Tourist Attraction Ideas For Visitors To Toulouse, France

Travel guide for planning a vacation or trip to Toulouse, including top tourist attractions.

A person traveling to France should be sure to visit the historical city of Toulouse. Situated on the Garonne River, Toulouse is approximately 450 miles southwest of Paris. The city has an extensive historic past. In the 5th century Toulouse was the center of the Visigothic kingdom until it was conquered by the Franks in the 6th century. Religious wars devastated the city in the 16th century. However, today, Toulouse, also known as "Ville Rose" because of the color of the bricks used in its buildings, is a cultural city that has influenced many renowned poets such as Dante and Chaucer. It is also home to the National Space Center and the University of Toulouse. The city is a vast learning center that boasts over 100,000 students at any given time. Toulouse has much to offer a visitor traveling within its borders.

Capitole. Capitole has been the central location for the government of Toulouse since the 1100s. The current town hall was constructed in the 16th century and is adorned with awe inspiring murals as well as a fa├žade of pillars and columns that pay homage to the classical period.

Church of Les Jacobins. The Church of Les Jacobins is located west of Capitole. Although the order was first established the church in the early 1200s by St. Dominic, the current church was not constructed until 1230. The brick structure is often compared to a fortress due to its shape and size. Inside its walls, a visitor will find the Albi Cathedral. The final resting place of St. Thomas Aquinas can be found under the cathedral's alter.

Hotel de Bernuy. Just a ways from the Church of Les Jacobins, a traveler can visit the Hotel de Bernuy. Constructed in the 15th century, a visitor can gain an appreciation of the vast wealth that the area experienced during the Renaissance era. Other than the exquisite period home, a person can also tour the stone courtyard.

Basilica of St. Sernin. A person traveling north of Capitole will find the Basilica of St. Sernin. Built in 1080, the structure is one of the largest churches in France. A visitor will marvel at the basilica's octagonal belfry as well as nine magnificent chapels on the apse. The Basilica of St. Sernin is also known for its magnificent carvings. An example of this can be viewed in the southern section of the basilica where a person can view the 12th century carving known as Porte Miegeville.

Musee des Augustins. A visitor to Toulouse, wanting to view some of the city's paintings and sculptures should look no further than Musee des Augustins. The museum, itself, is a work of art. Although the museum was founded in the 1700's, its current building was constructed in the 1800s. The building, previously a monastery for the Augustinian order, was developed with a Gothic motif. Today, the museum houses an extraordinary exhibit of Roman and Gothic sculptures from the 19th century. Other artifacts include paintings as well as antique religious items.

Croix Baragon. South of Musee des Augustins is the Croix Baragon. A person traveling to this part of Toulouse will get his or her fill of window shopping and sightseeing. A number of shops and galleries adorn the streets in this part of the city.

Croix Baragon also boasts two historic landmarks. The Griffoul, near the central part of Croix Baragon, was built in 1546 and is the oldest water fountain in Toulouse. A person walking towards the east end of Croix Baragon will see the lopsided cathedral of St. Etienne. The cathedral gets its unusual shape due to periods of construction and development throughout the centuries.

Pont Neuf. Also called the New Bridge, Pont Neuf was constructed in the 1500s. A traveler can cross the bridge in order to visit Toulouse's St. Cyprien sector. At the end of the bridge, a person can view the tower that was constructed in the early 1800s that was used to supply drinking water to various fountains throughout the city.

A person wanting to experience the cultural and historical offerings of France should make plans to visit the city of Toulouse. He or she will be drawn into the beauty of the city.

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