Toulouse - the city of violets

Toulouse - the city of violets – main image

Anyone who traveled to Toulouse while visiting France, surely knows why it is called the pink city. Situated on the Garonne river in the south-west of France, the second largest academic center after Paris is full of dark pink buildings. Besides the color of the bricks and the number of students, Toulouse is known for several other things. These include, inter alia, St. Saturnina and the Church of Jacobins.

St. Saturnina and the Church of Jacobins

The basilica is one of the main pilgrimage points to Santiago de Compostela. It is a majestic building built on a cross plan, with an octagonal tower and frescoes that make you wonder. There is the tomb of St. Saturnina, where visitors can look at the prayerful saint, being lifted up to heaven by angels, as well as the large canopy. The basilica was entered on the UNESCO list, so it is worth seeing - not only because it is such a valuable monument, but also because of its beauty. It cannot be classified as a typical Romanesque style because it is larger than other buildings from this period. It is also characterized by greater spaciousness and a soaring structure - it has a lot in common with the Gothic style. It is beautiful, full of pink light (thanks to the famous Toulouse bricks), inside you can calm down and relax.

The Jacobins church, on the other hand, is typically Gothic. Moderately attractive from the outside, the inside is surprisingly spacious. This, in turn, is due to elongated, narrow windows and 22-meter columns. The gothic cloisters of the church lead to the chapter house, and from there to the 14th-century chapel of St. Anthony. Here, tourists can also admire frescoes of extraordinary beauty. The church houses the tomb of St. Thomas Aquinas with his reliquary.

It is worth paying attention to the local cemeteries. The oldest in the city are the Cimentiere de Terre Cabade and the Cimentiere de Salonique. These are the most visited cemeteries in Toulouse, but a Pole may be a bit surprised walking between 19th-century graves. He will not find a single candle here - the French are not in the habit of honoring the dead this way.

Augustine Museum

Another monument that every tourist visiting Toulouse should visit is the Augustinian Museum with a rich collection of early Christian sculptures (huge statues of saints and apostles in the courtyard) and a collection of arts and crafts. In turn, the Cathedral of St. Stephen delights with a baroque altar and stalls (benches) with the bishop's throne. The eye of the viewer is also drawn to the Gothic chancel

But Toulouse is not only about cathedrals and churches. There are a lot of students here, so it's noisy, at least in neighborhoods full of dancing clubs and discos with flashing lights. The enclave of night madness is Saint Peter's Square (Place Saint Pierre), a place crowded with young people. We can find him at the bridge with the same name. The area is a real paradise for partygoers - you can choose from many bars and pubs, for example Le Bar Basque (7 Place Saint Pierre), where you can spend more than one night with friends.

Night life

Speaking of the nightlife of the city, it is worth adding that Toulouse changes completely after dark. The shores of the famous Southern Canal (Canal du Midi) - another UNESCO pearl, declared a World Heritage - light up, which gives it magic and allows the viewers to notice the extraordinary beauty of the canal. The same happens with the basilica, the banks of the Garonne and the bridges. Climatically illuminated, they delight tourists who wander to the next clubs at night.

Another interesting place, the square de la Daurade, turns into a beach in the summer season. Both permanent residents and tourists eagerly sit there in the evenings, camping without haste by the river bank. At the square there is the Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Daurade, the past of which dates back to ancient pagan times - originally it was a temple in honor of Apollo. In the 6th century a church was erected and decorated with golden mosaics, from which the modern name derives - in Latin "deaurata" means "gold".

It is quiet and peaceful in the center of Toulouse. The Plaza du Capitole located here is surrounded by arcades with cafes, where you can sit down and enjoy the atmosphere with a coffee. The senses of lovers of the so-called high culture will also be fully satisfied - in one building, a huge Capitole, there is also a town hall, a theater and an opera house. Its structure is also beautifully illuminated at night.

The city of violets oferlooking the Pyrenees

In the nineteenth century, Toulusans devoted themselves to the cultivation of violets. Hence another term for a charming resort - the city of violets. These small, inconspicuous flowers with a captivating scent perfectly reflect the atmosphere of Toulouse. She doesn't have to cast a spell like roses or overwhelm with beauty like orchids. When someone leans over a shy violet hidden in the grass, they will fall in love with it - just like a tourist who gets to know Toulouse. And he will come back here more than once, attracted by the longing for the atmosphere of the streets running between the pink brick buildings.


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A writer by profession, a passion of a cat. One day he will see what is behind the Urals - good to Vladivostok. So far, when he can, he enjoys the sun of the countries of southern Europe. And it's also fun;)

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