The pink city, well known for its fairground brick walls, is in fact very endearing! You have to visit Toulouse and let yourself go strolling through the meanders of its streets or following the Garonne and the Canal du Midi. The city offers many advantages and amenities to both city dwellers and passing visitors, with its many points of interest, from museums to Renaissance mansions, from its sunny terraces to its green parks and gardens. Do not miss a stroll around the Capitol, visit the Hôtel d’Assézat, let yourself be enchanted by the opera at the Théâtre du Capitole or taste a delicious cassoulet …
In Toulouse, emblematic monuments
Do not miss to discover the heart of Toulouse and its jewel … the Capitol! This big building with colored stone facade and brick of the XVIII th century now houses the city hall and the opera … It takes its name Capitouls, those councilors who ran local politics of the XII th the XVIII th century. The facade is also inspired by it since the eight marble columns that decorate the center of the Capitol, on either side of the clock, are responsible for representing them. Do not miss to enter the courtyard of the Capitol, in the center of the building, where, under the statue of Henri IV, the Duke of Montmorency was once executed, for having entered into rebellion against Louis XIII … Also discover the Salle des Illustres, accessible from the courtyard by a large staircase of the XVII th century, designed by the architects Paul and Pierre Pujol Esquié in the late nineteenth century and decorated by the Toulouse painter Jean-Paul Laurens, Paul Pujol and Paul Gervais, before discovering the magnificent frescoes of Henri Martin. The visit is free! Finally, when leaving, enjoy the beauties of the Place du Capitole by strolling near the Occitan cross on the pavement, decorated with the twelve signs of the zodiac or having a coffee under the arcades and paintings by Raymond Moretti!
While passing through Toulouse, you will also not be able to fail to take a look at the majestic Saint-Sernin basilica . The construction was decided at the end of the 11th century.century, when the early basilica was too small to accommodate Christians who came on pilgrimage. This primitive church can still be visited, since it serves as a crypt, welcoming sacred relics. The completion of the transept and part of the nave was effective in 1180. In fact, everything dates back to the 3rd century, with the first bishop of Toulouse, Saint Saturnin. Having angered the indigenous pagans, failing to give effective sacrifices, he was tied to a bull. The animal exited, furious, by the north gate of the city and dragged the holy man who died of it. Two women, called Saintes Puelles, buried his body at the precise place of his fall, and a small church was built on his tomb, Notre-Dame-du-Taur. Saint-Sernin remained a “simple” collegiate church until 1878, when it was finally consecrated as a basilica. The great organs of the Saint-Sernin basilica are renowned the world over, completed in 1889 by the Cavaillé-Coll house. Inaugurated on April 3, 1889 by Alexandre Guilmant, the instrument has fifty-four stops spread over three keyboards and a pedal board (ie exactly 3,458 pipes). Renovated, fully lit, the Saint-Sernin basilica is one of Toulouse’s most impressive monuments. instrument has fifty-four stops spread over three keyboards and a pedal board (exactly 3,458 pipes). Renovated, fully lit, the Saint-Sernin basilica is one of Toulouse’s most impressive monuments. instrument has fifty-four stops spread over three keyboards and a pedal board (exactly 3,458 pipes). Renovated, fully lit, the Saint-Sernin basilica is one of Toulouse’s most impressive monuments.
Two other religious buildings will be worth a visit during a Toulouse getaway. First, the Jacobins convent , which is entirely made of brick and is considered a masterpiece of Languedoc Gothic art. Then we must not forget to go take a look at the Saint-Etienne with stunning architecture of the XIII th to the XVII th century.
Discovering museums and major hotels
Around the Capitol, one starts to explore the mansions of the XVI th century also brought fame to the town pink. The Hôtel d’Assézat, for example, is one of the most representative mansions of Toulouse’s golden age and offers collections from the Georges Bemberg Foundation (Tintoretto, Véronèse, Clouet, Cranach, etc. ..). At the Saint-Raymond museum , which found refuge in a former 16th century college, we discover Toulouse at the time of the Roman Empire. In the former Augustinian convent, the Augustins museumbrings together a collection of paintings and sculptures of religious art. After having taken a look at the Georges-Labit museum, which offers a complete panorama of the art of the Far East, make way for the old slaughterhouses where there is a vast center of modern and contemporary art with museographic, documentary and educational functions. and cultural. Do not miss to stroll in the beautiful garden of two hectares on the banks of the Garonne and to have a coffee or to discover the formula Brunch on Sundays, at the Hemicycle …
Finally, in another genre, you will have to treat yourself to a family outing to the Cité de l’Espace , THE European space adventure park! With its permanent exhibitions, the City offers a highly scripted tour that offers the possibility of discovering space from various points of view: the launch center (rockets, satellites), the Earth vessel (better understanding the Earth), the Weather center (to discover the mysteries of current meteorology), the solar system dock (to explore the stars), the training hall (to discover the sensations felt in space), the observatory (to explore the universe as an astronomer).
Bucolic cruise along the Canal du Midi
But Toulouse is also and above all a story of water between the Garonne and the Canal du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If it is nice to stroll on the banks of the Garonne, it is just as pleasant to sail on the Canal du Midi . Designed by engineer Pierre-Paul Riquet (1609-1680) and motivated by the wheat trade, the Canal du Midi was shaped by the hand of man. It started the era of the industrial revolution by making it possible to join, by its 240 kilometers, the Atlantic Ocean via the Garonne to the Mediterranean Sea. His career begins in Toulouse and ends in Marseillan. From March to November, navigation is completely free (you must check with the Voies navigables de France the rest of the year) and it