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Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in southwestern France, the center of the popular wine-growing region. It is renowned for its Saint-André Gothic Cathedral, mansions from the 18th to the 19th century, and notable art museums such as the Bordeaux Museum of Fine Arts. Public gardens dot the curving quays of the river
An intoxicating mix of know-how, youthful hi-tech and urban street life from the 18th century, France's sixth-largest city is among the most entertaining and gutsy players in Europe.
The "Sleeping Beauty" has awoken from its slumber after several years of hard work. The town is beautifully restored and has an ultra-modern system of public transport. With its 17 arches, the Stone Bridge spans the Garonne and gives tourists a stunning view over the docks and harbor.
It is the largest urban World Heritage Site in the world, cradling half of the city (18 sq km) in its treasure chest listed in the Unesco area. Bordeaux architecture is world-class, from the elegant symmetry of place de la Bourse, palaces fenced with stone-sculpted macarons (faces), to tree-shaded boulevards lined with hôtels particuliers (mansions) designed for wine merchants of the 18th century.
A view of Bordeaux's central region from across the Garonne is much like a view of London across the Thames in some 18th-century print without the sailing ships.
About a hundred meters from the shore, the harbor buildings along the waterfront of Bordeaux are set back. Ocean-going merchant ships wrestled with spaces to tie-up
Bordeaux's great families made their fortunes in shipping and commerce, particularly of Bordeaux's celebrated wines. At the time of the English conquest, the fortunes of these wine-growing and wine-trading houses took a massive leap
Since the 18th century, the port area has been significant but commercial operation is now concentrated in five specialized out ports. Port traffic has decreased with the closing of the oil refineries located along the Gironde, even though refined petroleum products are still imported.
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