Bordeaux - Wonderful towns in France #1 - A sight from the sky

What is this post about?

There are many different ways to appreciate the beauty of a town and a view from the sky is certainly one of the most panoramic and fulfilling ways to admire Bordeaux.

Because Bordeaux is so elegant and so rich of monuments and history, a view from the sky offers a comprehensive look on this beautiful city famous for its wine and for its trades.

The photos of this post are taken from the panoramic wheel situated in the heart of Bordeaux (not all year for the moment) in Place de Quinconces.

Place de Quinconces is a beautiful square along the river Garonne, not far from the other main sights of the city.

From the wheel you can appreciate, Bordeaux architecture, with the Cathedral the river Garonne and the Towers of the old Walls standing higher above the roofs of the town centre.

You can also appreciate Bordeaux many green areas and parks and the square itself where the wheel is situated has a beautiful monumental fountain to admire.

Can you tell me more about this unique square, with a large open ground and this huge fountain?

The square is situated when before a huge castle, was. This explains how it was possible to have some much room empty in the middle of such a busy and heavily built town for its era.

The two rostral columns (21 metres in height) facing the Garonne were erected by Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau in 1829. One of them symbolises commerce, while the other stands for navigation. The white-marble statues of Montaigne and Montesquieu (by sculptor Dominique Fortuné Maggesi) were added in 1858 (from

The principal monument was erected between 1894 and 1902 in memory of the Girondists who fell victim of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. It is composed of a large pedestal framed with two basins, decorated with bronze horses and troops, and surmounted by a large column with a statue on top that represents the spirit of liberty.  (from

Why the Square has such a strange name (Quinconces) and what does the name mean?

 "Quinconces" translates in English as "Quincunx".

According with wikipedia,  quincunx  is a geometric pattern consisting of five points arranged in a cross, with four of them forming a square or rectangle and a fifth at its centerm like the five face in a dice. 

The reason being that the trees adorning the square, when planted, where positioned in the quincunx geometric pattern.

The symbol is use in  heraldic as you can see on wikipedia

And what is the symobilism of the statues on the fountain?

Here what the statues represent according with wikipedia:

  •     towards the large theatre: triumph of the Republic
  •     towards Chartrons: triumph of the Concorde
  •     towards the river: the Tribune with the French cockerel; to its right, History, and on its left, the Éloquence (2 seated people).
  •     towards the Tourny square: the city of Bordeaux sitting on the prow of a ship with a cornucopia. To the right of the base: the Dordogne River and to the left the Garonne.

At the feet of the tank with horses: Ignorance, Lie and Vice. The quadriga horse-fish is a representation of Happiness. The column was erected by Achille Dumilatre and Rich.

The pedestal is by Corgolin. In 1983 the horses that were removed during the German occupation of France in World War II were reerected with their bronze restored.

A huge thanks goes to Anne Sophie Cordier from Bordeaux, a real Bordeaux citizen proud and passionate about her town!

What else should I visit in France?

Read our page Visit France for more 

posts and destinations.