Sunday, 28 September 2014

Charles Lamoureux: the Bordeaux-born conductor whose orchestra lives on

Towards the top end of Rue des Remparts, the charming, gently sloping pedestrianised street which connects Rue Porte Dijeaux and Place Pey-Berland, a discreet plaque can be seen on the wall of a three-storey building. 

The words are virtually illegible, given that they have been written in white on a white background. But that shouldn’t be enough to put us off deciphering the text: the plaque celebrates the birthplace of Charles Lamoureux, the illustrious violinist and conductor who did much to popularise the music of Berlioz, Wagner and Handel in France.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Video: Parc Rivière, Bordeaux's park with a difference

A few months ago I published an item about the little-known Parc Rivière, a fascinating expanse of greenery which lies between the townhouses of the Tivoli quarter and the high-rise apartment blocks of the Grand-Parc district. 

I recently went back and this time filmed the visit, which you can view in this brand new Youtube clip:

Friday, 12 September 2014

Journées du Patrimoine 2014: the Invisible Bordeaux selection!

The annual European heritage days take place on September 20th and 21st. As ever the event will provide a unique opportunity to get behind the scenes of many fascinating places, or else stay out in the open and enjoy some fine guided walking tours.

Once again there are hundreds of options available, making it difficult to know where to start. So to make things easier, Invisible Bordeaux has been through everything on offer and here is a small selection of some of the more unusual and eye-catching visits... while the full list of venues and visits - in Bordeaux and beyond - can be found on the official event website

Saturday, 6 September 2014

From the Allied War Cemetery of Talence (to the fields of Flanders)

We are in the suburb of Talence and looking at a sign outside a small, carefully-tended plot of land at the end of a cul-de-sac, Rue Bahus. The sign reads “Commonwealth War Graves” although a more precise description would be “Allied War Graves”.

The tiny cemetery, which is located next to Talence’s municipal graveyard, is the final resting place for 18 men: five Americans, ten Canadians and three Britons (or Australians).

Wooden crosses mark the graves of the five Americans, who died at various dates between 1918 and 1945: Edward Simacys (1918), Anton Rivas (1919), Abraham Hamde (1920), Charles Carroll (1928) and Joseph Bouchard (1945).

Friday, 22 August 2014

Sculptor François Didier, the plans-reliefs of Bordeaux and Bages, and the Jardin de Casaque

In central Bordeaux, three bronze orientation maps (or “plans-reliefs” in French) have been positioned at strategic locations. I met up with François Didier, the sculptor behind these popular hands-on works of public art, to talk about the pieces, about a similar project rolled out near Pauillac and about his private sculpture garden at the northern tip of les Landes.  

The plans-reliefs project was initiated around 2007 by Philippe Prévôt, who is in charge of “patrimoine historique” (heritage sites) at Bordeaux Office de Tourisme, as well as being a renowned author of articles and books about the city’s lesser-known stories. Prévôt had been inspired by a 3-D map in Florence, Italy, and thought his friend François Didier would be the right man for the job, as the sculptor had already produced scale models of towns in the past. The idea soon gained the support of the city council who would go on to commission the works in partnership with the Office de Tourisme.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Video: Tracking the river Devèze from Mérignac to Bordeaux

Some time ago I published an item about the Devèze and my attempt to track the now mostly-underground river from Mérignac airport all the way into central Bordeaux. 

I recently went back and this time filmed the adventure, which you can view in this brand new Youtube clip:

Friday, 8 August 2014

The bust of Carl Linnaeus, in the words of artist Lucie Geffré

One of the focal points of the Right Bank botanic gardens, as featured in the previous blog item, is the bronze bust of Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778). The Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist is regarded as the father of modern taxonomy and one of the initiators of modern ecology.

To get the full story about the bust, I got in touch with Lucie Geffré, the talented Bordeaux-born, Madrid-based artist who was commissioned to produce the piece. Over to you, Lucie!
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