauty in itself. Having been commissioned by Napoleon I in 1819 it was the first bridge to have been built over the Garone river. The seventeen arches are said to be equivalent to the number of letters in Napoleon Bonaparte's name. On its sides the pile of bricks are capped by a white medallion honouring the Emperor. Beautifully adorned by elaborate street lamps it does (did) provide a rather outstanding view of the waterfront

A little bit further across the road the magnificent Porte Cailhou, a Gothic-Renaissance Medieval gateway pertaining to the old city walls. The actual gate is said to have been built in 1495 to commemorate the victory of Charles VIII against the Italians in the battle of Fornoue. The river side façade with its sculpted Saint Jean Evangéliste statue is worth being looked at, but so is the city side.

The whole ensemble, in spite of its imposing architectural opulence blends perfectly with the surrounding edifices and little cafés. 

We started heading back to the centre of town having unexpectedly come across a rather nice XV century church, l'eglise de Saint Pierre whose interior we also visited.

On our way to the Place du Parlement we sighted a veranda decoration that looked rather unusual, though we had to agree it was outstandingly creative. The more we wandered about the city the more I realised that  (for me) one of  the many Bordeaux's attractions were certainly the details.

No  matter how far we walked or which direction we took we always ended up at Place de la Comédie and the Theatre. We took some time looking at the Neo-Classical façade with its twelve Corinthian style columns and its entablature where statues of nine Muses and three Goddesses stood.

We also took some time to admire the Jaume Plensa's statue, "Sanna" which belongs to a series of seven feminine figures, two of which being exhibited in Bordeaux. From what we read by having played with the weight and the size, the artist had in mind transforming the ordinary into extraordinary ... (and I guess he did it ...).

(To be continued)

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