Sightseeing in Toulouse

Place du Capitol

The Place du Capitol is the city's main square and it is fully pedestrianised. The place is surrounded by beautiful old buildings and many of them host nice street cafes out on the patios. Place du Capitol is also the meeting spot for the Friday night's rollerblade sessions and it hosts the weekly farmer's markets on Wednesdays and Sundays.
The pinkish Capitol building with its eight marble columns is about 400 ft. long and is used as Toulouse's City Hall. The structure had been built around 1750 and is not only very impressive from the outside: the Capitol building also holds a museum with busts of illustrious Toulousains and frescas painted on the walls as well as the Theatre d'Opera, one of the most prestigious operas, which is located at the far end of the building.

One of the main attractions for us however was the Christmas market on the Place du Capitol which lasted for ten days (pictures below). Over one hundred little wooden houses were built up where people were selling crafts, local food and other specialties. It was a very special and nice atmosphere to cruise through those stands and get into the Christmas spirit!

Basilica St-Sernin

The Basilica St-Sernin was started to being built in the 11th century and was completed in the 13th century. It is the largest Romanesque church in France and used to be a Benedictine abbey church. St-Sernin was also an important stop on the Santiago de Chile pilgrimage route. It holds a well-preserved fresco of Christ's Resurrection from the 12th century.

Cathedral St-Etienne

The Cathedral St-Etienne has a bizarre layout due to the fact that it had been built over a period of five centuries in which the styles of architecture had changed a lot. It shows Gothic as well as signs of Romanesque architecture. Some of the interesting features that were added are e.g. stained glass windows, the large rose window (see picture to the right), tapestries, a huge choir, and seventeen chapels. The cathedral is surrounded by a nice park and a large piazza is decorating the main entrance.

Church Les Jacobines

This extraordinary Gothic structure was founded in the 13th and 14th centuries and was built entirely of brick. It features an incomparable palm-tree vault with 22 ribs supporting the roof of the polygonal choir. Even though the inside is hardly decorated and feels very bare and cold, the huge stained-glass windows let the daylight shimmer inside, which gives it a nice atmosphere.

Midi Canal

The Midi Canal has been constructed during the reign of Louis XIV. The construction began in 1666 and was finished in 1681 with 12,000 men working on the gigantic project. It runs over 140 miles between the Mediterranean and Toulouse and has been extended to the Atlantic ocean by the Garonne Lateral Canal, which runs over 115 miles.
However, the Garonne Lateral Canal and thus the liaison between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean was only really achieved in 1856. Once the construction was finally completed the fleet no longer had to make the detour via Gibraltar.
The Midi Canal is the oldest canal in Europe that is still in use and UNESCO has now classified the Canal du Midi as one of the 469 World Heritage Sites.

Parks and gardens in Toulouse

Toulouse offers 160 parks, gardens, squares and cloisters to its residents. One of the parks even goes back to the French Revolution! All of the parks and public areas have in common that they should bring peacefulness, relaxation, recreation and attractions to the inhabitants of this city. Because Toulouse is not situated on an ocean, the city has built green areas outside of town including lakes for fishing and water skiing and offering various other sport facilities.

Our address: Neil Lenker and Denise Nebel
Hotel Residence Parthenon
Apartment 1108
86 Allees Jean Jaures
31000 Toulouse FRANCE
011 33 5 61 10 24 58