Place de la Bourse history
Place de la Bourse was originally built as a royal square, dedicated to the French ruler Louis XV. The planning for the new royal square started in 1728 and was later realized between 1730 and 1755.
The architect of Place de la Bourse and the surrounding buildings was the famous French architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel, who also is responsible for several other major projects, such as Place de la Concorde in Paris and parts of the Château de Versailles.
The common denominator in his works is his symmetrical palace-like façades, which becomes evident when looking at the buildings surrounding Place de la Bourse. The middle of the square was originally dominated by a large equestrian statue of Louis XV.
However, during the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century, the statue was attacked, removed and melted down. Around 50 years later, the beautiful fountain known as “Three Graces” was built in its place – the same fountain which stands today.
Why visit Place de la Bourse ?
Place de la Bourse, also known as Place Royale, is one of Bordeaux’s most beautiful squares. Place de la Bourse, and its surrounding buildings, are seen as a perfect example of Bordeaux architecture at the end of the 18th century.
Miroir des Quais
Magnificent architecture isn’t all Place de la Bourse can offer. Across the street, one can find “Miroir des Quais” – “The Quay Mirror”. This water mirror covers a massive 3450 m2, which makes it the largest water mirror in the whole world! The mirror was built in 2006 by the fountain specialist Jean-Max Llorca.
The area is covered with a thin layer of water, which gives it its mirroring effect. The fountain system can also create a fog effect, reaching as high up as two meters. Being a water mirror, its effect cannot be seen during winter. During summer however, the mirror becomes a popular place where both kids and adults play around.
The name of Place de la Bourse comes from the fact that the Chamber of commerce and other economic institutions are installed in the surrounding buildings. “Place de la Bourse” simply translates to “Square of the Wallet”.
The south pavilion, which is the one open to the public, houses the Musée des Douanes. This museum is a customs museum displaying the history of Bordeaux as a port town, models of different types of ships, navigational instruments and much more.
A visit to Place de la Bourse during the darker hours of the day is highly recommended. The contrast between the illuminated buildings and the dark sky is something really spectacular and it has become one of the most photographed places in Bordeaux. Together with reflections from the water mirror, visitors can enjoy an enchanting atmosphere at Place de la Bourse.
Place de la Bourse location
The cathedral is located in Bordeaux, in western France. It is situated right next to the Garonne River, on its left bank. Place de la Bourse is easy to access by foot or by tram – the latter stops right next to the square. For the exact location of Place de la Bourse, check out the Location Map to the right.