Place Fernand-Lafargue

You live and learn, don't you.

There are various folk on the interweb who occupy themselves with finding out unusual facts and putting them out there for all the world to see. Two such have recently alerted me to the fact that one of our squares in Bordeaux has a chequered past.

Place Fernand-Lafargue used to be known as Place du Vieux Marché because it was there in centuries past that produce brought to the city via the Garonne was sold to the eager townsfolk.

Nowadays it is a square of bars and restaurants. There you'll find various Thai restaurants. Bordeaux' fish and chip shop was there, but has since been replaced by a Peruvian Sushi Bar. (I promise you that I'm telling the truth.) You'll also find the popular Apollo bar.

But the Place du Vieux Marché had another, more sinister use.

It was the place of public torture where, as one writer put it, some were broken on the wheel, others had their tongue pierced with a red hot poker, and counterfeiters were boiled in oil.

Never was keen on peruvian sushi.


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