Bordeaux (Bordèu in Gascon) is a port city in the south-west of France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine région, as well as the préfecture (administrative capital) of the Gironde département. Its inhabitants are called Bordelais. The population of the metropolitan area (in French: aire urbaine) at the 1999 census was 925,253. Bordeaux is also the name of the wine produced in the region surrounding the city.
The city is built on an arc of the river Garonne, and is thus divided into two parts: the right bank to the East and left bank in the West.
- Bordeaux was founded around 300 BC under the Roman name Burdigala
- The city was plundered by the troops of Abd er Rahman in 732, after he had defeated Duke Eudes and before he was killed during the Battle of Tours on October 10.
- From the 12th to the 15th century, Bordeaux was an English King's fief
- The 18th century was its golden age, because of the trades with the West Indies. Hotels on the quays are from this period.
- During WWI, the French government withdrew to the city.
Red Bordeaux is generally made from a blend of grapes and may be made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. White Bordeaux is made from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Muscadelle .
The Bordeaux wine region is divided into subregions including Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Médoc, and Graves. The area's five 'premier cru' (first growth) red wines (four from Médoc and one, Chateau Haut-Brion, from Graves), established by the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 are among the most sought after and expensive wines in the world:
- Château Lafite-Rothschild
- Château Margaux
- Château Latour
- Château Haut-Brion
- Château Mouton-Rothschild
Bordeaux was the birthplace of:
- Decimus Magnus Ausonius (c. 310-395), Roman poet and rhetorician
- Bertrand Andrieu (1761-1822), engraver
- Jean Anouilh (1910-1987), dramatist
- Yvonne Arnaud (1892-1958), actress
- René Clément (1913-1996), actor, director, writer
- Damia (1899-1978), singer
- Lili Damita (1901-1994), actress
- Danielle Darrieux (born 1917), actress
- Eugène Goossens (1867-1958) conductor, violinist
- François Mauriac (1885-1970), writer, Nobel laureate
- Édouard Molinaro (born 1928), film director, producer
- Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), philosopher
- St. Paulinus of Nola (354-431), educator, religious figure
- Pierre Rode (1774-1830), violinist
- Jean-Jacques Sempé (born 1932), cartoonist
- Bordeaux city council website
- Official Girondins de Bordeaux website