More about Bourg

Bourg, les Musicals measuring 40 x 50 cms (16” x 20”), oils, available, was painted as one of an extraordinary series that developed from  many visits to the region and I like there to be more.

A Bourg street scene

A Bourg street scene

Bourg is a small town of much character in Haut Medoc, missed by most tourists.

Detail 1, Bourg les Musicales

Detail 1, Bourg les Musicales

It owes its former prosperity to the river Dordogne  as its 19 th century quay bares witness.

It has much charm, is a good example of an old France rapidly disappearing.

Formally fortified, much of the original walls, gateways and towers remain intact.
The shops are pleasant to explore as are the cafes including those by the quay.

The occasional ‘fete’ is always fun.

a detail (3) of Bourg, les Musicals

a detail (3) of Bourg, les Musicals

Bourg retains some connection with salt water, a small marina and sailing club.

A brief History of Bourg

If there is a Gironde town whose history was turbulent, it is Bourg.

The name of the town comes from the Latin noun burgus‘, a fortification, a fortified tower or a fort.

Bourg was the capital of the district from 1790 to 1795.

The name of the town is Borg in Gascon.

Bourg is in the department of Gironde, in the Aquitaine region.

Bourg was founded in the fourth century by the family Paulin. 
Firstly an important commercial center, Bourg later becomes a walled city. 
In the early fifth century the Visigoths invaded Aquitaine, many settled in and around Bourg. 
This was the beginning of an era of the great invasions of the next four centuries.
The region was ravaged in succession by the Merovingian Franks, the Gascons, the Saracens, the Carlovingians Franks and Normans.
Little wonder so many places in this part of what is now France were pleased to be united with the powerful English via the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

During the Hundred Years War nearby Blaye, was the Aquitaine key military defense in this area in its capacity as the last bastion fortified downstream of the port of Bordeaux. 
Blaye and Bourg were taken and retaken several times by the French and English belligerents.
By its membership in 1379 to the Bordeaux defense alliance against the French the fortified town of Bourg became known as a goddaughter of Bordeaux.
That alliance favored trading with the Gironde capital, Bordeaux
.
The upper town subsequently welcomed Charles VII,later,  Charles IX and Francis. Louis XIV also resided during the Fronde from August 27 to October 2, 1650.

In June 1940, the German army took possession. 
In tanks built in the ancient stone quarries located in the cliff below the castle of the citadel they stored petroleum products delivered by Italian freighters until 1944. 
An Italian tanker, the 'Clizia 7' was be scuttled by the German Navy in August 1944. 
The wreck still lies in the Dordogne.

Today, Bourg is a lovely city built on a rock, there are walls, the castle, Citadel, with picturesque narrow streets running down to the port.
The heritage and architectural richness of this city has earned Bourg classification as a notable "old town".

 

 

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Gordon Frickers © updated 20.06.15

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