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Bassins à flot, Bacalan

Turned towards vast Atlantic horizons, the vibrant district of Bassins à Flot symbolises the Bordeaux of tomorrow. It stretches opposite the Chaban Delmas lift bridge, the city’s new iconic landmark.

BACALAN AND THE BASSINS À FLOT: A MARITIME HERITAGE


 

The Bacalan and the Bassins à flot are known for their unique “maritime temperament”, deeply ingrained in their history. In the 19th century, this area was the port of all the sailors of the world. Far from Bordeaux, it welcomed the biggest ships, packed with hefty loads of fruits and cereals. As a significant industrial hub, home to both "bassins à flot" (wet docks) and “radoubs” (dry docks), this historic site has kept its old cockiness that makes up its unique identity.

Stretching from the old château Trompette to the Café de l'Océan, the Bassins à flot district has forged its soul throughout its history. Its unique character owes much the presence of the river. It reminds us, like the backwash, of its commercial, civil, and military past. Now vibrant and buzzing with energy, the Bassins à flot are infused with the area’s cosmopolitan history. Carrying the memories of past trade union struggles, and scarred by the German occupation, it was later abandoned to the waters of the Garonne. The revival is currently underway!

The etymology of the Bacalan district is probably the only well-kept secret of this fantastic area. Some claim that this colourful suburb owes its name to the Terres-Neuvas, who used to go fishing for “bacalao” (codfish in Portuguese). Others believe the name stems from the patronymic heritage of a Protestant family (the Bacalan) who held high positions in the local magistracy in the 19th century.
 

Teddy Verneuil
©Teddy Verneuil

The emblems of the neighbourhood

BACALAN AND BASSINS À FLOT: BORDEAUX’S “MELTING PORT.” 

 

A diverse and cosmopolitan area, the Bassins à flot is above all a mixed neighbourhood. Mixed in the way it opens a new chapter of its history without denying its heritage. Like a wave in perpetual motion, the district is currently undergoing vast transformations. One could say it is becoming a "melting port” of sorts, coalescing residential areas with a range of economic and leisure activities.

Linking Bordeaux and its river, the Bassins à flot is also a pleasant district to visit. Stroll along the paths or the quayside and take the time to contemplate the area’s architectural heritage, an illustration of its prestigious maritime past: cranes, barges, rails, and silos...
 

Teddy Verneuil
©Teddy Verneuil

LA CITÉ DU VIN, A WORLD OF CULTURES

A majestic glass tower set up on the banks of the Garonne. La Cité du Vin offers a spectacular and playful journey of the senses into the universe of wine, from ancient history up until today and across various exhibition spaces spread over 3000 m².

There is also a boutique with wines from across the world, a wine bar and a panoramic restaurant on the top floor with a 360° view over the Bordeaux metropolis. Finally, on the ground floor you can get help on planning your trips out to the surrounding vineyards at the Wine Tours information desk.
 

©Nicolas Duffaure
©Nicolas Duffaure

BORDEAUX SUBMARINE BASE

Dating from 1941-43, the base is one of five built by the Germans on the Atlantic coast for U-boats during the Second World War.  This gigantic bunker is a veritable honeycomb with eleven alveolus linked by an inner street. 

This venue has been converted into an original, "underground" cultural location by the City of Bordeaux. The Submarine Base offers multidisciplinary activities all year long: exhibitions, concerts, opera, jazz, theatre, dance, etc.

Going there is always an experience. Visitors are invariably awed by the immense concrete structure, the unique atmosphere on the quays, and the carefully-designed lighting. This setting in the wet dock district is very unusual and, ultimately, very modern. 
 

Mairie de Bordeaux
©Mairie de Bordeaux

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