Step back in time in the town of Blaye Aquitaine France

Written by on November 20, 2017 in Aquitaine

Citadel walls of Blaye

the historic town of Blaye is in the Gironde Department, Aquitaine. The region straddles a prominent position in southwest France. It stretches long and lean against the French Atlantic coastline, reaching up to the Pyrénées mountain range and transcending to the Spanish border.  It is here, in Blaye, that intrepid travelers can scamper to the summit of storybook castles, cycle through vineyard-laced countryside, walk through ancient villages, and sip world-renowned wines.  Tourist and travelers alike can discover the douceur de vivre in this tiny one-kilometer long settlement, once named Blaye-et-Sainte-Luce.

History of Blaye

Blaye is a petite but mighty hamlet, sitting at the southern tip of the Gironde estuary formed by the confluences of the nearby Dordogne and Garonne rivers. It’s an historical and powerful settlement from medieval times. The mighty Citadel of Blaye and its military fortifications sit majestically over the waters of Europe’s largest estuary.

Le Citadelle De Blaye along with Fort Médoc and Fort Paté, formed a military defense system during the 18th and 19th centuries. Their purpose was to protect the downstream port of Bordeaux from sea invasions and wars. It is a legendary example of engineering genius and Romanesque architecture designed, built by Vauban and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008.  It’s a picture postcard town, with scarred ramparts, that bears witness to battles and conflict through this gallant maritime route.

Facade of a house in blaye with flowers in pots, climbing up the walls and the garden

Nowadays, we find the citadel is a living monument. Innside the bastion a maze of cobblestone streets, stone houses, artisan shops, cafes and wine shops, still thrive.  From atop the medieval walls of the photogenic Blaye Citadel there are stunning panoramic views of the estuary and across to the famed Médoc wine producing area. Photographers love this view in the golden hour light, where mirror images reflect off the estuary waters.

What to see and do in Blaye

Inside the citadel of Blaye, wiggle streets and pretty houses

It is free to enter the citadel and its ramparts. Within its walled city visitors pay for guided tours of Abbey Saint Romain or Musee d’Archéologie et Histoire de Blaye, through the Office of Tourism.

Walking the main street of Blaye, there is a feel of authentic characteristics, transcending through en plein air markets, held every Wednesday and Saturday, in front of the Citadel. The street is vibrant, rich and colorful with tented stalls, and locals and travelers buy local produce and seafood from the region. The soil in Blaye is rich and varied, and the region boasts 240 days of sunshine that results in prized asparagus, figs, and celebrated Côtes de Blaye red wines. A must visit is the Maison du Vin on the Cours Vauban to taste the famous wines from this enchanting region.

A visit to Blaye is a step-back in time where the locals are warm and welcoming, making your time in the Gironde, a captivating experience.

J.Christina is the blogger behind www.scribblesandsmiles.net. Blogging from the Midwest, J. Christina, and her husband, Mr. Christie, share their European trips so others can travel vicariously through their scribbles and images.

Related Articles

What to see and do in Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux

The lovely hilltop town of Saint-Emilion in Bordeaux, surrounded by vineyards is a wine legend. UNESCO listed, as well as a “plus beau village de France” (officially one of the most beautiful villages) its medieval streets are an absolute delight. Here’s what to see and do in Saint-Emilion. You don’t have to be a wine […]

Continue Reading

Where to eat out and do a wine tasting in Saint-Emilion Bordeaux

If you go to Saint-Emilion, you have to do a wine tasting – it’s practically the law! And there are loads of lovely little restaurants dotted throughout the cobbled streets. All the hill climbing you’ll do in this famous wine town certainly gives you an excuse to indulge. Where to do a wine tasting in […]

Continue Reading

Family friendly chateau holiday accommodation in Dordogne

In the midst of the magnificent Dordogne countryside, the Chateau de Sadillac rises up like a fairy tale castle but unlike in the story books – this castle isn’t just for Kings and Queens and sleeping beauties, it’s the most beautiful holiday home. With a ton of fabulous things to do without stepping out of […]

Continue Reading

Where to eat out in Bordeaux City

Is Bordeaux the new gastronomic capital of France I found myself wondering as I wandered its streets. It may be known as the capital of wine in France, but with an influx of innovative new chefs, a programme of renovation to the streets and buildings which has brought a plethora of new eateries – it’s […]

Continue Reading

What to see and do in Bergerac, Dordogne

The town of Bergerac nestles along the banks of the River Dordogne in Dordogne, Aquitaine. It’s in an area known as Périgord Pourpre (purple Périgord). A land of lush vineyards, the Purple Périgord is also famous for its rolling hills and fields of sunflowers peppered with tiny hamlets and grand castles. Medieval Bergerac sits in […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top