Bordeaux is fractal

 I don’t mean it’s cracking, except in the positive sense of the word. I mean that the closer you look, the more detail you see.

The other evening I went to a concert given by a church choir directed by a friend from the choir I sing with. It was being held in Bordeaux’ finest baroque church, thé Église Notre Dame on thé Place du Chapelet near the Grand Théâtre. I arrived too early, as usual, and spent a happy half hour gazing round the square.

Last summer when we did our Year 1 tour of Bordeaux and heard all about the Terror following the revolution, we were told that the Eglise Notre Dame was chosen to become the Temple de la Raison. Imagine that! 

So I hunted round the square a little and, sure enough, the square was not always named Place du Chapelet (Rosary Square) but carved into the stone is … Place de la Raison!

Another street has carved into it Rue St. Dominique. How odd! Is Notre Dame Dominican? I know another church, Saint-Paul is Dominican.

It turns out that Louis XIV wanted to build a fortress to keep the bordelais in order, so he demolished a Dominican monastery. The Dominicans, undaunted?, built a new monastery which has since the revolution passed into public ownership and use for offices and exhibition space, the lovely Cours Mably.

I walked back to the tram across the beautiful Allées de Tourny, all lined with fragrant lime trees. 


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