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Founded in the 3rd century BC, Burdigala’s economy began to develop around the 3rd century AD. The city was a manor-ruled fiefdom before being annexed in the 11th century by the duchy of Aquitaine.Bordeaux was to pass into English rule for 300 years when Eleanor of Aquitaine married Henry II of England, in 1152. The city, already focused on the wine industry, was to develop around its port. In 1453 the Hundred Years’ War was to end with the surrender of Bordeaux, and it took around 150 years for the city to fully regain its prosperity.
In the 18th century the city was expanded and enhanced: the Place Royale (Place de la Bourse) for example was constructed at this time. Bordeaux became the main port of France and the second largest in the world, after London. Business took a hit after the French Revolution, owing to blockades, but the city regained its former prosperity in the 19th century.
THE DELIGHTS OF VISITING BORDEAUX
Take the time to admire the city’s glorious 18th century heritage: the magnificent façades along the river banks, the Place de la Bourse and the Grand Theatre all bear witness to this period of sumptuousness. Dating from the 17th century, the church of Notre-Dame is a fine example of baroque architecture. The oldest religious monument in Bordeaux is the Saint-Seurin basilica, dating from early Christian times.
Bordeaux is also well known for its gourmet food. Try some of the local specialities: oysters from the Arcachon basin, Bordeaux style steak, grilled with parsley and vine shoots, or cannelé friandise, little ridged cakes with a crunchy exterior. Over the last 2,000 years, Bordeaux has been the wine capital of the region, and indeed, of the world. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover more about the wines of the area. You can also visit the vineyards and cellars which hoard outstanding treasures, including some of the most expensive wines in the world. Learn about the history and processes that are involved in the ancient