The monument to the Girondins in the French city of Bordeaux on Place des Quinconces is located about one kilometer from the city’s cathedral. This monument was conceived in the 1860s by the architect Julien Guade, a relative of one of the deputies of the Gironde, who then became the core of the Girondins party.
History of the Girondins Monument in Bordeaux
Despite the fact that the idea of installing the Monument to the Girondins in Bordeaux had been floating around since the sixties, it was only in 1881 that the city administration made the final decision to install the column. Then a competition of architectural projects was opened. Among the many contestants was Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who became famous for the creation of the Statue of Liberty.
Bartholdi proposed to put a monumental fountain on the square. However, the cost of such a fountain was so high for the budget of Bordeaux that they were ready to give up on it. However, in the end, it was decided to combine the idea of the architects Risch and Dumiliatre with the design of the fountain – so construction work started in 1894.
The construction of the Monument to the Girondins in Bordeaux was completed in 1902, although the monument had not been completed by that time. The fact is that the impressive sculptural composition lacked the main “characters” – the very images of the eight deputies of the party.
However, the main sculptural groups have already been installed. In the very center of the composition, you can see a female figure, symbolizing the Triumph of the Republic. Four sea horses with snake-like tails, with streams of water escaping from their nostrils, overthrow Indifference, Lies with a mask in their hands and Stupidity depicted with donkey ears.
The memorial tablet with the names of the deputies was strengthened on the Monument to the Girondins in Bordeaux only in 1989, on the bicentennial anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. Today this monument is a massive fountain with a column with a Corinthian capital in the center.
On this column you can see a sculptural group of allegorical images of Eloquence and History, the Triumph of Concord (from the side of the Public Park) and the Triumph of the Republic (from the side of the Bolshoi Theater). In 2004, the Girondins Monument in Bordeaux, or as the townspeople call it, the Girondins Column, received the official status of a historical monument.