Invisible Bordeaux recently came across this nice set of aerial views of Bordeaux from the 1950s-60s, offering an unusual way of seeing ...

Aerial views of Bordeaux from the 1950s-60s

Invisible Bordeaux recently came across this nice set of aerial views of Bordeaux from the 1950s-60s, offering an unusual way of seeing Allées de Tourny, the Triangle d’Or, Place Gambetta, Jardin Public and Cité de la Benauge! Scroll on down for a closer look at each picture! 

First up is Allées de Tourny, which still boasted its two fountains and its Gambetta statue. Bottom right: the old Grands-Hommes market. There are parked cars on Place de la Comédie and a small event is taking place on Place des Quinconces (or is perhaps being set up or dismantled). The Garonne waterfront is a succession of cranes and warehouses. Over on the right bank, Gare d’Orléans railway station is still clearly connected to the rail network and the brand new Benauge fire station is in position. Saint-Jean bridge is still a few years from being built so the only crossings that can be seen are Pont de Pierre and the Eiffel railway bridge. 

Photo: éditions aériennes Combier (Macon).
Here is the so-called Triangle d’Or quarter, with Cours Clémenceau and Cours de l’Intendance forming one of the three angles. You can make out the words “Petit Paris” on the white building towards the bottom, and “Français” on the cinema-house which is still known as such. The old Grands-Hommes covered market building can be seen once again towards the middle of the picture. Over in the distance, check out the row of cranes on the Garonne waterfront and, on the right bank, the Grands Moulins de Paris factory which is still a fixture on the landscape 70 years later! 

Photo: éditions Lapie (Saint-Maur).
This is Place Gambetta, as viewed from the south, demonstrating the near-perfect alignment between Rue du Dr Charles Nancel Penard (known as rue Dauphine until 1946) and Cours Georges-Clémenceau.

Photo: éditions Lapie (Saint-Maur).
Here’s another view of Place Gambetta (with its handful of cars and a single bus), looking towards Cours Georges-Clémenceau and Jardin Public.

Photo: éditions Lapie (Saint-Maur).
This is the Jardin Public, as viewed from the north-western side. In the foreground you can make out the buildings and inner yard of Lycée Montesquieu (previously known as Lycée Longchamps). 

Photo: édition Renaud & Buzaud (Bordeaux), cliché P. R. Larrey/Delboy.
Finally, key 1950s large-scale building project the Cité de la Benauge. Left and middle: the tall towers and more compact residences of Cité Pinçon. The circle in the middle is still known as “le Rond des Mamans”. Bottom you can see the Jean Dauguet sports hall. Top left: Benauge primary school. And further in the distance on the right, Stade Galin sports stadium, the neighbouring swimming pool had yet to be built.

Photo: Chatagneau (Bordeaux), cliché Herlec – Libourne, opérateur M. Le Collen/Elcé.
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  1. In the mid 1950's my family lived in an American military family housing area of duplexes, with a school nearby and under construction. "Pessac Housing'' is how my mother referred to it, which at the time I thought meant a type of housing, not the place.

    We left France in 1957 or thereabouts.

    Do you know of such a place?

    Just curious, thank you.

    1. Thanks for getting in touch. That is a tough one! Am struggling to find traces of where US military may have been housed in Pessac, and though the mention of a new school is a useful clue, in France in the post-War 1950s a lot of construction work was in progress on housing, schools, etc. Two districts of Pessac which may correspond are Magonty and Monteil (near Pape-Clément wine château). May be worth your while searching those areas on GoogleEarth/StreetView, to see whether any sights ring distant bells?