Archive for January 18th, 2020

January 18, 2020

The Gallery of the Water Tower, Toulouse!

So in my continuing walks of this pink city of Toulouse I take you to another off the beaten path site. Well passed by it many times on my way over the Pont Neuf (see post), but this time have it in image to tell you all. Let me tell you a bit about the Galerie du Château d’Eau or Gallery of the Water Tower of Toulouse .

This is a wonderful area to walk, plenty to see around here as you can see by my other posts on our visit to Toulouse. You will have your hands full, or we come back for more.

The Château d’Eau or water tower, or Galerie du Château d’Eau, or Gallery of the Water Tower is a brick tower located at the junction of Cours Dillon and the Pont-Neuf. As its name suggests, the building was originally used for water distribution in the center of the city but was not strictly speaking a water tower since it did not include a storage tank. It was reconverted in 1974 into an exhibition space dedicated to photography and is now a very popular place for locals and visitors alike, at the same time as a high place of culture.


A bit of history I like

The primary function of this water tower was to distribute the water from the Garonne river, collected and filtered a few meters away, on the meadow of filters. When he died in 1789, the capitoul Charles Laganne bequeathed to the city with the aim of “distributing the waters of the Garonne, pure, clear and pleasant to drink”. Charles Laganne specifies in his will that his money must be used no later than ten years after the death of his widow. Political vagaries will delay the use of this providential envelope, but the death of Mrs. Laganne in 1817 encourage the city to find a solution, a task to which Jean-François d’Aubuisson de Voisins mining engineer stationed in Toulouse and city councilor took the idea the same year and on which he will work for almost ten years, studying and defining the principles and systems of water circulation necessary filtering, channels and pipes. The works were launched in 1821 to be completed in 1825 and supplied a vast network of fountains operational from 1829 and then developed even more.

A bit on the construction of this Water Tower or Château d’Eau.

The building of the Water Tower rises to 30 meters and has 7 floors distributed in a vast basement comprising two levels and a ground floor forming the circular base of the tower, surmounted by the tower itself comprising four floors, the last of which is a skylight giving access to a circular terrace. The basement is occupied by two 8-meter-diameter paddle wheels that drive two groups of four suction-treading pumps coupled in pairs. This duplication of pumping units was intended to prevent a breakdown of one of the two systems from interrupting the continuous water supply.

And the new birth thank you Toulouse!

Saved from demolition in the early 1970s, the building has been converted since April 1974 into a gallery devoted to photography. As such it was historically the first public gallery exclusively intended for the exhibition of photographs. In 1984, the basement was converted into an additional exhibition space. In 1990 a documentation center and a second gallery were respectively built under the arches of Pont-Neuf and one of the old ramps to the bridge.

From January 2020 the Galerie du Château d´Eau is taken over directly by the Toulouse city/town hall for the conservation and enhancement of the funds acquired after long negotiations by the town for the creation of a dedicated place, the city/town hall finally instructed the Toulouse Municipal Archives and the Gallery of the Water Tower to respectively conserve, enhance and bring this fund to life.


Some webpages to help you enjoy this site worth the detour are

Official Galerie du Château d’Eau

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Chateau d’eau

This is  a nice place for the arts, photos, and for the architecture and history link to Toulouse, worth saving and glad they did. Enjoy the Gallery of the Water Tower of Toulouse!

One neat sight next to it is one of the Wallace fountain ,one of several in Toulouse, the city has 8!  This one is at Place Laganne just behind the last picture above. Enjoy it!


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



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January 18, 2020

Hôtel Dieu St Jacques, Toulouse!

Ok so here I am in my endless walks of the pink city of Toulouse always looking for new places on each visit which as said been numerous here. As locals we come to concentrate in one area and one trip miss others, so we need to come back , lucky to live in my belle France.

This is one example of a place passed by and now paying more attention as what can be an off the beaten path site, the Hôtel Dieu St Jacques of Toulouse. In short , used to be a hospital and now has two museums and a recherche laboratory!

The Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Jacques is a former Toulouse hospital located at 2 rue Viguerie (by Port Viguerie). Already in operation from the 12C on the left bank of the Garonne river, it became the largest hospital in Toulouse following its numerous expansions in the 17-18C.


The first hospital in Toulouse, the Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Jacques was originally founded in 1120 as a religious establishment responsible for providing food and shelter for pilgrims, caring for the sick and helping the needy. The Sainte-Marie de la Daurade Hospital is soon to be doubled by the Nouvel Hospital, which come together to form the Saint-Jacques Hospital in Bout-du-Pont. Indeed, sending the ailing to the other side of the river in relation to the city was in fact a pragmatic asset in the event of an epidemic (plague, tuberculosis, leprosy) because it made it possible to easily establish a quarantine by closing the bridge!


And in fact, the only bridge that crossed the Garonne river until the construction of the Pont-Neuf ended at the Hôtel-Dieu. One can observe only one obvious trace of these successive works frequently washed away by water, that of the Pont-Vieux of which there remains today only a single pile forming a balcony in the center of the facade overlooking the river.


The main body of the building is also used as a dike to limit the floods which regularly ravage the Saint-Cyprien district. It should be noted that the Hôtel-Dieu is today one of the emblematic monuments of the city of Toulouse and an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1998 under the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (way of St James of Compostelle) from which it takes its name and its shell-shaped emblem.

In addition, it brings together two museums (Espace Jean Rudelle since 2003 and especially the Museum of the History of Medicine since 1996) as well as a mixed public / private laboratory dedicated to the study of the skin. Finally, it is currently the administrative center of the various care units of the CHU grouped under the generic name of Toulouse Hospitals.

Really a wonderful building and one that requires more time to see, so in my list to be back! This is again a lovely area for walks very quant and old. You will love it.  Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official CHU Toulouse hospital site on the Hotel Dieux

City of Toulouse on the Hotel Dieux

Tourist office of Toulouse on museum of medical instruments Hotel Dieu

Tourist office of Toulouse on museum on history of medicine Hotel Dieu

There you go a dandy place to see and visit. Hope you have enjoy this off the beaten path site in my lovely pink city of Toulouse.

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




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January 18, 2020

Halle aux Grains, Toulouse!

And so I continue my journey in the pink city of Toulouse, one of  my belle France favorite cities indeed. This is great wonderful big city and family roots on wife’s side it is sentimentally close.

Let me tell you about a music hall out of a merchants market! This is the story of the Halle aux Grains of Toulouse (cereal depot).


The Halle aux Grains is a symphonic concert hall located in the city center of Toulouse. It is home to the Toulouse Capitole National Orchestra. The Halle aux Grains is located on Place Dupuy, at the southern end of the Saint-Aubin district. The war memorial, at the junction of allées François Verdier, boulevard Carnot and rue de Metz, is located in the immediate vicinity. Since the opening of line B of the Toulouse metro, the Halle aux Grains has been served by the François Verdier metro station.

Built in 1861 to accommodate the cereals transported by boat to the port of Saint-Sauveur, it served as a covered grain market until the 1940s. And in 1952, the Halle aux Grains was converted into the Palais des Sports; stands were built there and the original market gave way to a performance hall as diverse as rock concerts, variety shows, circus or boxing matches. Its particular acoustics makes it since the mid-1970s the landmark of the National Capitol Orchestra. Renovated in 2000 for a better reception of the public, the Halle aux Grains also saw operettas, comic operas, great performers or one-man shows during the Printemps du rire ( spring of laughters).


In 1988 and 2000, the city/town hall improved the state of the building in terms of scenography, acoustics and accessibility. Today this room is recognized for its acoustic qualities. The hall has a capacity of 2,200 people seated around the orchestra. The stage has movable trays for quickly placing a piano on stage, etc.

Some webpages to help you enjoy this wonderful place are

Performances site of Toulouse on the Halle aux Grains

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Halle aux Grains

This is again a nice area to walk with plenty to see and enjoy your stay walking is a must in Toulouse. The magnificent Colonne Dupuy is just in front of the Halle aux Grains and on Place Dupuy, you can notice an imposing column, almost 20 meters high. It was erected in honor of General Dupuy, hero of the French revolution. This column is also a fountain, framed by 4 powerful griffins at each corner thereof. The statue at the top was not added until later ; it is Dame Tholose, allegory of the city of Toulouse, made in 1550 at the request of the Capitouls, and who was previously at the top of the Donjon du Capitole.


You will love your walks here, we always do, and do come back, will be back again. Enjoy Toulouse, the wonderful pink city of France.

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




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