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Saint Seurin, Fondaudège  

Historically, this was one of the important centres of Christianity in Bordeaux

 

Located close to the city centre, but not far from the outer boulevards, this part of the city has a very middle-class feel. Modern buildings blend harmoniously with échoppes (a local type of single-storey house). Even the larger stone houses are rarely over two storeys tall! Many of them have beautiful back gardens.

This largely residential district is clearly separate from the city centre, but close to its many advantages. There is a very much of a family atmosphere, and the many schools here seem to keep it eternally young. This is also where some of Bordeaux's oldest historic vestiges are located: the Palais Gallien as well as the oldest Christian cemetery at Saint-Seurin basilica.

Between these two sites, the Marché de Lerme (originally a market) was converted into a venue for temporary exhibitions. The magnificent building made of glass and iron dates from the 19th century. You can take advantage of the shade provided by tall trees on Place Charles Gruet to sit down and admire the magnificent Fountaine d’Audége, a fountain dedicated to a nymph.

Les Chartrons

This is delimited by the Cours du Médoc to the north, the rue Fondaudège to the south, and the Quai des Chartrons running parallel to the Garonne. The beautiful buildings evoke a time when Bordeaux merchants prospered. Built on land that once belonged to a former Carthusian monastery (or chartreux in French, changed to Chartrons over the years), this reclaimed marshland drained by the Dutch in the 17th century was home to English, Scots, Irish, Scandinavian, and German merchants.

All of these négociants built beautiful houses and cellars. Royal intendant Tourny had a public garden built a stone's throw away, not only as a place in which to enjoy nature, but also as one in which to conduct business. He wanted it to become a sort of "evening stock exchange", he explained, unaware that the first revolutionary speeches would soon took place there...  Cours Xavier Arnozan (previously called the Pavé des Chartrons) is one of the city's more aristocratic and elegant 18th century streets. It was still very much a sign of social status to live on the "Pavé" in the 20th century!