Images en cours de chargement
The place of the Mercadiou|Photo Louis TréméaThe arcades of the square of the Mercadiou|Photo Office de tourisme Entre-deux-MersThe market of producers to Saint-Macaire|Photo Office de tourisme Entre-deux-MersRue de Saint-Macaire|The Church Saint Sauveur-Saint-Martin|The Château de Tardes|Photo Henry Salomé

Saint-Macaire, a medieval city

The medieval town of Saint-Macaire forms the historic lock of Bordeaux on the Garonne, at the place where the tide runs out. It has a remarkable urban ensemble, the remarkable place with arcades of the Mercadiou, surrounded by houses from the 13th to the 16th centuries. Its white wines belong to the appellation Contrôlée Bordeaux Saint-Macaire Côtes.

Brief summary of history

Thanks to the Garonne, main axis of communication and developing trade throughout the middle ages, Saint-Macaire knows an unprecedented expansion, particularly as it has the coveted 'privilege of wine' (peagers rights on the cadurcien wine). The city becomes a true merchant city.

Located on the border of the two faiths (English and French), Saint-Macaire suffered the ravages of the hundred years war head-on. Saint-Macaire became 'Royal City of England' (1341) then 'goddaughter of Bordeaux' due to its accession, in 1379, Bordeaux Alliance of defense against the French troops. Therefore English protectorate facing Saint-Macaire in the 13th and 14th centuries its greatest period of prosperity.

But from the 17th century, the bed of the River Garonne moves substantially toward the South, and water over the town of Saint-Macaire. Port activity of Saint-Macaire decline gradually, almost all of the Burghers of the city leave Saint-Macaire.

At the end of the 18th century, Saint-Macaire has now become a craft centre. The city seems to know a resurgence of activity, first through the industry of stone that is sold in Bordeaux, mainly, for the construction of new urban buildings. In the 19th century then developed the cooperage, main artisan activity of the city, which saw Saint-Macaire until the aftermath of the first world war.

The old town of Saint-Macaire

The Mercadiou market square is the main secular hub of the medieval city (XIII and XIV). Vast 1500 m2, it is framed by arcades paired opening at the foot of the houses on real covered streets.

The old town of Saint-Macaire still has very many medieval houses, mainly of the houses of merchants. Including the Messidan House, which has a vaulted cellar, with two octagonal axial batteries.

The House of Tardes (13th and 16th), nicknamed "Château de Tardes" due to a crenellated Tower, is medieval strong House transformed into a Renaissance mansion.

The coaching Henri IV (16th) was a rich used as a mail relay. It has a courtyard with its background of stables.

Doors and walls

Thanks to the economic prosperity of the village from the 12th century, Saint-Macaire has powerful elements of fortification. Several sections of walls (13th century) are very well preserved, including at the foot of the Church and of the Priory as well as along the Rendesse suburb, where the curtain wall is preserved in its entirety, with the exception of the towers and the gap.

To the North rises the door of Benauge (13th century), the main gateway to the old town. At the exit of the faubourg door Thuron (14th century), equipped with a Barbican protecting the first port of Saint-Macaire. In contrast, the door Rendesse (14th century) has kept its original appearance.

The Church Saint Sauveur-Saint-Martin

The parish church built in Ashlar limestone (12th-17th century) presents the originality to possess a Romanesque nave and a Gothic payment mode. The Church has a portal carved wooden (13th century) and many very supplied wall paintings (14th and 15th centuries). It was restored in the 19th century.

Useful information :

Address :
33490 Saint-Macaire

Good to know :
Tourist Office of the Entre-Deux Mers 8 Street Canton, 33490 Saint-Macaire Tel. + 33 (0) 5 56 63 32 14

Free of charge.

Where to stay:

All accommodation