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01 - History

1 min / Published

Let’s begin with a bit of History! Bordeaux was founded during the Roman conquest of Aquitaine under the name Burdigala. The city appeared on the left bank of the Garonne, at a crossroads of maritime and fluvial routes. The crescent-shaped bend in the river at this particular spot would later inspire Bordeaux’s nickname: “Moon Harbour”.

The Romans introduced the region’s first grapevines, marking the beginning of Bordeaux’s love story with wine.

During the Middle Ages, Bordeaux belonged to the English kingdom following Eleanor of Aquitaine’s marriage to Henry Plantagenet, future Henry II. Our wine soon became renowned across the Channel and ships full of barrels would constantly set sail from Bordeaux to London.

Bordeaux’s “Golden Age” arose during the 18th century when the city became France’s primary commercial port, thanks to the sugar and colonial commodity trades. The city also partook in triangular trade, consequently becoming France’s second slave port, just behind Nantes.

The port remained very active until the beginning of the 20th century and the gradual replacement of maritime transport in favour of trains and automobiles. Nowadays, Bordeaux is a world-famous cruise destination and one of the only ports of call capable of hosting cruise ships in the heart of the city centre.

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This episode is part of the 02 - ENGLISH series
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