One bright and sunny afternoon, the combined french classes at Foyer Fraternel took a field trip to the mayor’s office, Palais Rohan. Once the home of the bishop of Bordeaux, it now serves the mairie Alain Juppé and other city officials. (Juppé is a former Prime Minister of France and ran for his party’s nomination for President this year, losing to François Fillon. Juppé has done wonderful things in and for Bordeaux and he is popular with the citizens.) The interiors preserved some original floors, plasterwork, and fireplaces from the 1700’s and several ornate chandeliers. Most rooms were empty but you could imagine a space set for meetings or exhibits. In France, marriages officially take place at the mayor’s office and are only followed by a church ceremony or party if the couple desires blessings or hangovers. So, there was a specific, mostly unadorned room for weddings with chairs for about 100 guests. Directly outside the palace walls to the west is a lovely large garden space which abuts the buildings for the Fine Arts museum. To the east, in Place Pey-Berland, is the beautiful Gothic cathedral St. André which conducts masses, hosts organ concerts, and sits as a centerpiece in medieval Bordeaux.