The Pont de Pierre, the first bridge in Bordeaux to connect the Right and Left banks. Dourthe N°1, bridging the gap to success.
In 1810, Napoleon I issued instructions for the construction of a bridge connecting Bordeaux’s two river banks. Napoleon had initially planned to build a wooden bridge to allow troops to cross the river during the Spanish war. However, in 1813, scaffolding and foundations already under construction on the right bank were swept away by the Garonne’s strong tides.
The project was subsequently abandoned, only to be resurrected once more in 1816 under the direction of Pierre Balguerie Stuttenberg, an important Bordeaux wine negociant. With the backing of a number of wealthy Bordeaux negociants known as the Compagnie du Pont, (the Bridge Company), he was able to raise 2 million French francs to construct a stone bridge. This financial contribution, together with the 4.5m francs funding from the French government, reached the required total of 6.5m. In exchange, a toll was levied by the Compagnie du Pont de Bordeaux, which remained in place until 1865 when the ownership of the bridge transferred to the city of Bordeaux.
The bridge, together with its 17 arches, took 12 years and 4,000 workers to complete. Though much water has flown under the bridge since Napoleon’s horses first crossed, today trams and cars are the preferred means to traverse the Pont de Pierre. The bridge still remains this day a landmark symbol of the city of Bordeaux.
In the same way that the Pont de Pierre sparked a true « revolution » in Bordeaux by connecting the two sides of the city, Dourthe N°1’s release in 1988 was a true trailblazer, only made possible through Dourthe’s unique collaboration with the growers.