History of Belem
"Belem" and "Nantes", two names inscribed in white on a black shell, indicate his place of birth and his destination. But surely not his incredible destiny. The Belem is a fabulous three-masted built in Nantes for commercial purposes at the end of the 19th century. Its mission: to cross the Atlantic to reach the city of Belém, in the north of Brazil. He left Saint-Nazaire on July 31, 1896 and arrived in Montevideo, Uruguay, on September 20. She joined the port of Belém three and a half months after her departure on November 15. The pampero, a violent wind from the Andes, seriously complicates this first campaign: fire, material damage, crushed mules ... Assessment: the ship is unable to load cocoa before returning to Nantes. Despite more than arduous beginnings, the Belem made ten trips in six years. In May 1902, he escaped almost certain death. He arrives in Martinique, in the harbor of Saint-Pierre. The captain noticed that another sailboat had taken his place, which led him to find another refuge. This unforeseen event will save Belem from the wrath of Mount Pelee, which erupts, killing 28,000 people and destroying everything in its path. Even today, many wrecks lie under the waters of the harbor of Saint-Pierre, in particular that of the Tamaya. In 1914, the miraculous seduced the Duke of Westminster, who decided to buy it. The commercial sailboat is then converted into a pleasure yacht, and it can finally have a good time despite several works carried out. Belem was bought in 1921 by Ernest Guinness, the famous Irish brewer, and was renamed Le Fantôme II. It was forgotten in 1939, when its new owner died, and was spared by the German bombing. The Italian Navy fell in love with this forgotten boat, bought it in 1952. Le Fantôme II, now Giorgio-Cini, moved to Venice. In 1979, it became property of France again and recovered its original name: the Belem de Nantes. It was received with honors in Brest and was restored in the following years. In 1987, he began an ambitious new career, that of a training ship.
Visit of the Belem
Listed as a historic monument in 1984, the Belem is one of the jewels of French maritime heritage. More than 120 years after its construction, it now functions as a training ship for trainees, but also as a museum. The renovations it underwent in the 1980s and 1990s preserved its essence to offer visitors the opportunity to admire a 19th-century three-masted sailboat in all its splendor. How? 'Or' What ? By inviting them to play the great navigators while boarding. By standing at the helm and discovering the different work areas. The route is marked out with around twenty signs to better understand the history of Belem. The more curious can ask questions to the crew members.
Info and dates of the Belem stopover in Bordeaux
Want to climb aboard one of the oldest sailing three-masters in the world? The Belem will stopover in Bordeaux from June 18 to 21, 2020, between 10:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Whether or not you have the soul of a great navigator, visiting the Belem is one of the major nautical events of the year in Bordeaux. Fascinating adults and children, the prestigious three-masted boat will be waiting for you at the quay Richelieu pontoon.
Prices for the Belem visit to Bordeaux from June 18 to 21, 2020 :
- Over 12 years: 6 €
- Children under 12: € 5
Good to know: the price includes the visit of another boat, the Galeon.
Visiting Belem is one of the major events of "Bordeaux celebrates wine". Tickets will be available online from March 10 on the website www.bordeaux-fete-le-vin.com/.