Things To Do In Toulouse
Located in the southern side of France, the city of Toulouse is an exciting city of divergences. Do not miss the impressive and phenomenal Basilique Saint Sermin and the nearby Cathedral of Saint Etienne. These basilicas make Toulouse City truly unique along with its fascinating history. The neighborhood is just as exciting. Typical things to do is to go stroll around up to the flea market, corner bistros, and the neat boulevards where most of the locals converge and gather every afternoon to watch an impressive sunset. Toulouse is also fast becoming a highly modernized city and it is home to the European airplane business, and dotted with bars and restaurants in the clamoring and vibrant Place du Capitole.
When To Go:
Since Toulouse is found in the south of France, it appreciates a milder atmosphere that doesn't get excessively hot in the late spring or excessively cool in the winter. It is to a great degree average, and numerous sightseers decide to go here due to this. Amid the coldest months of January and February, the temperature stays consistent between 10-14° Celsius. Amid the hottest months of July until August the temperature stays consistent between 28-30 ° Celsius. These are ideal and charming temperatures, particularly for visiting around. The city gets the most downpours during the month of May and the slightest measure of precipitation happens only in July.
The months that have the most daylight are from June - August. The best times to visit Toulouse are amid the season of spring and summer. The undeniable reason is because of the ideal climate, additionally in light of the fact that the city becomes more exuberant at this point. Everything is in flourishing and the sights and overall atmosphere are grand. Everybody loves to get outside in the wake of being inside for the winter, and there are constantly open air exercises going on.
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Here are the exciting reasons and popular things to do in the enchanting city of Toulouse:
Basilique Saint Sernin
The Basilique Saint Sernin whose exterior looks like St. Stephen's Cathedral is a true gem in the historical level because since the establishment of the first church dating from the 5th century by the bishops as it underwent many improvement and transformation. Visit the remains of its first bishop; Saint Saturnin (a martyr whose history is reflected and also linked to the church of Notre Dame du Taur). It was not until 1080 that the construction of the Romanesque basilica as we know it today actually began. Inside, you can find the long (115 meters) nave that is truly impressive; on the north side of the latter you can also observe a series of busts of several saints.
The gallery organ is really beautiful with its 54 games over three keyboards. At the transept of the altar you can see above a canopy a statue made in honor of Saint Saturnin and his burial site. Finally, you can visit the crypt under the apse containing several pieces ranging from hunting reliquary chalices and all parts that belonged to bishops, martyrs, and confessors as written on the engraved plaque. If you're lucky you can attend a concert (Verdi's Nabucco or The Requiem Mozart) and admire the organ that produces the most sublime acoustics making the old church a magical place to visit in Toulouse City.
The Cathedral St-Etienne catches you suddenly and leaves you breathless; it is a kaleidoscope of different styles from each era paired with a unique art collage. The buttresses of the structure reign in the square that hosts it and give it a peculiar strength and elegance. The French cathedral gives an ineffable show of Gargoyle structures and this cathedral is undoubtedly exemplary in this regard. As you roam around, it is impossible not to keep your eyes up and admire the gargoyles which are all different from each other and perfectly sculpted and maintained. The interior of the cathedral is even better as it presents a blend of France and England in their architectural splendor.
Another peculiar thing about the cathedral is that it is formed by two aisles that are not properly aligned, but they seem to have been built at different times or the designers patterned it in such a way adding charm and sense of curiosity about the design and the church. The fine looking cathedral is always surrounded by a vibrant green are full of young people who are sunbathing and laughing happily. Also interesting is the district cha part from the cathedral itself filled with antique shops, old facades, squares full of shops and elegant palaces. The cathedral is truly worth a visit during your long walks in Toulouse City.
Church of Les Jacobins
The Church of Les Jacobins emerges with its towering steeple especially in the narrow and quiet streets of the historic center of Toulouse. The old church has a big empty space with the tomb of St. Thomas Aquinas in the middle, but the main attractions of the church are the tall columns that will remind you of a great slender palm grove to the sky. It is an impressive church of the Jacobins, filled with wonderful windows and rosettes with colored glass. It is best to discover the inner courtyard of the church that contains the other frescoes located in a small area. The exterior is simple and minimal to say, though the interior is really nice. It offers a feeling of being in an "infinite" place which is also made possible by the mirror at the base of one of the columns.
The church is located near the central square opposite the university. There are a lot of students hanging out all the time on its vicinity. Outside, it has a strict and majestic view without any decoration. Inside there is also a modest decoration. Apparently this is due to the fact that for a long time the church served as an army barracks, and only in 1974 when it was re-consecrated and opened as a church once again. In it are the relics of St. Thomas Aquinas. Most of all, remember the column and radiating arches that are reminiscent of palm leaves. At the bottom, the column is located around the mirror where you can see everything particularly well if you peek into it.
The Fondation Bemberg is hosted from the Hotel d'Assézat, a Renaissance-style palace whose construction was started in 1555. This museum has one of the most important private collections in Europe belonging to Georges Bemberg (collector and patron of Argentina). You can admire paintings, drawings, furniture, sculptures of different historical periods and you will fall in love with the paintings of the Renaissance and those of the Impressionists. The Fondation Bemberg is a small but fascinating museum but it is certainly worth a visit. The museum consists of two floors of which the second floor contains the stunning artwork exhibits including works by Picasso and Monet. The works of Anthony Van Dyck and Hubert Robert are very beautiful! It has a valuable collection of French and Venetian painting (Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, and others.), utensils, furniture and much more.
The museum is located in a wonderful courtyard built during the XVI century. It exhibits the most extensive collection of Venetian painting and sculpture of the XVIII century. The objects represent the French art of Louis XVI. It holds a magnificent collection of portraits among which are the work of Cranach. It also includes lots of interesting works by Veronese and Tintoretto. Among the exhibits are the large collection of Impressionist art, Fauvist, pointillist and others. There is a whole room reserved for works by Bonnard and be sure to see it while you’re in Toulouse City.
Place du Capitole
It is a beautiful square in front of the extended town hall and also the main square of Toulouse. The monumental façade of the Place du Capitole of the eighteenth century has a wonderful disposition. The eight columns at the center of the building symbolize the eight "Capitouls" who ruled the city in the Middle Ages until the revolution (1190). It overlooks the square, bars, restaurants and fancy hotels. The square is home to various events and markets. It s the heart of the Toulouse city center. It looks amazing in winter with the Christmas market and in summer with its outdoor restaurants. The underground parking is located a few meters from the vicinity.
On the square, you can see the main shopping streets of Toulouse and there are also several restaurants and shops of sweets where it is worth stopping by to taste and purchase some. The whole square as well as the Capitol are worth a visit even in the dark, when the area is brilliantly illuminated. Note the center of the square that has the mark of the star sailors characterized by the presence of the 12 zodiac symbols. The admirable piazza is not to be missed on a visit to Toulouse City.
Theatre du Capitole
The Theatre du Capitole is an impressive building that recalls a bit the facade of the Palace of Caserta. It is located on the Place du Capitole and its facade is very fascinating especially at night when it is skillfully illuminated by floodlights that give it an interesting look. It is well worth the visit, both for the excellent view on the Place du Capitol for the staircase and the hall where weddings are celebrated. The walls are frescoed with paintings of considerable size that shows the period of the first 900. Upon entering the square in a small yard, you can go up the wide staircase to the second floor.
First, you will pass through the halls with paintings in the style of the Impressionists and then get into a nice and bright room which overlooks the square. The hall is richly decorated with paintings, frescoes and admirable stucco. In the second floor, you will find the largest, richly decorated rooms with gilded moldings, wall paintings and frescoes on the ceiling and where you should stay more to explore its splendor. From here, you can better explore the area and because of the large windows view the entire city. Coming from the other side you will come to the Place de Gaulle, which is the tourist office and where you can take a city map. Admission to observe the entire theater is completely free.
Musee des Augustins
In France, it is not unusual to come across former convents that gets desecrated and used as a museum. The Musee des Augustins is a perfect example. It is located in the center and visiting it can be observed by the several areas set up with medieval sculptures and mainly sacred theme. The hall of the capitals is very impressive as well as the row of "gargoyles": located at the final part of the gutter.
The museum is in a complex of the Augustinians. From the cloister of the former church is where the curators set up the various collections; medieval sculptures, paintings, sacred subjects and a beautiful section devoted to the capitals with complete descriptions of those pictured. Guests wander through the three rooms that are completely covered with paintings on several levels. The presentation is a bit chaotic but it is still one of the best places to see when in Toulouse.
Museum of Toulouse / Museum of Natural History / Botanical Gardens
When visiting the Museum of Toulouse / Museum of Natural History / Botanical Gardens, be sure to get an English speaking tour guide because everything is completely in French! Starting from the descriptive plates, videos, interactive displays, it is all completely in French.
However, the museum is still worth a visit because it is really stunning, very informative and holds lots of interesting pieces. Truly impressive is the section about the "wall of the skeletons”. Each exhibit comes with a touch screen positioned along its path with factual information presented in French.
Equally cute and fun is the small botanical garden outside that is filled with peacocks, turkeys and chickens chasing around everyone. You can also take a relaxing walk along the ornamental plant gardens and go up to the beautiful man made waterfalls.
Musee Departemental de la Resistance et de la Deportation
The Musee Departemental de la Resistance et de la Deportation is a perfect example of a patriotic museum. The visit will be useful to all who care about the Second World War. All of the labels in the museum is presented in the French language, but at the entrance you will be given with a brochure with English translation and description of the historic items on display.
The museum is slightly away from the center which recalls with great confidence a trip to the past or France's participation in the deportation, showing visitors all the prisms of those days; resistance vs. collaboration, something that is often missed at all visits to any French museum about the Second World War. It is surprising for both its subject and its impartiality causing the visitor to leave with a sense of regret and sadness. It has an important file in which you can consult original events that Toulouse City got involved with during World War II.
Garonne is a famous landmark of Toulouse which is located along the wide river in the city center. Along the banks of the river are arranged promenades where a lot of people spend time sitting on the parapet or in cafes and restaurants. The symbolic bridge (Pont Neuf) offers good views of the city. On one side of the river in the shade of trees and under the right field of the sun on hot days is where a large number of locals and tourists bask and sunbathe.
It is a nice river with lots of things to do especially during summer. You can rent a deck chair, bring food, and buy a local art work, go on a picnic, allow the children to play on a playground or go and admire the city of Toulouse from the water by renting a tourist boat.
Pont Neuf Bridge
The Pont Neuf Bridge was first opened to traffic in 1632 and it is the oldest bridge in Toulouse. It was commissioned by King Francis I of France and the architect Nicholas Bachelier. It has seven unequal arcs that aims to avoid the water pressure at the time of possible floods. It is the only bridge that has withstood the great floods of the history of Toulouse. Explore it in the evening when its wide arches are illuminated and produce dazzling reflections on the water of the Garonne River.
Jardin Japonais (Japanese Garden)
The Japanese Garden or the Jardin Japonais is not a huge garden but it is well maintained and quite nice with a typical Japanese small house and a beautiful lake near which there is also an iron sculpture representing a dragon. The location of the garden is near the university area. There is a Zen garden here, and a manmade lake with plenty of Koi carp, for lovers of Japan and Zen culture this garden is highly recommended. It is wonderful, quiet and cozy corner in the Japanese setting and can be easily accessed via a 15-minute walk from the center of Toulouse. It is good to sit on the bench or stroll around the pond or take a walk with a small child or immerse oneself of the calm and tranquility of this oriental inspired oasis in the city of Toulouse.
Toulouse City is a small city in France but full of interesting sites and historic places, along with nice shops, tapas restaurants, museums, and landmark attractions that are all worth a visit. The tourist office distributes booklets containing five tracks, divided by the visitor's interest area. You can explore the city at your own pace and according to the main interests. The quality of the streets and signage helps a lot to easily get around the city. You can well know the city using this instrument which is so simple but very useful.
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