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Porte Cailhau – the barbican of bygone Bordeaux

When visitors first arrive in Bordeaux, they are usually blown away by the splendor and majesty of the city’s 18th century architecture, particularly Place de la Bourse. So, did anything actually happen in Bordeaux BEFORE the 1700’s?

Where TF has everything gone?  The majority of physical traces of Bordeaux’s 2000-year-old history across the city have entirely vanished – or more accurately, been demolished for an ‘upgrade’... 

Successive waves of building projects over the centuries, notably the transformation of the city under Baron Haussmann and Louis-Urbain Aubert, marquis de Tourny, in the 18th century, have severed almost all links to Bordeaux’s heritage – it’s now largely buried or in the Musée d’Aquitaine!



One of the last major medieval monuments still actually standing in Bordeaux is the glorious Porte Cailhau, just back from Pont Pierre, and hidden away behind the domineering 18th century riverfront arcade.
Former gateway to the medieval city, Porte Cailhau is a rare example of…

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