Export business flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the region benefiting from its location on rivers flowing to a sea port. Major exports included wine, tobacco and grains.
Bordeaux became the home of the French government when both the First and the Second World Wars started. The Germans occupied Bordeaux and the Atlantic coastal region of France for much of the Second World War until they were defeated by the allies in 1944.
Much of the recent regeneration of Bordeaux has been spearheaded by city mayor Alain Juppe (who came to office in the late 1990's), with the main focus being on the riverside area. A new tramway, new parks and green space, pedestrianised areas, renovations to buildings and the reclamation of the Bassins à Flot and the Marina are just some of the measures that have been undertaken for the cultural, social and economic development of the city. Along the quays in the summer you will find that people flock to the area to stroll, run, roller blade, cycle and enjoy the many bars, cafes, restaurants and markets that can be found there.
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