The weather was hot on Sunday July 17th 1853 as the first train from Paris pulled into Gare d’Orléans (later also known as Gare Bordeaux-...

Gare d’Orléans: the railway station turned multiplex cinema

The weather was hot on Sunday July 17th 1853 as the first train from Paris pulled into Gare d’Orléans (later also known as Gare Bordeaux-Bastide), some thirteen hours and seven minutes after leaving France’s capital city. The journey may have been long but it was far shorter than the only other option available at the time: a 44-hour ride in a horse-drawn stagecoach.

The travellers were understandably tired but undoubtedly happy to have arrived at their south-western destination… although they would still have to cross the bridge to reach Bordeaux proper; at the time the right-bank Bastide quarter was technically part of Cenon. The Bastide district had already made giant leaps forward with the opening of the Pont de Pierre in 1822, and now the new station would help it blossom further.

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We are in a residential quarter in the suburb of Eysines, barely 300 metres from the town’s parish church. The unusual thing about the ...

The forgotten wartime camp in Eysines

We are in a residential quarter in the suburb of Eysines, barely 300 metres from the town’s parish church. The unusual thing about the quiet neighbourhood is that it was the location of a camp which operated throughout the Second World War.

The history of the camp is poorly documented. By far the most complete account I was able to find is on the Porte du Médoc website, where a chronological overview is coupled with some eye-witness testimonials. Sifting through the information available there and elsewhere, here are the basic facts. 

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During my time documenting the Bordeaux area, I’ve done my best to uncover some of the city’s best-kept secrets, and Parc Rivière is one ...

Parc Rivière: the central park with a difference

During my time documenting the Bordeaux area, I’ve done my best to uncover some of the city’s best-kept secrets, and Parc Rivière is one such example of the lesser-known jewels in the Bordeaux crown.

This ten-acre landscaped park (that’s four hectares) lies between the bourgeois houses of the Tivoli quarter and the high-rise blocks of the Grand-Parc district. It is, in effect, land which has been reclaimed from a bourgeois mansion built in the 19th century, the ruins of which form the centrepiece of the park.

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