King of the Lighthouses, Lighthouse of the Kings !
Cordouan in the morning, when the sun rises, is a mirage !
The mystery of a monument with a royal and pompous decoration for a casual function is still intact. And four centuries after it was built, it is still there, as solid as ever.
For it saw quite a few kings and ships, including the one on which Lafayette embarked clandestinely for America.
The story even goes that it hosted the love of the Queen of France and Leonardo da Vinci !
The Estuary Lock
The Monarchy was not tender with Médoc, which was once already a rebel. The multiple fortresses that bristled the country were beheaded by the French Kings.
Was it in revenge that Fort-Médoc, built by Vauban by order of Louis XIV th and whose symbol adorns the pediment of the monumental gate, was systematically looted and destroyed ?
The remains however still impress us today.
The rich hours of Médoc !
Médoc owes a lot to the visionary Napoleon III, starting with the 1855 classification that brought about the Grands Crus success and launched the building of splendid houses which compete in originality with their architectures inspired by different places and times.
The last centuries have not been left behind. Rich houses, « bourdieux » and harmonious chartreuses assert the influence of stone on a man-made landscape, which the oriental fantasy of Cos d’Estournel, symbol of splendour and advertising initiative, brings to a culmination.
And what about the contemporary wineries designed by internationally renowned architects !
Cousseau Pond Reserve, like the first morning on Earth !
It is Amazonia in Médoc ! Wild spaces which have not changed since the dawn of time.
A multitude of plants, insects, birds, animals which could have stunned the French naturalists of the Encyclopedia.
Vertheuil Abbey, a complete novel in Vertheuil
Since the year 1000, the multiplication in Médoc of abbeys, priories, « sauvetés » (sacred asylums for the protection of the weak), modest Roman churches have been a clue to the territorial anchorage of Christianity in our land.
Attacked, destroyed, rebuilt and destroyed again, Vertheuil Abbey is still standing.
The « Jacquets » pilgrims rested there, the roughneck soldiers of the Count of Castillon, and later, the « Maquisards » Resistance fighters of the 25th hour almost spoilt it forever. But it is still standing and its gates are wide open to the future of Art and Culture in Médoc.