The story

Bordeaux, c.1914

Bordeaux, c.1914

This picture shows Bordeaux c.1914, at the time when the French Government moved to the port from Paris to avoid the advancing Germans.

History of Slavery in France's Wine Capital

The southwestern French city of Bordeaux is a center of the wine trade. But hundreds of years ago, it was the second-largest slave-trading port in France.

From the 17th to the 19th century, the city sent hundreds of ships carrying 130,000 slaves to America. The ships returned to Bordeaux with cotton, tobacco, sugar and rum, helping the city and its merchants grow rich.

Some former slave-trading cities have remembered that history with large public memorials. There is no such memorial in Bordeaux.

Karfa Diallo wants to change that. He immigrated to France from Dakar, Senegal, 20 years ago. Goree Island, near Dakar, was the place many slaves left Africa for the Americas.

Diallo is the director of the Memory and Sharing Association, which tells about Bordeaux’s slave-trading past. He believes the city has not yet dealt with its history or admitted the benefits it received from slavery. He said after studying the city’s history he realized it, in his words, “enriched itself on the blood and sweat of my ancestors and did nothing to remember this.”

His group offers travelers a two-hour trip through areas in the city where slave-trading activities took place.

“The image of wine is very hard to reconcile with the image of slavery. That is why the town was very late in giving history the place it merited in public spaces and schools.”

He explains that more than 12 city streets in Bordeaux are named after well-known slave traders.

Diallo had asked the city to consider renaming those streets. But now, he is asking officials to place signs near the streets explaining the history of their names.

Even people who live in the city do not know much about its role in the slave trade.

The city government has created a group to study Bordeaux’s slave-trading history. It has asked people who live in the city what they believe the government should do to remember the city’s history. Marik Fetouh is the deputy mayor of Bordeaux. He says the city’s efforts need to be done, in his words, “intelligently, without accusations.”

Diallo agrees. He says his tours are not about “shaming” people. Instead, he aims to tell the story of the city’s past in a way that is “measured and thought out.”

Correspondent Lisa Bryant reported this story from Bordeaux. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted the story for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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Bordeaux in the very beginning

Roman ruins of Gallian Palace in Bordeaux (19th C)

Bordeaux’s former name, Burdigala, was built during the 3rd century BC by a Celtic tribe: the Bituriges Vivisques. Strategically placed on the western coast, on the curve of the Garonne River, Burdigala was the perfect crossroads between the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and the Iberian Peninsula. Bordeaux grew and prospered thanks to the tin trade, as it was the obvious stay on the tin route from Great-Britain.

In 56 AD, the conquest of the area by Julius Caesar and his lieutenant, Crassus, brought a time of prosperity, and Burdigala became an “emporium” of the Roman world. Over the next three centuries it expanded and began trading wine. Massive building and construction took place, such as an amphitheatre, temples, thermae and some of the most luxurious houses in Gaul. Rapidly it became one of the biggest cities in southern Gaul and its population reached 20,000 inhabitants.

During the third century AD, after a period of wars between the Germanic tribes and the Roman Empire, the 9-meter-high battlements were built. The city was then limited by this “castrum”, which also protected the harbour, and the population fell to 15,000.

  • Bordeaux wines are world-renowned blends made with a predominant proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
  • Vintage variance is particularly important in Bordeaux. Cellar-worthy vintages can surge in value over generations.
  • Bordeaux has three main styles: Left-Bank blend (Cabernet Sauvignon dominant), Right-Bank blend (Merlot dominant) and White blend (Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc).
  • Despite their acclaim, quality Bordeaux wines can be found at almost every price-point, some as affordable as $15.

Why is Bordeaux Wine Famous?

The success of Bordeaux can be boiled down to one simple trait: its location. The region’s climate and soil are ideal for high quality viticulture. Meanwhile, its close proximity to a major port city has, for centuries, allowed local winemakers easy access to export markets around the world.

In the early days of international wine trade, Bordeaux capitalized on the ships and wealthy merchants that filled its port, making sure to send them off with wine. As wealthy merchants returned to their home countries, the region’s acclaim spread. Soon, trading classes in Great Britain and the Netherlands began collecting Bordeaux wines, cementing its reputation as one of the fine wines of the upper classes.

Where is Bordeaux Located?

The Bordeaux region is located on the west coast of central France. The Bay of Biscay leads into the Gironde estuary, which cuts through the centre of Bordeaux creating two important winemaking regions: the left bank and the right bank. These regions form the backbone of Bordeaux’s identity.

Being so close to the Atlantic, rainfall and humidity create challenges during the grape growing months, which makes vintage a crucial consideration when choosing a bottle. On the flip side, the effects of the Gulf Stream provide warming effects, helping extend the growing season.

Grape Varieties in the Bordeaux Blend

A red Bordeaux blend can incorporate up to six different grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Carménère. The latter two rarely make appearances, but when they do, they appear only in small quantities (less than 2 percent of the blend). Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are instead the dominant players and are both necessary to be considered a Bordeaux blend. The proportion of each depends on which bank of the Gironde estuary the winery sits on.

If the winery is on the left bank, the blend created will have more Cabernet Sauvignon than Merlot. If the winery is instead on the right bank of the river, the wine will have more Merlot in the blend than Cabernet Sauvignon.

This determination allows us to make a few generalizations about the wine depending on the bank on which it was created. Here are some general rules:

Left bank blends tend to be higher in tannins, alcohol, and acidity. They are powerful, rich wines that are said to age a bit better than wines from the right bank. The left bank is also home to many of the properties that made the region famous.

Right bank blends tend to be softer, less tannic, and lower in alcohol and acidity. With Merlot as the dominant grape, these wines are much juicier and usually ready to drink earlier than bottles from the left bank.

What is White Bordeaux?

White Bordeaux quietly sits in the shadows of red Bordeaux — with the exception of Sauternes, which is regarded as one of the world’s most desirable and sought-after dessert wines.

Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc are the primary varieties in the region’s white blends. Contrary to generalizations, single-varietal Sauvignon Blanc wines are allowed and are often highly expressive with citrus and green apple flavors.

The dessert wines of Sauternes are made mostly from Semillon due to its thin skin and susceptibility to botrytis. The highest quality wines saintain racy acidity, with peach, apricot and citrus flavors along with a waxy vanilla viscosity.

Château Margaux is one of the five First Growth wine estates in Bordeaux.

Understanding the Bordeaux Classification System

Wine laws in Europe have a reputation for being incredibly complicated. Bordeaux holds its fair share of the blame for this, with three different systems used to identify the quality of the region’s appellations.

The Classification of 1855 covers the Médoc region on the left bank and Sauternes. Grand Crus Classé wines occupy the top tier of this system followed by Cru Artisan and Cru Bourgeois wines, and finally Bordeaux Superieur and Generic Bordeaux. Graves, a region located on the lower left bank has no ranking all wines made here can be labeled Cru-Classé.

On the right bank, the two major appellations to know are Pomerol and Saint-Emilion. The former has no classifications while the latter is split up into top-level Premier Grand Cru Classé wines, which are further split into an A category (the best) and a B category. Below that come Grand Cru Classe wines and finally Grand Cru.

How Much Does Good Bordeaux Cost?

Thanks to its popularity, Bordeaux can be found at all levels of quality and price. High quality bottles from smaller producers can be drunk on release and found for between $15 and $25. Age-worthy Bordeaux from the top producers start at around $30, but regularly retail for significantly more than this.

The history of Bordeaux makes it a fabulous wine for a special occasion, whether that occasion is celebrating a life event or simply celebrating a night in with the ones you love. Thankfully, there are bottles priced for all occasions.

History + Highballs: Bordeaux: A History of the World’s Most Famous Wine

Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

US: +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 408 638 0968 or +1 669 900 6833

International numbers available:

Presenter: Dr. Charles Ludington, Department of History, North Carolina State University

The region surrounding Bordeaux, a city in southwestern France, is the largest fine-wine–producing area in the world. But it hasn’t always been that way nor was the area’s destiny guaranteed by geography or geology. Instead, Bordeaux grew to fame when the region was acquired in 1152 by Henry II, king of England, as part of the dowry for his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. From that time onward, Bordeaux primarily produced wines for an export market: first for the British Isles, then for much of northern Europe. After a series of tariff increases and wars between England and France led to increased prices for Bordeaux wines, producers found incentive to make a more superior wine that was worth the extra cost. By the 18th century, therefore, Bordeaux had become known in England as a fine wine and, because of its price, a wine for the wealthy. In America, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were fans of Bordeaux wine, and in the 19th century, wealthy Americans drank the finest Bordeaux—in imitation of European aristocracy. If you want to know why we grow these grapes in the United States, and even right here in North Carolina, look no farther than the history of Bordeaux wine.

Ludington has published essays on the history of wine consumption in Britain from the mid-17th century to the mid-19th century. His first book, The Politics of Wine in Britain: A New Cultural History (2013), used wine consumption as a window onto English, Scottish, and British political culture from Cromwell to Queen Victoria. He currently teaches early modern and modern British history, European history, and European intellectual history.

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The Cyclops

The Cyclops is a painting by Odilon Redon depicting a myth starring an "unlucky naiad Galatea, loved by Polyphemus, the most famous Cyclops." Like most Cyclops in mythology, Polyphemus was villainized as a wild creature that hunted its victims and then consumed them. This subject had been painted before by artists such as Moreau however Redon has taken this myth and given Polyphemus a makeover. In Redon's version, Polyphemus is shown as a non-threatening passive creature. The normally menacing beast is shown softly gazing with a large eye that has been seen in previous Redon works. Galatea, the naiad, is shown naked and vulnerably lying on a patch of vegetation. It appears Polyphemus is keeping one gentle eye watching over the "sexualized maiden." He has hidden himself from Galatea behind the rocky terrain, too shy to directly confront her "helpless" form. Redon's departure from the normal depiction of Polyphemus was influenced by his dream-like style and ambivalence toward the artistic norm.

Redon, born in Bordeaux on April 20, 1840, worked his way into the art community. He had to take the entrance exam for art school more than once his artwork was at first only known and popular in Symbolist circles. Redon was a contemporary of Monet and Renoir but never an adherent of Impressionism. Redon was viewed as an outsider and his art was not widely accepted during his life. The official Salon rejected his work and he rarely exhibited other than at La vie moderne in 1881 and at Le Gaulois in 1882. Drawing deeply from his imagination, Redon explains, "My father often used to say to me: 'Look at those clouds, can you see as I can, the changing shapes in them?' And then he would show me strange beings, fantastic and marvelous visions, in the changing sky." So much of what Redon would create was conjured from his imagination. He described his style as follows: "My originality consists in bringing to life, in a human way, improbable beings and making them live according to the laws and probability, by putting- as far as possible- the logic of the visible at the service of the invisible."

This fabulous theme, similar to Hieronymus Bosch and the writer Edgar Allan Poe, was refreshing for the period and caught the eye of Andries Bonger. Bonger would become Redon's primary collector and over time his intimate friend. It was through this relationship that Redon gained his good standing in the art community.

The Cyclops Polyphemus was not the first mythical creature to grace Redon's work. Centaurs, winged horses, satyrs, sirens and even human-headed spiders also frequent his paintings and drawings. In his work The Origins, a series of eight lithograph illustrations done in 1883, Redon depicts another Cyclops, known as No. 3 in the series. You can see a great similarity in style to the larger painting The Cyclops. The eyes of both creatures are large and would otherwise be menacing if it weren't for the sensitive nature in their rendering. No.3 goofily smiles while staring upward to the sky. Not much can be seen of his location but it appears to be outdoors. "The mis-shapen polyp floated on the shores, a sort of smiling hideous Cyclops." The creature, usually meant to be repulsive and terrifying, does not manage to strike fear into the viewer's heart. Just like the other illustrations in the series, the Cyclops of the lithograph may retain his hideous face, but it is hidden under the same gentle quality portrayed in the painting The Cyclops. "Redon's entire career consisted in finding ways to represent nature's surplus. His monsters unwittingly came to symbolize the staunchly idiosyncratic nature of his artistic trajectory: art, like the monster itself, would prove us wrong in our will to distinguish between human and nonhuman, ugly and beautiful."

This is a part of the Wikipedia article used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). The full text of the article is here →

Jehovah's Witnesses and the History of 1914

In the 1 November 1995 Watchtower magazine, the Jehovah's Witnesses made a major doctrinal change concerning the "Generation of 1914." To better understand the significance of this change it is crucial to understand the importance they place on the year 1914 and how their beliefs concerning that year have radically changed throughout their history. The following is a brief survey of the Watchtower's inconsistencies.

"Beginning of end" in 1799 not 1914

Originally the Watchtower taught that the beginning of "the time of the end" was in 1799 rather than 1914. They continued to teach this well beyond 1914.

". 1799 definitely marks the beginning of 'the time of the end'. 'The time of the end' embraces a period from A.D. 1799, as above indicated, to the time of the complete overthrow of Satan's empire. we have been in 'the time of the end' since 1799" (The Harp of God, 1928 ed., pp. 235-36, 239).

Christ's Invisible Second Presence in 1874 not 1914.

Based originally on the teachings of the Second Adventist preacher Nelson H. Barbour (Jehovah's Witnesses Proclaimers of Christ's Kingdom, p. 47), the Watchtower Society taught that Christ's invisible second presence began in 1874 - not 1914 as they currently teach.

"The time of the Lord's second presence dates from 1874. From 1874 forward is the latter part of the period of 'the time of the end'. From 1874 is the time of the Lord's second presence. It was in the year 1874, the date of our Lord's second presence. " (The Harp of God, 1928 ed., pp. 236, 239-40).

Armageddon ends in 1914

Initially the organization taught the "battle of the Great Day of God Almighty" (Armageddon) would end in 1914. Every kingdom of the world would be overthrown in 1914 which was "God's date" not for the beginning but "for the end" of the time of trouble.

". we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished by the end of A.D. 1914" (Watchtower founder, Charles Taze Russell, The Time is at Hand, p. 99).

"¼. the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty' (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced" (Ibid., p. 101).

"CAN IT BE DELAYED UNTIL 1914. our readers are writing to know if there may not be a mistake in the 1914 date. They say that they do not see how present conditions can last so long under the strain. We see no reason for changing the figures - nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble" (Watch Tower, 15 July 1894, p. 226).

Armageddon ends shortly after 1914

World War I, rather than Armageddon, broke out in 1914. The Society had already begun to modify their prediction. They taught that 1914 was not the end, but the beginning of Armageddon. World War I was supposed to be the beginning of the Battle of Armageddon. That battle was to end shortly after 1914 with the utter destruction of professing Christianity, and the inauguration of Christ's millennial reign. The Watchtower first suggested this would be accomplished in 1915, but later predictions delayed it to 1918.

"The present great war in Europe [World War I] is the beginning of the Armageddon of the Scriptures" (Pastor Russell's Sermons, p. 676).

". our eyes of understanding should discern clearly the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty now in progress. the glorious outcome - Messiah's Kingdom" (Watch Tower, 1 September 1916, p. 265).

"The Scriptures indicate that a great time of trouble similar to that which came upon the Jewish nation will now come upon all Christendom. The experience of Israel in the year 70 [destruction of Jerusalem] will be paralleled in the experiences of the year 1915" (Watch Tower, 15 June 1913, p. 181).

". in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of 'Christianity'" (The Finished Mystery, 1917, p. 485).

1925 is clearly more biblical than 1914

By 1919-20 the Society began looking to the year 1925 as the date for the visible signs of Armageddon's approach. The Watchtower taught that the year 1925 was more clearly taught in the Bible than 1914. Watchtower president Joseph Rutherford claimed that as a sign that Armageddon was imminent, God would resurrect Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the faithful mentioned in Hebrews 11 in the year 1925.

"The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures because it is fixed by the law God gave to Israel. Viewing the present situation in Europe, one wonders how it will be possible to hold back the explosion much longer and that even before 1925 the great crisis will be reached and probably passed" (Watch Tower, 1 September 1922, p. 262).

"The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in the Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914 but it would be presumptuous on the part of any faithful follower of the Lord to assume just what the Lord is going to do during that year" (Watch Tower, 15 July 1924, p. 211).

"As we have heretofore stated, the great jubilee cycle is due to begin in 1925. At that time the earthly phase of the kingdom shall be recognized. Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews chapter eleven, to the condition of human perfection" (Millions Now Living Will Never Die! pp. 89-90).

1914 begins the last generation before Armageddon

Years later the Watchtower Society made three important changes for 1914. They taught:

    invisible "Second Presence" began in 1914 rather than 1874.
  • 1914 (rather than 1799) began the "last generation."
  • The length of a "generation" was based on the life span of those alive at the time of its beginning. This final point led to the Watchtower's claim that Jehovah had promised there would be "survivors" among those alive in 1914 who would live to see Armageddon.

"Did not Jesus say as much when he spoke of his second presence in these 'last days'. Christ Jesus has been present since 1914 and witness has been given of the signs that prove it, but the veil will not lift from the sightless 'eyes of understanding' of humanity's majority till his power is revealed in Armageddon's fury" (Watchtower, 15 January 1950, p. 22).

"The thirty-six intervening years since 1914, instead of postponing Armageddon, have only made it nearer than most people think. Do not forget: 'This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.' (Matt. 24:34)" (Watchtower, 1 November 1950, p. 419).

"The foretold events having begun A.D. 1914, the generation of mankind that is still alive from that year is the generation meant by Jesus Christ. Till now we have seen fulfilled the world-shaking features of the 'sign of [Christ's invisible] presence and of the consummation of the system of things.'. The occurrence of these things since 1914 is within the knowledge of millions of this generation. We, then, are the generation that will not pass away till there is fulfilled that 'great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world's beginning until now, no, nor will occur again'" (Watchtower, 15 April 1961, p. 236 brackets in original, italics added).

"Also, the Bible said that all these things would happen upon the generation that was alive in 1914. After drawing attention to the many things that have marked the period from 1914 onward, Jesus said: 'This generation will by no means pass away until all these things [including the end of this system] occur.' (Matthew 24:34, 14) Which generation did Jesus mean? He meant the generation of people who were living in 1914. Those persons yet remaining of that generation are now very old. However, some of them will still be alive to see the end of this wicked system. So of this we can be certain: Shortly now there will be a sudden end to all wickedness and wicked people at Armageddon. Some of the generation living in 1914 will see the end of the system of things and survive it" (You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, p.154).

People old enough to understand the events of 1914 will live to see Armageddon

For a while the Society maintained that "1914 Generation" was a reference to those alive "with understanding" in 1914. This significantly shortens the time period for fulfillment. According to the Society, Jesus was not talking about babies born in 1914 when he said, "this generation would not pass away." Thus, those who were old enough to observe and understand the events they witnessed in 1914 (such as teenagers) would live to see Armageddon. This would mean that a very young member of the "1914 generation" (say, a sixteen-year-old) would have been born as early as 1898 or 1899.

"Where Are We According to God's Timetable. In examining these Scriptural facts, something else also captures our attention. According to Bible chronology, we are already over fifty-two years into the wicked system of things' 'time of the end.' That time began in the autumn of 1914 C.E., at the termination of the 'appointed times of the nations,' and it is already far advanced. Jesus said that 'this generation' that saw the beginning of this time period in 1914 would also see its end. The generation that was old enough to view those events with understanding in 1914 is no longer young. It no longer has many years to run. Already many of its members have died. But Jesus showed that there would still be members of 'this generation' alive at the time of the passing away of this wicked system of things in both heaven and earth. (Luke 21:32, 33) How much longer will it be, then, before God takes action to destroy the wicked and usher in the blessings of his Kingdom rule? (Watchtower, 1 May 1967, p. 262 emphasis added).

"What will the 1970's Bring? The fact that fifty-four years of the period called the 'last days' have already gone by is highly significant. It means only a few years, at most, remain before the corrupt system of things dominating the earth is destroyed by God. How can we be so certain of this?¼ Jesus was obviously speaking about those who were old enough to witness with understanding what took place when the 'last days' began. Even if we presume that the youngsters 15 years of age would be perceptive enough to realize the import of what happened in 1914, it would still make the youngest of 'this generation' nearly 70 years old today" (Awake!, 8 October 1968, pp. 13-14).

"Jesus said 'this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.' Which generation is this, and how long is it. [W]hen it comes to the application in our time, the 'generation' logically would not apply to babies born during World War I. It applies to Christ's followers and others who were able to observe that war and the other things that have occurred in fulfillment of Jesus' composite 'sign.' Some of such persons 'will by no means pass away until' all of what Christ prophesied occurs, including the end of the present wicked system" (Watchtower, 1 October 1978, p. 31).

Babies born in 1914 will live to see Armageddon

By 1984 teenagers alive in 1914 were in their 80's. The Watchtower reversed themselves again to include babies born in 1914 when calculating the length of the generation. Using this technique the Watchtower could stretch the 1914 generation by another decade or so.

"If Jesus used 'generation' in that sense and we apply it to 1914, then the babies of that generation are now 70 years old or older. And others alive in 1914 are in their 80's or 90's, a few even having reached a hundred. There are still many millions of that generation alive. Some of them 'will by no means pass away until all things occur.' - Luke 21:32" (Watchtower, 15 May 1984, p.5).

1914 Generation to end in 1975?

As early as the mid 1960's, the Watchtower had strongly suggested that the 1914 generation would end by the Fall of 1975. They based the 1975 prediction in part on their "year for a day" theory and the "fact" that Adam and Eve were created in the year 4,026 B.C. This anticipation was seen to be "particularly true" because some of those who witnessed the events of 1914 would still be alive in 1975. Thus, the 1914 generation theory helped "prove" the 1975 Armageddon theory.

"To calculate where man is in the stream of time relative to God's seventh day of 7,000 years, we need to determine how long a time has elapsed from the year of Adam and Eve's creation in 4026 B.C.E. From the autumn of that year to the autumn of 1 B.C.E., there would be 4,025 years. From the autumn of 1 B.C.E. to the autumn of 1 C.E. is one year (there was no zero year). From the autumn of 1 C.E. to the autumn of 1967 is a total of 1,966 years. Adding 4,025 and 1 and 1,966, we get 5,992 years from the autumn of 4026 B.C.E. to the autumn of 1967. Thus, eight years remain to account for a full 6,000 years of the seventh day. Eight years from the autumn of 1967 would bring us to the autumn of 1975, fully 6,000 years into God's seventh day, his rest day.

". The seventh day of the Jewish week, the sabbath, would well picture the final 1,000- year reign of God's kingdom under Christ. Hence, when Christians note from God's timetable the approaching end of 6,000 years of human history, it fills them with anticipation. Particularly is this true because the great sign of the 'last days' has been in the course of fulfillment since the beginning of the 'time of the end' in 1914. Some of the generation that discerned the beginning of the time of the end in 1914 will still be alive on earth to witness the end of this present wicked system of things at the battle of Armageddon.-Rev. 16:14, 16" (Watchtower, 1 May 1968, pp. 271-72).

1914 Generation to end in 1989?

In a 1988 Awake! article titled, "The Last Days - What's Next?", under the heading, "How Long Can A Generation Last?", the Society seemed to suggest that the 1914 generation would end the next year. After reminding Jehovah's Witnesses that 1914 began the "last generation," the Watchtower announced that Hebrews counted seventy-five years as one generation (note: 1914 + 75 = 1989). Interestingly, to make their case, the Watchtower turned to one of Christendom's scholars rather than their own "anointed" sources.

"J. A. Bengel states in his New Testament Word Studies: 'The Hebrews. reckon seventy-five years as one generation, and the words, shall not pass away, intimate that the greater part of that generation [of Jesus' day] indeed, but not the whole of it, should have passed away before all should be fulfilled.' This became true by the year 70 C.E. when Jerusalem was destroyed. Likewise today, most of the generation of 1914 has passed away. However, there are still millions on earth who were born in that year or prior to it. And although their numbers are dwindling, Jesus' words will come true, 'this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened'" (Awake!, 8 April 1988, p. 14).

1914 Generation to end in 1994?

A more serious problem for the Society is found in their premier two volume Bible dictionary, Insight on the Scriptures. Currently in use, Insight was a major project for the Watchtower and provides Jehovah's Witnesses the definitive answer to biblical meanings. Insight very clearly defines the "reasonable limits" for the length of a generation as 70, or in the case of "special mightiness," 80 years.

"When the term 'generation' is used with reference to the people living at a particular time, the exact length of that time cannot be stated, except that the time would fall within reasonable limits. These limits would be determined by the life span of the people of that time or of that population. Today, much as it was in the time of Moses, people living under favorable conditions may reach 70 or 80 years of age. Moses wrote: 'In themselves the days of our years are seventy years and if because of special mightiness they are eighty years, yet their insistence is on trouble and hurtful things for it must quickly pass by, and away we fly.' (Ps 90:10) Some few may live longer, but Moses stated the general rule." (Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 1, pp. 917-18).

1914 Generation to end .

Finally the Society has abandoned all attempts to measure the 1914 generation by the life span of its "survivors." According to the latest "light," 1914 still started "the last generation" that will end in Armageddon. But the 1914 generation now consists of all "the peoples of earth who see the sign" of Christ's 1914 presence but fail to repent (Watchtower, 1 November 1995, p. 19). In Watchtower dogma, this "sign" is a "composite" sign made up of many historical events of which virtually all adults alive today would be aware, regardless of when they were born.

"Rather than providing a rule for measuring time, the term 'generation' as used by Jesus refers principally to contemporary people of a certain historical period, with their identifying characteristics" (Ibid., p. 17). With such a definition, a "generation" could, functionally, last indefinitely - conveniently protecting the Watchtower against further charges of failed prophecy over its teaching about the 1914 generation surviving till the "end of the system." To maintain a sense of urgency, the Society claims the time period begun in 1914 is "a short period of time" (Ibid., p. 19). How can they say this after defining "generation" so vaguely? It is short, they say, when "compared with the thousands of years of Satan's rulership" (Ibid.).

The following composite quotations drawn from throughout their recent article, "A Time to Keep Awake" illustrate the Watchtower's current position:

"Eager to see the end of this evil system, Jehovah's people have at times speculated about the time when the 'great tribulation' would break out, even tying this to calculations of what is the lifetime of a generation since 1914. However we 'bring a heart of wisdom in' not by speculating about how many years or days make up a generation. Is anything to be gained, then, by looking for dates or by speculating about the literal lifetime of a 'generation'? Far from it. Therefore, in the final fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy today, 'this generation' apparently refers to the peoples of earth who see the sign of Christ's presence but fail to mend their ways. Does our more precise viewpoint on 'this generation' mean that Armageddon is further away than we had thought? Not at all" (Watchtower, 1 November 1995, pp. 17, 19-20).

1914 and False Prophecy

The Bible teaches that predictions spoken in God's name which do not come to pass are evidence that the prophet really does not speak for God. The Lord's people are commanded not to "fear" (Hebrew, guwr, to be intimidated by, or have humility towards) this prophet In fact, under the Old Testament law, this prophet was sentenced to death (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). The Society has verified this understanding of Deuteronomy on several occasions (See: Awake!, 8 October 1968, p. 23 Watch Tower, 15 April 1930, p. 154).

Jehovah's Witnesses have attempted to blunt criticism of their past prophetic failures by professing never to have claimed to be a prophet - an assertion that is simply false. (See: Watchtower, 1 April 1972, p. 197 The Nations Shall Know that I am Jehovah, pp. 58, 66).

More recently, in an article critical of others who had given "false alarms" concerning Armageddon, the Society did admit to having some problems in this area themselves. Still, the Society attempted to side step false prophecy charges by claiming that their predictions were never said with "these are the words of Jehovah."

"Jehovah's Witnesses, in their eagerness for Jesus' second coming, have suggested dates that turned out to be incorrect. Because of this, some have called them false prophets. Never in these instances, however, did they presume to originate predictions 'in the name of Jehovah.' Never did they say, 'These are the words of Jehovah.'" (Awake!, 22 March 1993 p. 4).

The Watchtower surely cannot use this excuse with their latest 1914 failure. The Watchtower plainly said that it was "the Creator's promise" that the new world would come "before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away" (Awake! 22 October 1995, p. 4). Elsewhere they even called this prediction for the 1914 generation, "Jehovah's prophetic word":

"From a purely human viewpoint, it could appear that these developments could hardly take place before the generation of 1914 disappears from the scene. But fulfillment of all the foretold events affecting the generation of 1914 does not depend on comparatively slow human action. Jehovah's prophetic word through Christ Jesus is: 'This generation [of 1914] will by no means pass away until all things occur.' (Luke 21:32) And Jehovah, who is the source of inspired and unfailing prophecy, will bring about the fulfillment of his Son's words in a relatively short time.

"Just as Jesus' prophecies regarding Jerusalem were fulfilled within the life span of the generation of the year 33 C.E., so his prophecies regarding 'the time of the end' will be fulfilled within the life span of the generation of 1914. Yes, you may live to see this promised New Order, along with survivors of the generation of 1914 - the generation that will not pass away. (Watchtower, 15 May 1984, pp. 6-7 emphasis added, brackets in original).

Beware of False Prophets

Clearly then, the Watchtower predicted in the name of Jehovah that people living in 1914 would not all pass away before Armageddon is fought and "a peaceful and secure new world" is established. Now, by changing their definition of a "generation," the Watchtower has changed its prediction. In so doing, the Society has functionally confessed that the old doctrine, "Jehovah's prophetic word," "the Creator's promise," is no longer true.

Thoughtful Jehovah's Witnesses who love God's word should be able to recognize that the Watchtower is in direct violation of Deuteronomy 18:20-22. Even the Watchtower itself warned:

"True, there have been those in times past who predicted an 'end to the world,' even announcing a specific date. Yet, nothing happened. The 'end' did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing? Missing was the full measure of evidence required in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Missing from such people were God's truths and the evidence that he was guiding and using them" (Awake!, 8 October 1968, p. 23).


In about 300 BC Bordeaux was the settlement of a Celtic tribe. They named the town Burdigala. The Romans began rule of the city around 60 BC. Later it became capital of Roman Aquitaine. In the 400s the city was looted by the Vandals, Visigoths, and Franks.

After the Battle of Poitiers, Duke Eudes was able to hold only a small part of Aquitaine where Bordeaux was located. It became one of the last cities to fall under King Pepin the Short.

Bordeaux once again became an important city after the marriage of Duchess Eléonore of Aquitaine with Count Henri Plantagenet. He became King Henry II of England only months after their marriage.

In 1653 Bordeaux was added to the Kingdom of France, when the army of Louis XIV entered the city.

In 1870 the French government moved to Bordeaux for a time. This was at the beginning of the Franco-Prussian war against Prussia. The temporary move happened again during World War I and again very briefly during the World War II.

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The meteoblue climate diagrams are based on 30 years of hourly weather model simulations and available for every place on Earth. They give good indications of typical climate patterns and expected conditions (temperature, precipitation, sunshine and wind). The simulated weather data have a spatial resolution of approximately 30 km and may not reproduce all local weather effects, such as thunderstorms, local winds, or tornadoes, and local differences as they occur in urban, mountainous, or coastal areas.

30 years of hourly historical weather data for Bordeaux can be purchased with history+. Download variables like temperature, wind, clouds and precipitation as CSV for any place on Earth. The last 2 weeks of past weather data for Bordeaux are available for free evaluation here.

Average temperatures and precipitation

The "mean daily maximum" (solid red line) shows the maximum temperature of an average day for every month for Bordeaux. Likewise, "mean daily minimum" (solid blue line) shows the average minimum temperature. Hot days and cold nights (dashed red and blue lines) show the average of the hottest day and coldest night of each month of the last 30 years. For vacation planning, you can expect the mean temperatures, and be prepared for hotter and colder days. Wind speeds are not displayed per default, but can be enabled at the bottom of the graph.

The precipitation chart is useful to plan for seasonal effects such as monsoon climate in India or wet season in Africa. Monthly precipitations above 150mm are mostly wet, below 30mm mostly dry. Note: Simulated precipitation amounts in tropical regions and complex terrain tend to be lower than local measurements.

Cloudy, sunny, and precipitation days

The graph shows the monthly number of sunny, partly cloudy, overcast and precipitation days. Days with less than 20% cloud cover are considered as sunny, with 20-80% cloud cover as partly cloudy and with more than 80% as overcast. While Reykjavík on Iceland has mostly cloudy days, Sossusvlei in the Namib desert is one of the sunniest places on earth.

Note: In tropical climates like in Malaysia or Indonesia the number of precipitation days may be overestimated by a factor up to 2.

Maximum temperatures

The maximum temperature diagram for Bordeaux displays how many days per month reach certain temperatures. Dubai, one of the hottest cities on earth, has almost none days below 40°C in July. You can also see the cold winters in Moscow with a few days that do not even reach -10°C as daily maximum.

Precipitation amounts

The precipitation diagram for Bordeaux shows on how many days per month, certain precipitation amounts are reached. In tropical and monsoon climates, the amounts may be underestimated.

Wind speed

The diagram for Bordeaux shows the days per month, during which the wind reaches a certain speed. An interesting example is the Tibetan Plateau, where the monsoon creates steady strong winds from December to April, and calm winds from June to October.

Wind speed units can be changed in the preferences (top right).

Wind rose

The wind rose for Bordeaux shows how many hours per year the wind blows from the indicated direction. Example SW: Wind is blowing from South-West (SW) to North-East (NE). Cape Horn, the southernmost land point of South America, has a characteristic strong west-wind, which makes crossings from East to West very difficult especially for sailing boats.

General information

Since 2007, meteoblue has been archiving weather model data. In 2014 we started to calculate weather models with historical data from 1985 onwards and generated a continuous 30-year global history with hourly weather data. The climate diagrams are the first simulated climate data-set made public on the net. Our weather history covers any place on earth at any given time regardless of availability of weather stations.

The data is derived from our global NEMS weather model at approximately 30km resolution and cannot reproduce detail local weather effects, such as heat islands, cold air flows, thunderstorms or tornadoes. For locations and events which require very high precision (such as energy generation, insurance, town planning, etc.), we offer high resolution simulations with hourly data through point+, history+ and our API.


This data can be used under the Creative Commons license "Attribution + Non-commercial (BY-NC)". Any commercial use is illegal.

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