French Bordeaux guide recreates 15th century monuments

The designer has created 3D images of historic monuments and buildings superimposed on present-day Bordeaux

Monuments dating back to the 15th century have “reappeared” in the city of Bordeaux (Gironde, Nouvelle-Aquitaine) thanks to a 3D virtual reality project created by a local guide.

Frédéric Brouzes, local guide and graphic designer with a passion for history, created the 3D monuments and buildings from plans, blueprints and engravings showing how the city would have looked in the 15th century.

Now, users can rediscover a 360-degree, real-time idea of what central Bordeaux may have looked like six centuries ago, by wearing portable virtual reality goggles as they walk around the city.

One such monument includes the château Trompette, which was constructed in the 15th century but destroyed in 1818. It would have occupied the city’s current Place des Quinconces.

There are also the Piliers de Tutelle, with its pillars as part of one of the largest temples from ancient Gaul; la grosse cloche (the big bell at the Porte Saint Eloi), from the former belfry of the old town hall; and an extension of the Grand Théâtre theatre.

Mr Brouzes said: “We are not telling a story, we are talking about real facts. This is not the past. The present and the past are completely linked, here.”

(Photo: Facebook.com/Bordeauxstoric)

The designer created the work by taking photos - in 360 degrees - of the areas of Bordeaux in which he wanted to superimpose digital images, before working in his studio to reconstruct the appearance of the historic monuments, as they would have looked on-site.

The final 3D model views were created using what is called the “stereoscopic” method.

He explained: “You have two separate images, so that in the mask, each eye has its own view. The brain therefore makes the image look 3D.”

The artist is giving 90 minute guided walking tours of the project - for groups of up to 12 people at a time, including 3D goggles. All the information is available on his website, Bordeaux Storic (in French).

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