History of Bordeaux
Archaeological research reveals that Bordeaux was inhabited by Neanderthal Man. The remains discovered near Bourg sur Gironde add to the mystical charm of the region. Around 300 BC, Celtic tribes inhabited the region, naming it Bourde, after the river by the same name.
The city has witnessed Roman rule as well as ravaging by the Vandals, Visigoths, Franks, Carolingians, and Vikings. By far, the 18th century was the city's Golden Age. This era witnessed the construction of many architectural delights that stand to this day.
The city enjoys an oceanic climate, with mild winters and fairly warm summer. Vineyards spread across over 110,160 hectares. The city has more than 55 appellations and 10,000 châteaux dedicated to wine production. It is home to over 12,000 grape cultivators, who contribute to the processing of over 700 million bottles of wine each year.
Bordeaux produces not only some of the finest and most expensive wines in the world, but also sweet and regular varieties accessible at lower costs. It manufactures and distributes large quantities of 'premier cru' or the wines distilled from the first growth. There are red and white wines that make their way across the continents.
Wine varieties of 'first growth' are Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Haut-Brion, Château Margaux, Château Latour, and Château Mouton-Rothschild. The region produces Red Bordeaux called claret, made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Carmenere. White Bordeaux is processed from Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle.
Beyond wine processing, Bordeaux is also famous for the Laser Mégajoule, a project of the French Ministry of Defense and its aeronautic industry. Tourism is a major industry here, and it thrives on the region's wine processing ability. The city is popular on travel charts as the 'City of Art and History'.
It a sought-after tourist destination and also attracts cinema production crews from all over the world. The Esplanade des Quinconces, Colonnes des Girondins, Allées de Tourny, Cours de l'Intendance, and Saint-André Cathedral are some architectural marvels. Bordeaux is also famous for the Sainte-Croix Church and the Gothic basilica of Saint-Michel.
This port city has a number of museums, parks, and shopping arcades. It is home to the Rue Sainte-Catherine, the longest shopping street in Europe, and Arc en rêve, an architecture exhibition and research center. The National Opera of Bordeaux offers tourists a cultural feast in dance and music.