Pont de Pierre–the oldest bridge in Bordeaux

Bordeaux’ river Garonne is a tricky one to navigate. The tidal changes are impressive; they often make the river flow in one direction in the morning and the opposite at night. The training of the river captains has to be rigorous.

One morning we left Bordeaux just before sunrise to catch a short window with just the right tidal conditions, that let our ship carefully sail through the arches of the famous Pont de Pierre,....without much room to spare. It was definitely a morning to haul out of bed for.

A short history: the Pont de Pierre was designed under Napoleon I, and inaugurated in 1822. It has 17 arches, one for each letter in Napoleon Bonaparte’s name. Until 1965 (!!) it was the only bridge that crossed the Garonne in Bordeaux.

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