Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bordeaux & The Mirror Pool..always fun

The Reflecting Pool at La Bourse in Bordeaux

So it's a rainy morning here in Bordeaux - a bit strange as it's been so sunny and nice lately. The weather is suppose to improve this afternoon.   As I'm reviewing my photos from the summer and - I realize that there is a very special place in downtown Bordeaux - that we always bring our guests to and even if we go downtown as a family, we usually end up there too.  It is the Mirror Pool on the Quai by the river in front of La Bourse. This is the quintessential place for photos in downtown Bordeaux.   Standing next to this pool, all the beautiful old buildings reflect at certain times in the pool creating a stunning view.  So, If figured, following today's theme of rain & water - I would share this great place with everyone.

I did a little research on the history and design of this pool.  It's apparently designed by French landscape architects, Claire and Michel Corajoud - it's relatively new, only  being finished around 2006.  A final showcase to all the renovations that Bordeaux completed along the river banks of the Garonne.

The Corajouds replaced the working docks on the Garonne River with a giant rectangle of ½ thick water. Just enough water over a black granite plaza to create a surface large enough to reflect the entire 18th century Stock Exchange building (Now home to the Chamber of Commerce). The mirrored images of the building are a photo tourist's "must have" picture in Bordeaux.

Not only does this reflective pool create a beautiful reflection but a fog systems operates with and without the water. The large size of the site creates a miniature fog bank for more great photographs and helps the illusion of continuity of the water with the Garonne river sitting on the other side.  The elegant historic French idea of the central reflecting pool has become a gathering place for people who love to walk, play and reflect in it's beauty. The water mirror both forces people to stand back to observe the reflection and then bring them together in the play of splashing water and "hide-and-go-seek" fog.  This whole plaza is designed to both show off the beauty of the city of Bordeaux and also allow for reflection of the city itself.  A beautiful subtle concept to behold.

The following photo is looking downriver - standing on one end of the pool looking toward Le Pont - Pierre (which is out of view on the left.)  Here the pool is full but with a breeze blowing through it.  This photo was taken in the Fall.  One thing to note, the pool is drained Late Fall through early Early Spring - so is not in operation during those "Winter" months.  

This is the reflecting pool in the summer - in all it's glory.  Here is the Chamber of Commerce building being reflected in the next 2 photos. - Stunning!

What is so fascinating about this reflecting pool is how the water changes - It's on a cycle of draining, misting, filling, and sitting.  Depending on which part of the cycle you catch - the different water will totally change photos.  The earlier photos were taken when the pool was full - the following photo is when it begins to mist and create the fog illusion.  The whole cycle takes about 20 minutes.

The fog illusion is very interesting - and one can disappear into the fog....or come running out of the fog.
I love the next 2 photos as they are just walkers and bikers - but there's a sense of history - a sense of time gone by...Hard to believe that this is the same area where the earlier photos were taken.

But I have to say, in addition to awesome photographic moments - this reflecting pool is truly for the "kid at heart".  The kid in all of us, who wants to take off their shoes and play in a puddle.  My kids just love to play there!  Run around, get wet - it's a giant wading pool and sprinkler system in one!  The mix of such a beautiful stoic reflecting pool with the whimsical fun of youth and childhood!  Who wouldn't want to visit such a place!  Now, I think you can see why it's one of our favorite places to go in the city!

Even, as parents & adults, we shed our shoes and just have fun!  Yes, that's my youngest and my husband frolicking in the water.

And then on a really hot day, if you are young enough, like my youngest - you just shed your dress and bathe  in the coolness of it.  Actually it doesn't matter if you are dressed or not, if it's hot - you just get wet!  The following photos are of my girls and friends just enjoying their time there.  

After they cooled off on that afternoon - we walked along the river bank & quai upriver to warm up and of course enjoyed some summer ice cream!!  Hope you all enjoyed the water and the sunshine - The reflecting pool is so worth the visit - Spring through Fall!  


  1. We drove by it about a month ago, not knowing what it was, other than a giant water feature.
    Very interesting,now we will stop at our next Auction visit.

    1. Yes, it's very enjoyable - Hopefully we still have more warm days to come.

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    1. Thanks for visiting - come back again - always nice to hear from readers!


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