L’échoppe bordelaise

The “échoppe” is a typical Bordeaux dwelling, found only in Bordeaux. There are over 10,000 échoppes in Bordeaux. First built in the second half of the 19th century, they original served as cheap housing for workers, dockers and railway employees. They are in great demand these days, and prices have rocketed. The échoppe is usually a single-storey house with a corridor serving three rooms: the first room giving directly onto the street, the second, a room without natural daylight used for storage and the third, at the back of the house, where the family lived. This room sometimes gave onto a small garden. The tiled roof has disymmetric slopes. Floors would be made from cement tiles or parquet. The facade was more or less decorated according to the social status of the residents. Head over to the Nansouty area of Bordeaux (behind the Gare St Jean) to see some typical examples of Bordeaux échoppes. For more information, please read this article in the Sud Ouest (local newspaper). Visit the Centre d’Interprétation Bordeaux Patrimoine et Mondial (CIAP) on the Place de la Bourse (free admission) to see an excellent film (1 hour, French only) on the échoppe bordelaise.