Basilique St. Sernin is one of the largest remaining Romanesque churches in the world. It takes its name from Saint Saturnin, Toulouse's first bishop in 250 CE. In 402 his remains, previously kept in the du Taur church, were moved here and a small church, Saint-Exupère, was built around them. Work on the present basilica started around 1080. It is worth visiting for the exterior brickwork, the two crypts, the tympanum over the main door depicting Christ's ascension, and the 800 sculpted column heads.
Tucked away at the back of a bistro, the Bijou is somewhere between a café-theater and a concert-café, putting on various shows including one-man turns and a capella singing. If you enjoy the latter, there's a monthly session with Toulouse society the Joueurs de Voix, during which you can join the artists and sing along on stage. You can witness a lot of talented and upcoming musicians in the local music scene performing here. The interiors are modest and homey and the menu includes interesting options like Tuna Steak in the crust of cereals and Burger Bijou XXL.
Until 1870, this building was used to pump 4000 cubic meters (141,259 cubic feet) of water to 60,000 inhabitants of Toulouse. In 1971, following a suggestion by photographer Jean Dieuzaide, it was turned it into a gallery for black and white photography. The excellent quality of its monthly exhibitions, held on the second story of the building, prove what a good idea this was. Children enjoy it too, as they can see the gear wheels through the thick glass partitions that separate the mechanisms from the public. The gallery also gives new artists the chance to display their work.
Located in the heart of the city, Place du Capitole is a historic square surrounded by the beautiful architecture around it. The square houses magnificent Capitol building also known as City Hall along with many vibrant restaurants and bars. The square also hosts many cultural events and weekly markets. Take a stroll around the square admiring the bewitching architecture.
On the banks of the River Garonne, this concert venue and discotheque is well known not just in France but internationally, too and is reputed to be one of the most bustling concert venues in the country. It hosts more than 150 events per year and the excellent program varies from novice French groups to world-class rock stars such as Steve Vai. Theme evenings alternate with concerts and they also house an in-house restaurant that is open only during summer.
This monastery turned museum, which dates from the 14th and 15th centuries exhibits the town's largest selection of medieval sculptures (Romanesque and Gothic) and paintings. The collection contains works from the Italian, Flemish and Dutch schools including pieces by Rubens and Le Perugin and French artists from the 16th-20th centuries. The monastery itself has a chapel with two beautiful cloisters as well as a unique collection of Romanesque capitals. The museum also organizes guided tours and lectures.
Painted in a pale rose complexion that collectively emanates from the cavalcade of pink terra-cotta buildings that dot its streets, Toulouse is the ultimate La Ville Rose, or France's bountiful 'pink city'. Set in the heart of Southwestern France in a decidedly enviable location, Toulouse's outskirts brush with Spain's border, and just beyond its sprawling metropolis is the rugged allure of the Pyrenees Mountains. Slicing across the city is the Garonne River, which connects to the Mediterranean Sea by virtue of the 17th Century Canal du Midi. Toulouse is France's fourth-largest city, yet it survives at a blissfully languid pace that is part of its sleepy charm. Despite its snail-like pace, Toulouse flourishes as a culturally forward city, boasting a range of riveting museums, colleges, and universities within its diffusive stretch. The Vieux Quartier, bisected with charming, cobblestone streets sees an impressive army of salmon-colored heritage buildings and sunlit courtyards. Beyond Toulouse's rose-hued stretch, Toulouse also harbors the headquarters of Airbus and is a leading contributor to the European air space industry.
Formerly the head office of the old town magistrates, Le Capitole is impressive, with its white marble columns all along the front. Today it houses the Capitole Theatre and the Town Hall. As you go through the Henri-IV courtyard you can admire the work of local 19th-century artists such as Jean-Paul Laurens or Henri Martin, while the Hall of Fame contains busts of Toulouse celebrities. The Square is surrounded by red-brick buildings and the ground is marked with the Toulouse Cross, a symbol of the town's historic past.
The best international conductors and artists are renowned to perform at Théâtre du Capitole, a spacious opera house. Located in the heart of the Toulouse, Théâtre du Capitole's eclectic and exciting programme schedule includes opera and operetta, international singing competitions, orchestras, recitals, and ballet. The famous Capitole Orchestra, conducted by Michel Plasson, plays to a full house. The state-of-the=art technology, excellent sound system, and the grand and elegant interiors ensure that you enjoy every event to the core.
This is one of the six town squares built by Jean-Pascal Virebent in the 18th Century. The beautiful fountain, which was added in 1853, depicts children kneeling in front of a turtle below pairs of herons and kingfishers. The buildings around the square have housed some of Toulouse's most famous residents: Pierre-Paul Riquet, who dedicated his life to building the Canal du Midi, once lived at number 1, and Jean Jaurès lived at number 20 for about ten years.
This magnificent monastery and its peaceful cloister have had a stormy history. The construction of the church took more than 100 years! It is the resting place of Saint Thomas Aquinas, thought to be one of Christianity's greatest theologians. There is plenty for the eyes to feast upon at this extraordinary Gothic edifice. The floor is black marble, and the apse called The Palm of Jacobins is quite famous. On the head of one of the columns, a bull's head symbolizes the martyr, Saint Saturnin.