Fun all day long, but the real magic begins in the evening when the lights come on…

The majestic Place de la Bourse with its neoclassical facades reflected in the still surface of the “Miroir d’eau” at night has become something of an icon of Bordeaux. Built in 2006, the world’s largest water mirror also reflects, symbolically speaking, another renaissance of sorts for the City of Bordeaux in its 2000 year-old history on the banks of the Garonne river.

When the lights come on

 

The ebb and the flow

Designed by landscape architect Michel Corajoud and developed by fountain expert J. M. Llorca, the highly popular water mirror is a made of granite slabs, measuring 130×42 meters in total. At certain intervals, the granite surface is flooded by 2-3 cm of crystal clear water which turns into a perfect mirror, unless ruffled by the wind. After around 20-30 minutes the water is slowly drained, followed by plumes of mist creating a dense fog. You’ll love it! When the fog lifts, so to say, the recycled and cleansed water is pumped back up until it covers the entire granite surface once again, and the cycle is repeated. Fun all day long, but the real magic begins in the evening when the lighting of the façades on Place de la Bourse is turned on, ideally accompanied by a deep blue evening sky above.

 

The mirror mist

 

Living UNESCO World Heritage

In 2007, Bordeaux’s entire inner city was inscribed as one urban, living World Heritage site, boosting local pride in a city that used to be called the sleeping beauty due to its dirty facades. Go for a stroll through cozy old yet très cool neighbourhoods or Quartiers, or take a ride on the tramways past the elegant Grand Théâtre and along the restored quay area and you will discover a city set on reinventing itself. In 2016, Bordeaux saw the opening another audacious construction, this one reminiscent of the swirl of the wine in a glass. We are talking about La Cité du Vin, which has already become a magnet for wine-lovers and Bordeaux enthusiasts.

 

A perfect mirror

Note! The water mirror is not in operation during the winter months (Jan-March).

 

SOURCES & CREDITS
French Monuments
All photos by Asgeir Pedersen, IN Editions
This is a revised version of an article first published 9 September 2016.