Place Gambetta marks the extreme west of Bordeaux’s city centre and was completed in 1770.
It was designed by the architect André Portier and was one of the first major city locations constructed outside of the old city wall, visible right next to it at Porte Dijeaux.
Place Gambetta is a fine example of Bordeaux’s architectural particularities, with typical 18th century buildings all around the square, which has now been rehabilitated as a “garden square”.
If you look closely at the facades, carved in typical calcium rich aquitaine stone, there are small sculptures above each window called mascarons. Hundreds of them can be found all over the city centre. Some of their faces were inspired by actual people!
On the pavement outside number 10 Place Gambetta is the milestone that was placed there at the end of the 19th century by Antoine Gautier to mark the centre of the city.
Gautier’s plan was to construct an ornate fountain in the middle of the square but- due to engineering limitations of the era- the fountain could not be supplied with enough water so it was never built.
LOCAL TIP: : During the Revolution, Place Gambetta was the location of the city’s guillotine…