The annual European heritage days take place on September 19th and 20th. Hurrah! As always, there are hundreds of options available, mak...

Journées du Patrimoine 2015: the Invisible Bordeaux selection!

The annual European heritage days take place on September 19th and 20th. Hurrah! As always, there are hundreds of options available, making it difficult to know where to start. 

So, to make things easier for you, Invisible Bordeaux has been looking closely at what’s on offer in the city 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

Chapelle et cloître du CROUS

CROUS is the structure set up to support and guide students in their quest for accommodation, grants and work. Surprisingly, the organisation is housed in premises which also feature a “neogothic” cloister and chapel that formed part of a convent and later a seminary. The visit is a new and welcome addition to this year’s Journées du Patrimoine programme!

Parc Rivière

Parc Rivière (pictured above), which the blog explored a few months ago, is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. The municipal park, which used to be the grounds of a mansion, is well worth a visit all year round, but Journées du Patrimoine events include a tour of its remarkable trees and a very eco-friendly children’s treasure hunt. 
  • Rue Mandron, Bordeaux
  • « Toi, moi, nous, les abeilles et la planète » children’s treasure hunt, Saturday 19th September, 14 :00 [Full information]
  • À la découverte des arbres du parc Rivière, Saturday 19th September, 14:00 [Full information]
Découverte du campus universitaire Victoire

Students will be welcoming the general public into this impressive university building on Place de la Victoire. Subjects on the agenda of the one-hour tours include interesting architecture and works of art including a 1954 mural by fine artist André Lhote.
  • Place de la Victoire, Bordeaux
  • Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th September, 10:00, 14:00, 16:00 [Full information]
Le Lycée Montesquieu par ses lycéens

A final stop in academia here! Students from the lycée will be on hand to show visitors around this legendary school, with unusual features such as facilities tailor-designed for the tuition of drama and cinema techniques. An exhibition will also highlight the school during the First World War.
  • 15 rue du Professeur Demons, Bordeaux
  • Saturday 19th September, 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00 [Full information]

La Bastide – patrimoine en héritage 

The right-bank La Bastide quarter is one of the most fascinating of the Bordeaux neighbourhoods. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the district becoming part of the city, the Histoire(s) de la Bastide association is putting on a major exhibition of postcards and photos culled from various private collections.
  • Maison Cantonale (pictured above), 20 rue de Chateauneuf, Bordeaux
  • Saturday 19th September, 09:00-12:30 and 13:00-16:30 [Full information]
Petit Hôtel Labottière

This 18th-century mansion, which now operates as a luxury hotel, is rarely accessible to the general public but its doors do open during the Heritage Days weekend, the guided tour taking in parts of the building as well as the inner courtyard and gardens. 
  • 13 rue Saint-Laurent, Bordeaux
  • Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th, 15:00-17:00 [Full information]

L’église Sacré Cœur

Many are familiar with the twin spires of église Sacré Cœur (pictured above), which lies between Saint-Jean railway station and the Nansouty district. But the church is well worth a visit, and not just to admire its unusual 24-hour clock! Doors will be open over the heritage days weekend and a guided tour will be provided by parishioners on the Sunday afternoon. 
  • 117 Rue Billaudel, Bordeaux
  • Open 09:00-19:30 on both days, guided tour Sunday 20th, 15:00 [Full information]

Cimetière israélite des Avignonnais

The tiny cemetery for Jews from Avignon, which ceased welcoming the deceased in 1805, is tucked away between tall buildings, and it will be possible to wander freely there on Sunday 20th. Be sure to first check out the troubled history of the cemetery and its 100 residents.

Usine Jock

Invisible Bordeaux favourites Jock, purveyors of fine crèmes and readymade cake mixes, will be organising factory tours on both days. It will be a chance to learn about the company’s history, sample their products and learn more about the manufacturing process.
  • 190 Quai de Brazza, Bordeaux
  • Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th September, 10:00-12:30, 13:00-18:00 [Full information]

Balade à vélo entre Jalles et Médoc

Finally, if you're looking for a way of combining local heritage with some serious pedalling (and the pleasant feeling of wind in your hair), why not sign up for a day-long guided bike ride through the outskirts of Bordeaux? Little information is available about the no doubt interesting itinerary, but it does sound tempting!

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