The Hôtel d’Assézat, Toulouse!!

I will take you south deep cathar country and home of family on wifes side. We have been here many many times and have posts on several locations ,however, most have been brief comments of the sights to see. I think they deserve more so will do several posts on the things to see and we like in the pink city of Toulouse! The city is in the Haute Garonne department 31 of the region of Occitanie. Hope you enjoy the series.

Located a short distance from the Place Esquirol  at the rue de Metz, the Hôtel d’Assézat is a mansion, built in 1555-1557. Behind a monumental wooden gate hides an inner courtyard, renovated in 1993. It houses the Museum of the Bemberg Foundation which presents a collection of art, including painting, from the 15C to the early 20C.  We owe this magnificent mansion to a wealthy merchant, Pierre d’Assézat who made his fortune through the trade of pastel in the 16C. In order to establish his power, he entrusted the construction to one of the most famous Toulouse architects, Nicolas Bachelier and construction began in 1555.


The courtyard is made of brick but the decor is stone creating an aesthetic effect. Two sides of the courtyard have a three-level elevation superimposing the three classical orders (Ionic order, Doric order, Corinthian order); it takes over the hierarchy of orders established by the Treaty of Serlio. The imposing stair tower on the corner rises high enough to be visible in the distance. With the loggia, you find all the elements that make up a mansion of the Renaissance period. This is one of the first manifestations of French classicism. Pierre d’Assézat could not enjoy it. He died ruined in 1581 even before the work was finished. The hotel remained in the Assézat family until 1761. The bank Ozenne, who bought this building in the 19C, soon bequeathed to the city to accommodate learned societies. It’s still one of its missions today.

The Hôtel d’Assézat  is home to the Bemberg Foundation Museum. In 1994, Georges Bemberg, a wealthy Argentinean art lover, lends the municipality for 99 years the remarkable collection he has assembled (1,100 works divided between paintings, sculptures and objets d’art) in order to make it accessible to the public. . Among the exhibits, painting and drawing occupy a privileged place, with for example a unique set of more than thirty paintings by Pierre Bonnard and works by great painters of the different European painting schools, from the 15C to the 20C such as Canaletto, Tiepolo, Francois Boucher, Cranach the Elder, Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, Antoine van Dyck, Claude Monet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque,  and Amedeo Modigliani, etc.

The Hôtel d’Assézat is home to the union of academies and learned societies which consists of six companies: The Academy of Flower Games,  was founded in 1323 by seven troubadours in order to perpetuate the Occitan lyricism in Toulouse . Since their foundation, the floral games are celebrated each year on May 3rd. This academy is considered the oldest literary society in the western world. The Archaeological Society of the South of France: it studies the monuments of the South of France. The Academy of Sciences, inscriptions and belles-lettres of Toulouse: founded in 1640, the Academy of Sciences, inscriptions and belles-lettres of Toulouse has the privilege to be the eldest of its eminent Parisian sister, born only in 1666. The Academy of sciences, inscriptions and belles-lettres of Toulouse has forged a national and international reputation through the action of its members, in the fields of the conservation, the enrichment and the diffusion Knowledge. The Society of Medicine, Surgery and Pharmacy: The Society of Geography and The Academy of Legislation.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and you must are

Official Fondation Bemberg

Official Friends of the Hotel Assezat

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Hotel Assezat

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Bemberg foundation

There you go another dandy in my belle France, and lovely territory of many memories from and with the family over the years. Again, very nice area ,hope you enjoy the series posts to come on Toulouse, the pink city!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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