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Pauillac City Hall and reed bed on the Gironde
Pauillac City Hall and reed bed on the Gironde
Coat of arms of Pauillac
Coat of arms
Location of Pauillac
Pauillac is located in France
Pauillac is located in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Coordinates: 45°12′00″N 0°44′56″W / 45.1999°N 0.7488°W / 45.1999; -0.7488Coordinates: 45°12′00″N 0°44′56″W / 45.1999°N 0.7488°W / 45.1999; -0.7488
CantonLe Nord-Médoc
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Florent Fatin
22.74 km2 (8.78 sq mi)
 • Density220/km2 (570/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
33544 /33250
Elevation0–29 m (0–95 ft)
(avg. 6 m or 20 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Pauillac ([po.jak], Occitan: Paulhac) is a municipality in the Gironde department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. The city is mid-way between Bordeaux and the Pointe de Grave, along the Gironde, the largest estuary in western Europe.[2]


Plaza Lafayette, where the Marquis de Lafayette set sail to America

In 1777, Lafayette arrived in Bordeaux and set sail from Pauillac to America. There, his role was decisive in the American War of Independence. To commemorate Lafayette, a bronze stele representing his ship La Victoire is erected on the edge of the marina on the Plaza La Fayette. On the stele can be read in French: "From here on March 25, 1777, embarked Marie Joseph Paul Yves Gilbert Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, with the hope of joining the Americas."

In December 1917, the United States Navy established a naval air station to operate seaplanes during World War I; the base closed shortly after the First Armistice at Compiègne.[3]


The marina Pauillac-La-Fayette has moorings for about 150 boats. 2300m (1.4 mi) north of this is a floating platform where the Airbus A380 wings and fuselage sections are transferred from sea-going RORO ferries to barges. The parts are manufactured in Broughton, UK and Germany; the barges take them through Bordeaux to a dock at Langon and then by oversize road convoy to the assembly plant at Blagnac, Toulouse.


Historical population

Main sights[edit]

The town is mainly known for its vineyards that produce some of the best wines in Bordeaux; the Tourist Office and Wine House (French: Maison du Tourisme et du Vin) is a very informative resource for all things wine related in the area. There are wine tastings, video screenings, wine sales and seminars.

Some castles offer art exhibitions (Château Pédesclaux for example) or a museum (Mouton Rothschild castle and its museum of wine in Art).

The Village de Bages, a small renovated village next to the Château Lynch-Bages, is dedicated to the wines and tastes of the Pauillac region, it offers a bistro, fine bakery and grocery store, shops and bike workshop arranged around the central square. Cellars tours but also many events are held throughout the year.

The estuary of the Gironde with commented cruises from the port of Pauillac.

Western facade of the Saint Martin's church, on Marshal Joffre Square
The choir of Saint-Martin's church, covered by a semi-dome
The warship Saint Clement, an ex-voto hanging in Saint-Martin's church

The Saint Martin's church is situated in the heart of Pauillac on Marshal Joffre Square. In November 1824 were laid the foundations before it would be delivered to worship in May 1828 and completed in 1829; the church was partly built out of the materials from the former church which had become too small. The Bordeaux architect Armand Corcelles was inspired by Greek art; the western facade is topped by a huge pediment which supports an octogonal tower made of two superimposed towers. The first tower contains three bells. Two of them date from 1784 and come from a former church; the third bell, cracked by too brisk and cheerful ringing during the Liberation in 1945, was melted again, baptized and named Edouard-Jeanne-Victoire in 1946. Inside, the nave has eight doric columns. In the choir, the white marble baroque style main altar is covered by a semi-dome. A canopy just above the altar lights it perfectly. An oculus, on a baroque piece of sculpture background, illuminated by the rising sun, represents the triangle of the Divine Trinity; this church also has an ex-voto: a small replication of the warship Saint Clement, hanging from the vault in the centre of the nave. It was offered in 1836 by the pilots and coastal pilots of Pauillac: "To honor the memory of Pope Saint Clement, the patron saint of Pauillac naval station sailors, pilots, coastal pilots and aspirants, all Catholics." The model was restored in 1996. The back of the church is occupied by a large organ loft supported on iron columns, it consists of fifteen stops and was made of wood from Onega, Russia, and northern oak for the organ facade. On the left side of the nave is a wooden pulpit built right up against a pillar surrounded by a double spiral staircase. Facing the pulpit is a Christ on the Cross. On the three walls around the church is a Way of the Cross, fourteen paintings that reproduce the Passion of Christ.[4]

Sponsoring and twin cities[edit]

Pauillac is the sponsor city of the schooner "Belle Poule", training ship of the French Navy and the Medoc Squadron of Air Force Base 106.

Pauillac is twinned with the city of Pullach in Bavaria (Germany) and Paulhac in Haute-Garonne (France).

Events and festivities[edit]

Marathon runners in Pauillac
  • The Spring in the Castles (Printemps des Châteaux) takes place in April. Visits and wine tastings.
  • The lamb festival takes place in June. Garage sales, gastronomic market and Pentecost regattas.
  • The international film festival "Les Vendanges du 7ème Art" takes place in July.
  • Every Tuesday and Thursday from mid-July to the end of August, a meeting with twenty winemakers is organized at the Tourist Office and Wine House.
  • Every day from July to the end of August, a winemaker offers a free tasting at the Tourist Office and Wine House.
  • Music and Cook and Wine takes place in August in front of the estuary in the Tourist Office and Wine House's gardens. Free concerts, free tastings with local winemakers and a food market with regional specialities.
  • The Marathon du Médoc takes place in September. It is considered "the longest Marathon in the world" because the race is interspersed with several activities such as wine tasting stops and orchestras scattered around the course. Most of the 8,500 participants, representing more than 50 nations, run in costume.


Vineyards of Pauillac

The commune consists of only 3,000 acres (12 km²) of vineyards in the Haut-Médoc between the villages of Saint-Julien to the south and Saint-Estèphe to the north, but is home to 18 Grands Crus Classés (classification of 1855) including three of Bordeaux's first-growth wines: Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Mouton Rothschild.

Selection of Pauillac estates[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2016". INSEE. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Van Wyen, Adrian O. (1969). Naval Aviation in World War I. Washington, D.C.: Chief of Naval Operations. p. 45.
  4. ^