Southwest France - May 2007

Cities of Southwest France

Photos by Walt & Gloria Fogler-Mancini


Southwestern France was thoroughly Romanized, like Provence.  In its early history, it was ruled by usually independent dukes.  The Franks had little influence in the sophisticated courts of the south in the eleventh century.  Eleanor of Aquitaine inherited the largest, richest duchy in 1137 and married the King of France.  When the marriage was annulled, she married Henry II of England and the area was under England’s control until 1453.   Though the cities are ancient, their character continues to grow and develop. 

The dukes of Aquitaine held court in both Poitiers and Bordeaux.

The Monument aux Girondins honors the deputies from Bordeaux who fell under the guillotine in 1792.

The Counts of Toulouse had a magnificent court from the 9th to the 13th centuries before coming under French rule. It has become a busy university town and old mixes with new on every street.

The small city of Bayonne on the river Nive dates back to the Romans in the third century AD.

Some streets in Bordeaux are for pedestrians only and are lively and interesting.

At the end of our trip, we spend a few days in Paris. It is a beautiful city.

All photos were taken with Leica digital cameras:  the M8, R9 and D-Lux 2.  All images are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission.  If you have questions about pictures or are interested in a reproduction of a photo, please contact us at

April 2008                                                                                                                      wgfm

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