Place des Quinconces

The biggest square in France, this plaza hosts festivals, concerts and markets and features monuments dedicated to famous writers.

The vast Place des Quinconces stretches for about 30 acres (120,000 square meters) across the center of Bordeaux, making it an ideal venue for concerts and festivals. Explore the tree-lined square and admire its ensemble of monuments, which are dotted around the edges of the plaza. Take in views of the adjacent Garonne River.

The Château Trompette, a mighty fortification built to protect Bordeaux, once stood on the site. After its destruction in the early 19th century, the square was constructed in its place.

Look for the large Girondins Monument, a pillar that holds a statue representing Liberty, flanked by two dramatic fountains. The monument honors the Girondins, a political group who helped found the National Assembly during the French Revolution, only to face execution later on.

Examine the statues at the base of the column, which depict three women who represent Bordeaux, the Garonne River and the Dordogne region. Inspect the detailed bronze fountains near the monument. Each fountain has a different theme, with one celebrating family and another representing brotherhood.

Head toward the river to discover more monuments. Famous writers Montesquieu and Montaigne, both linked to the region, are commemorated with white stone statues, while two smaller columns representing trade and navigation mark the entrance to the square.

Dance at open-air concerts during the Bordeaux Music Festival, which takes place during the Wine Festival in June each year. The size of Place des Quinconces makes it a perfect concert venue. Big-name stars such as Lou Reed and Earth, Wind and Fire have played here. The square also hosts two large fairs every year, as well as an annual circus in January.

To reach Place des Quinconces, ride a bus to Enghien or a tram to Quinconces. The Bordeaux tourism office is located opposite the southwestern end of the square and provides information about the events taking place here.

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