Location and History
Lormont is a scenic suburb of Bordeaux on the right bank of the Garonne river. The name means Laurel Hill and comes from old days when this wood was sacred to the Gauls.
To-day Lormont is known for its attractive view of the Garonne and Bordeaux and it charming little old centre with the Church of St, Martin, founded 778 by Charlemagne, and Chateau de Lormont where Eleanor of Aquataine stayed and the Black Prince’s ill-fated son Richard II was born.
We set out under the aegis of our knowledgeable guide, Alain to visit the beautiful and hilly parks of Iris and Hermitage which include a lake (ex-quarry), 23 chateaux and the old town of Lormont, the name deriving from Laurel Hill.
Although we experienced rain and sun in equal parts during the day, Alain’s tour with historic information and stops at interesting points kept us enthusiastic. We saw the splendid Chateau les Iris, presently used by a local lycée for sports and cultural activities, as well as sweeping overviews of the Garonne and Bordeaux. We arrived in the old Lormont town centre in time to fall gratefully into the Restaurant de la Belle Rose on the riverbank for lunch. The railroad which arrived in the mid 1880’s still runs overhead and the Pont d’Aquitaine spans the river in close proximity.
After lunch we visited St. Martin’s Church with a local guide and translation by Alain. The church was founded in 778 by Charlemagne and had several renovations over the centuries, including one by Pey Berland. The church has a warm, welcoming atmosphere and the painting on the walls is exquisite.
Some of our party returned to the left bank by the river shuttle. A good time was had by all.
A big thank you is due to Alain for this fascinating and informative tour, and also to Bjarne Christiansen for arranging our excursion.
Report by Gail, Photos by Phil are here
River Cruise back to Bordeaux