The series “Bordeaux in the heart of my district” makes you discover Bordeaux through the eyes of one of its inhabitants. In Meriade, Harvey takes us through the towers with their sometimes scandalous architecture. Thanks to him, we also discover a haven of green and calm in the center. (Article published on 22/11/2021)
The Interceltic Festival of Lorient 2022
A political will was born as we can see in the Meriadec district today. A so-called “unhealthy” district was completely demolished in the 1970s to make way for residential towers and official buildings. Some have now been modernized or are in the process of rehabilitation, but the singular spirit of this town planning remains. The large slabs and lanes that separate pedestrian elevations and traffic lanes seem like a somewhat visionary experiment in our 21st century city life.
In the marshland, this area was outside the city walls. A development project seriously saw the light of day only after the destruction of the wall. Ferdinand Maximilien de Mériadec de Rohan (whose name will be remembered when the district is given) was appointed Archbishop of Bordeaux in 1769. He undertook the construction of a new archdiocese (present-day Palais Rohan, Town Hall of Bordeaux) and was associated with its project. With the purchase of adjacent land.
The district would gradually build up until the mid-19th century. Simple and sometimes poorly constructed dwellings saw the settlement of artisans and laborers. The central square around the district’s only drinking water point quickly became a place for flea markets and scrap dealers. It is becoming a district with a bad reputation where people flock to slums with bars and prostitutes. The district would retain this image until the end of the war.
A major renovation project initiated by Jacques Chaban-Delmas will consist of the complete demolition of the district. In 1971, more than 30 hectares of land were razed and extensive work began. It is the now familiar face of Meriadec, condemned by some for its style, praised by others for its architecture and urban audacity. The entire area is now part of the UNESCO-classified perimeter.
For many visitors and Bordeaux residents, Meriadec is a shopping center after all, an administrative district and office… Large slabs and Esplanade Charles de Gaulle’s lack of accessibility and maintenance make many pedestrians avoid the area. But there are about 2000 residents who live in towers with recognizable architecture from the 70s.
It is precisely these residents that we met and who underlined the opportunity to live in this district. ” The vast green spaces allow you to hear the birds chirping“, “In the buildings we try to organize intergenerational meetings”, “For several years, young athletes and dancers are creating a new animation in the district”.
If they regret the lack of renovation of certain areas, they agree to recognize the opportunity to live in such a lively district, so quiet with such proximity to all the services of the city center.
This new series allows you to discover the city through the eyes and above all the experiences of the residents of the city district. This is by no means a tourist sight but rather encounters, tips, unusual addresses known only to residents of the district.
To begin with, we communicated Bordeaux Greeters team , an association that brings together volunteers and offers free walks to those who want to discover the city in a different way. They are enthusiasts who discover an unusual Bordeaux through their friends, their traders, their anecdotes.
If you also want to participate in this program and help us discover your neighborhood, contact us and tell us your story.