Toulouse, overview of its greatest monuments |
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Toulouse
Overview of its greatest monuments

Duration
1
day
Budget
Crypt and ambulatory of Saint-Sernin: €2.50 - Museum of Saint-Raymond: €4 - Bemberg Foundation: €8
Features
  • Essential Toulouse, a Great Site of Occitania.
  • A circuit with 5 stops: Capitole, St-Sernin, Jacobins, Hôtel d’Assézat, Place de la Daurade.
  • The ideal way to combine heritage and the French art of living in the Pink City.
  • Take this tour on foot or by bike, no car needed.
The best period
  • Automne
  • Eté
  • Hiver
  • Printemps

A day out that will take you through two-thousand years of history without ever really leaving the pavements of Toulouse and its daily hustle and bustle... sounds good to you? In one day, discover the monuments you simply must see.

Tourisme Toulouse
Recommended by
Catherine
Le Capitole
Le Capitole

THe Capitole,

from the front…

Built for the Capitouls in the 12th century, the iconic city hall's brick and stone façade runs across the whole width of Place du Capitole.

Outside of ceremony times, you can go inside for free and discover a monumental staircase, as well as three large halls, lavishly decorated with paintings and sculptures. Henri Martin and Jean-Paul Laurens painted the story of the city while Paul Gervais dedicated an entire room to love.

Donjon du Capitole
Le Donjon du Capitole

…and at the back

Take a tour: on Square Charles-de-Gaulle stands the Donjon du Capitole, a keep which the Capitouls decided to build in 1525 as a safe place to store municipal documents. It's a defensive-looking tower with a curious belfry at the top, created in the 19th century by Viollet-le-Duc.

Inside, the archives have been replaced by the expert team of the tourist office: beneath the high vaulted ceiling, they will be happy to give you all their recommendations and advice.

With children

Because visiting the city should be fun:

  • on the square, there are games as well as a sculpture by Toutain to climb up and slide down; 
  • on the ground at Place du Capitole, there is a huge Occitan cross decorated with the signs of the zodiac; on the arcade ceiling, there are 29 paintings by Moretti illustrating the local history. Have fun deciphering them!
La basilique Saint-Sernin
La basilique Saint-Sernin
La basilique Saint-Sernin
La nef de la basilique Saint-Sernin

Saint-Sernin,

masterpiece of Romanesque art

This is one of the largest preserved Romanesque basilicas in Europe. While its size is impressive, so is its history. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was built in the 11th century in honour of Saint Saturnin, the first Christian Bishop who died in the 3rd century, dragged through the city by a bull.

Inside, everything is an invitation to contemplation: the organ, carved details, painted walls, golden canopy, crypt, relics...

Our favourite

Our ancestors the Romans

The Museum of Saint-Raymond is just next door to the Basilica of Saint-Sernin. It has an exhibition of archaeological items left behind by the Gauls and Romans who once lived in the area. It also has a café amid the laurel and palm trees, where you can enjoy a coffee break... worthy of ancient Rome! 

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Le palmier des Jacobins
Le palmier des Jacobins

Les Jacobins,

journey to the Middle Ages

In 1215, the Order of Preachers (known as the Dominicans in English and the Jacobins in French) settled in Toulouse and had the Church of the Jacobins built. In the Languedocian Gothic style, the austere and imposing exterior contrasts with the light, streamlined interior.

In the church, a stone palm tree standing 28 metres tall shares the space with a contemporary work of art by Sarkis, specially created for the monument. The peaceful cloister is a great place to take a stroll, reflect and meditate.

Original

A flash of light

Whether you are a just an observer or a keen photographer, bear in mind that Les Jacobins is flooded with sunlight between 11 and 3 pm. The light comes in through the coloured stained glass windows and illuminates the painted walls.

 

Le marché Victor Hugo

A TASTY LUNCH,

at the Victor Hugo market

From one century to another, one thing never changes: when the bells ring at midday, they remind us that a meal would be very welcome! Time for a trip to Place Victor-Hugo, where the market is bustling.

Will it be a cassoulet or some duck breast for you? You are sure to enjoy the specialities of the South-West at the restaurants upstairs.

L'Hôtel d'Assézat
L'Hôtel d'Assézat
Hôtel d'Assézat
Hôtel d'Assézat

the hôtel d'Assézat,

a rather special mansion

Have you heard of woad? It's a plant whose leaves are ground to produce a blue dye. It made a fortune for Toulouse's merchants in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. In 1555, Pierre d’Assézat had the Hôtel d’Assézat built to reflect his success.

In the courtyard, the façades decorated with masks, plants and animals are stunning, as are the tower overlooking the city, and the elegant loggia.

Don't miss

Bemberg's beautiful artworks

The Protestant Pierre d’Assézat was forced to leave the city, driven out by the Catholics without ever enjoying his palace, but the public are welcome nowadays. The mansion houses the Bemberg Foundation and a rich art collection, with rooms in the styles of different periods.

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place de la Daurade,

view of the (old) "New Bridge"

We end our tour on Place de la Daurade with its unobstructed view of the Pont Neuf (New Bridge). It's not actually that new:
for over three-hundred years, the bridge has stood firm against the Garonne's floods thanks to its ingenious irregular arches and special orifices called hearings.

Stop for a moment: the day is drawing to an end and the sun is giving its last performance, flooding the landscape with its shimmering colours. The Pink City is a nice place to be, isn't it?

Le Pont Neuf
Le Pont Neuf à Toulouse
Expert's tip

Great monuments de Toulouse

Great monuments of Toulouse
You can also take a guided tour of the historic city centre to see many iconic monuments: you will find out more about the Capitole, Basilica of Saint-Sernin and Church of the Jacobins, as well as enjoying special admission to the Hôtel de Bernuy mansion. 

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#visiteztoulouse

#visiteztoulouse
#visiteztoulouse
La rue du Taur
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bnx2jAPB9X_/
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#visiteztoulouse
L'église des Jacobins
https://www.instagram.com/p/BoD-lz-hYe7/
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#visiteztoulouse
Place Sainte-Scarbes
https://www.instagram.com/p/BlUlpfVhllm/
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#visiteztoulouse
Cloître des Jacobins
https://www.instagram.com/p/BmNPkQPhr5t/

Where to sleep and eat, what to do?

Here are some places recommended by Catherine (Toulouse tourisme) to help you make the most of your day exploring Toulouse.

Cultural heritage

MUSEE SAINT-RAYMOND, MUSEE D'ARCHEOLOGIE DE TOULOUSE

TOULOUSEHaute-Garonne
Cultural heritage

FONDATION BEMBERG

TOULOUSEHaute-Garonne
Restaurant

LE drink.

TOULOUSEHaute-Garonne
From99
2 pers.
Hotel

HOTEL DU TAUR

TOULOUSEHaute-Garonne
Hotel

HOTEL JUNIOR

TOULOUSEHaute-Garonne
Latitude: 43.604652000000
Longitude: 1.444209000000
How to get there

Toulouse-Blagnac International Airport enjoys an exceptional location just 8 km west of Toulouse. It is very easy to reach the center thanks to public transport and taxis. Toulouse-Matabiau SNCF station is in the city center, a 10-minute walk from Capitole Square.
Metro line A get off at the Capitole stop.

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