The squares of Bordeaux... - Simon L  

For me Bordeaux is best discovered by wandering through its many old squares. Each square has a unique identity but they all glow with the stone that makes Bordeaux’s architecture unique. At first sight Bordeaux seems to be an unending succession of pretty squares.


In my adopted neighbourhood next to the Grosse Cloche you can find Fernand Lafargue square. Each morning hundreds of pigeons lap up the sun on the top of the buildings surrounding the square. After school the square fills with children joyously playing an improvised football match. Later in the evening, the terraces of trendy bars and restaurants spill over onto the square. The square like the neighbourhood never seems to sleep.

Towards the quays, the Place du Palais houses the imposing Porte Cailhau. An eclectic bunch of visitors congregate here. Tourists taking selfie portraits in front of the Porte Cailhau as well as local school children taking in the history of their city, pilgrims following the route to Santiago de Compostela and even surfers carrying their board after a successful day trip to the ocean.

Time for an aperitif on a terrace of the Place Camille Godard before taking in an arty film in a church.  The Utopia is a cinema that makes watching a film an experience in itself.

The Place du Parlement is the next stop. The most symmetrical square in Bordeaux, complemented by big clear paving stones and a beautiful fountain lead you to a feel as though you are on a film set.

Finally, the Place des Quinconces. This is more than a square. The immense size seems at odds with the rest of the squares in Bordeaux. It houses many big events in Bordeaux which means that everyone has a memory here. I furnished my apartment here during the huge Spring Brocante (upmarket car boot sale), I saw Bordeaux from above on the big wheel at the spring fun fair and my son got a fright at the fantastic Pinder circus.

My advice is to get lost amongst the many beautiful squares of Bordeaux. You are sure to find one you like but be careful because if you, like me, like them too much you might just get hooked and want to stay here