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City (pop., 2006 est.: city, 232,260; metro. area, 803,117), southwestern France. Lying on the Garonne River above its junction with the Dordogne, Bordeaux has long been noted for its wine production. As Burdigala, it was the chief town of the Bituriges Vivisci, a Celtic people. Under Roman rule it was capital of Aquitania province. As part of the inheritance of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Bordeaux became English in 1154 on her husband's accession to the English throne as Henry II. It enjoyed great prosperity through a thriving trade with the English until it was united with France on the English defeat in the Hundred Years' War (1453). As a Girondin centre, it suffered severely in the French Revolution. In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War, the French government was transferred to Bordeaux, as it was again in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I. Its university, founded in 1441, educated such figures as Montesquieu. The economy focuses on the service sector.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Bordeaux, visit Britannica.com.