The Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux dominates its surroundings. So it should. It has stood majestically, as the link between the medieval cité and the northern quartiers which blossomed in the 19th century, since 1778. The architect, Victor Luis, gave his provincial Bordeaux sponsors a Paris-beating upscale edifice, boasting a frontage of twelve Corinthian columns, supporting entablatures on which stand huge statues of the nine muses, and, to make up the numbers, three goddesses – Juno, Venus and Minerva. Only Minerva was known to take an interest in the arts and attend the opera regularly.