Archive for March 19th, 2023

March 19, 2023

The history of aeronautics and aviation in Toulouse !!!

If you are in Europe at least, you know Toulouse is the center of aviation and space home of Airbus and others. I have been here visiting on business trips and decided as we were there to take my sons. I like to update this educational and historical post on many wonderful institutions of aeronautics and aviation in Toulouse, Of course, this will be just an introduction, the sights are too many for one day or even less one post, We will be back eventually to our dear Toulouse for more. Hope you enjoy the post as I,

This is another of the wonderful choices in Toulouse, whether going north to the Airbus visit or south to the Cité de l’Espace. However, for the lover of old airplanes there is a place too in Ailes Ancienne or old wings depot near the Airbus installations. And course, the Aeroscopia museum. Let me tell you briefly a bit on them.

Let me tell you first about the visit to Airbus. We went by car of course… Allée André Turcat, 31700  BLAGNAC. However, you can come on tramway as well. Tramway Line 1 -stop/ Arrêt “Beauzelle” and walk about one km or 0.6 mile. Easy me think. Aviation enthusiasts will not want to miss the visit of the company in Toulouse country: Airbus!  Manatour organizes a visit in three stages. The first allows amateurs to discover the A380 from every angle, through the presentation of its program and its certification campaign. The second invites you to discover the company from a lookout integrated into the factory: the entire production process of the A380 is detailed. The third, a novelty appeared in 2018, allows you to board the MSN1, the trial version of the A400M military aircraft! A smart formula allows you to buy a ticket coupled with a visit to the beautiful Aeroscopia museum. Check the site as the sequence may have change.


The classic Airbus A380 circuit which presents the A380 from the point of view of production processes: replica of the telemetry room: certification campaign & flight tests, lookout point of the A380 assembly site: process production, full-size model of the A380 (16-meter section): cabin layouts.  The Airbus A380 “Discovery of Trades” option, which allows students to discover a variety of trades offered in the aeronautical industry. Through the same stages as the “classic” Airbus A380 circuit, students discover the trades of: maintenance mechanic, test engineer, design office engineer, boilermaker, cell fitter, cabin designer, etc. The best visit is by groups but individuals can do it too. My collegues designed the wing of the A380 and another flew the maiden flight from Toulouse to Hamburg.



Aeroscopia is a French aeronautical museum located in Blagnac, near the AéroConstellation site, and Airbus. It hosts in particular two copies of the Concorde, which opened on January 14, 2015. The building is located opposite the Jean-Luc Lagardère factory, on the Pinot site in Blagnac. The farm of Pinot, adjoining the site, dating from the 18C, which had been used as a leisure center for the children of Blagnac before being sacked in 2010,and 2018 to serve as a basis for the associations which participate in the project and restore the aircraft, as well as a luxury restaurant and a seminar center.


A large part of the planes on display will be loaned by the association Ailes Anciennes Toulouse, whose restoration site is located next to the museum, but also Airbus Heritage and the Air and Space Academy (ANAE). Some of the planes on display are the Concorde, F-BVFC, MSN209 in the colors of Air France.  Caravelle 12, F-BTOE, MSN280 in the colors of Air Inter, last example built and the A400M-180, F-WWMT, MSN001 parked since July 16, 2015.  The construction in 2019 of the new tarmac north of the museum allows the reception of additional aircraft from local companies Airbus and ATR. The transfer of planes between the Airbus “Lagardère” site and the museum takes place over a week, at the rate of one aircraft per day: ATR 72-600, F-WWEY, MSN098 in ATR colors, transferred to site on August 26, 2019, first copy of 72 in its 600 version. The  Airbus A340-600, F-WWCA, MSN360 in the colors of Airbus, transferred to site on August 27, 2019, first copy of the A340 in its 600 version Airbus A320-111, F-WWAI, MSN001 in the old Airbus colors, transferred to site on August 28, 2019, first copy of the A320: inauguration on February 14, 1987 in the presence of Lady Diana and Prince Charles, first flight on February 22, 1987.   Airbus A380-800, F-WXXL, MSN002 in the colors of Airbus, transferred to site on August 29, 2019, second copy of the A380. The two decks of this aircraft can be visited, as well as the cockpit.  ATR 42-300, F-WEGC, MSN003 in the old colors of ATR, transferred to site on August 30, 2019, third copy of 42. This copy is decorated in the colors of MSN001 and bears the registration F-WEGA. Inside and ok for the visit are the Concorde, F-WTSB, MSN201 (ANAE), it is a pre-production device which has been used, among other things, to transport several presidents of the French Republic.   Airbus A300B4-203, F-WUAB, MSN238 (Airbus Heritage), decorated in the colors of the prototype, instead of dismantled MSN001. The interior can be visited. In the first section, transparent glazing allows you to see the structure and systems of the aircraft, while in the following sections are shown first-class and VIP47 fittings. Super Guppy from the association Ailes Anciennes Toulouse, the device which was used to transport sections of Airbus is exposed with the door open, and a gangway allows access to the hold where a film is projected. The opening was not an easy task, the device has not been opened for 15 years. The assistance of the former airplane mechanics was essential to allow a safe opening. Les Ailes Anciennes is an association of passionate aeronautical enthusiasts who, for almost forty years, have saved and restored aircraft of all types. Its collection is one of the largest in France. They opens their renovation workshops to visitors to share with them the passion for aeronautical history. Some models are on display at the Aéroscopia museum, located next door (see above). On the program, civil and military aircraft: Breguet 941, Dassault Mirage IVP, Hawker Hunter, MiG-21 “Fishbed” … You can also admire helicopters such as a Eurocopter Écureuil, an Alouette III dear to high-rescuers mountain or even contemplate the atypical “flying banana”, the Piasecki H21! Cockpit days are organized several times a year, they allow you to board these legendary aircraft….



And last but not least you go on the other side of Toulouse south of the city away from the above in Blagnac. This is on the rocade of the A61 exit/sortie 17 and follow the signs. The Cité de l’Espace is a center of scientific culture oriented towards space and space conquest, devoted as much to astronomy as to astronautics. The Cité de l’Espace was inaugurated in June 1997.



The Cité de l’Espace allows you to discover the full-scale replica of the Ariane 5 rocket (53 meters high), the Soyuz spacecraft and the Earth observation satellite ERS. You can also visit an engineering model of the Mir space station with all its equipment. It is also equipped with an observation dome, La Coupole de l’Astronome. The Cité de l’Espace is also endowed with numerous exhibitions, often interactive: thus the control room makes it possible to prepare the launching of a rocket, to assist in its takeoff, its flight and then the putting into orbit of a satellite. The Terr @ dome (half a terrestrial globe 25 m in diameter) presents a quiz on extreme life on our planet. The Astralia,  offers shows all day long thanks to a planetarium with 280 seats, equipped with a hemispherical screen of 600 m2 and a 300-seat IMAX cinema that projects a film on the space in relief composed of images and sequences filmed in space. For the youngest, shows are broadcast in the Stellarium, a planetarium with 130 seats. It is also used for short general shows, such as the film Astronauts.



The official manatour visit to Airbus :

The Toulouse tourist office on Airbus :

The official Aeroscopia aeronautics museum :

The Toulouse tourist office on Aeroscopia :

The official old wings or ailes anciennes assoc museum :

The Toulouse tourist office on the Ailes Anciennes museum :

The official Space City or Cité de l’Espace :

The Toulouse tourist office on the Cité de l’Espace :

There you are folks, a whole world of aviation and aerospace awaits you in the pink city of Toulouse, the European center of these activities and fun for the whole family. You can easily spend several days here! me think. So do not think anymore Toulouse is just for old monuments, the future is here too. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

Tags: ,
March 19, 2023

More of the Church Notre Dame du Taur of Toulouse !!!

I walked by the Church Notre Dame du Taur many times , and finally went in. It has been a must stop ever since, a gem not to be missed. I have written a couple posts on it but found me new older pictures that should be in my blog. Therefore,, here is more of the Church Notre Dame du Taur of Toulouse. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

This again is more of the wonderful Church of Notre-Dame-du-Taur (taur=horns in the local occitan language) is located at 12 bis rue du Taur, between the Place du Capitole and the Basilique Saint-Sernin, in the center Toulouse.


In the 3C, the history of Toulouse was turned upside down. Saturnin or Sernin, first bishop of the city, is martyred by the Romans. He is tied to a bull which drags him through the ancient city. It crosses the rampart and follows the Roman road, the current rue du Taur , at the end of which stands the basilica of Saint-Sernin (see posts). Notre Dame du Taur Church would have been built on the very spot where the body of the martyr would have detached from the bull. Interesting above all for its history, which is told through a golden fresco above the altar, the very sober church houses a beautiful black virgin, Notre-Dame du Rempart, dressed in brocade.

The facade of the Notre Dame du Taur Church, in which the portal opens, is embedded in the alignment of the houses. It looks like a large brick wall, a monumental steeple-wall, Although it is not the oldest in the region, it is one of the highest, since it culminates at 42 meters. It comprises two levels framed by turrets and surmounted by a triangular pediment, which rise above the level of the church, marked by the withdrawal of the wall. The portal, in Gothic style, has the shape of the portal of the church of the neighboring convent of the Cordeliers, (see post), also erected at the beginning of the 14C. It is flanked by two large niches, which house statues under a trefoil arcade. The primitive statues, which disappeared during the French revolution, were replaced by two statues from the chapel of Rieux, demolished in 1846, representing Francis of Assisi and an apostle,


The Grand Orgue or Organ of the Church Notre-Dame du Taur was built June 17-18, 1880, At the time, it appeared to be the most innovative and richest organ in Toulouse, but also in all of the South of France. This organ is distinguished by the brilliance of its reeds and the poetry of its backstops the harmony of the backgrounds is generous and dark, that of the reeds of a large choir of uncommon power and roundness, the timbres details are refined, the flutes, all bell-shaped, of an exquisite roundness, It is ideal for playing symphonic, neo-classical and contemporary music , It is today one of the most remarkable witnesses of the craftsmanship of Eugène Puget, It has not yet undergone major restoration. In 1939, Maurice Puget modified the composition of the Positif.



Be aware that between spring 2023 and autumn 2025, a construction site will be set up in rue du Taur . Its Notre-Dame du Taur Church will be renovated ! The objective is to restore all the works while keeping the heritage character of the place, intimately linked to the martyrdom of Saint-Sernin. The restoration of the Church of Notre-Dame du Taur and its works will also be completed by accessibility and fire safety improvements, with particular attention paid to the restoration of the gallery organ and a development component / heritage mediation, Wonderful, great news indeed !

The Toulouse tourist office on the church

There you go folks, 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 post on the Church Notre Dame du Taur in Toulouse, the pink city!

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

Tags: ,
March 19, 2023

The Cathédrale St Etienne of Toulouse !!!

I take you back again to this monumental sight to see in my sentimental Toulouse, I have found older new pictures to the blog that felled need to be in it. Of course, will tell you a bit more of the wonderful sublime Cathédrale Saint Etienne (St Stephens) of Toulouse !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

A wonderful monument we always stop by and a must to see while in the pink city of Toulouse. The walks around the neighborhood are nice too perfect to see the architecture and history of the city.

The Cathedral of St Stephens (Saint Etienne) of Toulouse was founded in the 3C by Saint Saturnin, its first bishop, who suffered martyrdom around the year 250. As for the cathedral, dedicated to Saint Etienne, the first historical mention, currently known, is provided by a charter of Charles the Bald given, in the year 844, for the benefit of the churches of the city. At the time of the Gregorian reform, in 1078, Bishop Isarn built or rebuilt, a new church located on the site of the current nave called Raimond VI. Magnificently adapted for the liturgy and preaching, this vast construction, currently divided into 3 bays, is covered with a vault with powerful cross-sectional ribs with a square section.

Toulouse cat st etienne pulpit jul10

The gallery organ dates from 1612. The woodwork was enlarge in 1677 ,then in 1738, restoration in 1761 , in 1772, and 1787, The gallery organ weighs about 13 tons. it is 12 meters high and 10 meters wide. It is not placed on a support, but hung on a vertical “swallow’s nest” wall ! It had a conservative reconstruction by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll in 1852, and a complete restoration in 1977, The Choir organ by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll dates from 1868.

Toulouse cat st etienne organ jul10


You have magnificent beautiful chapels amongst them, the Chapel of Saint-François-de-Sales , completed in 1279, was initially dedicated to Saint Martin who is still present on the keystone. Revamped and restored from 1843 to 1846, the chapel was then dedicated to Saint François-Xavier. In the 19C it has a painting by Fauré representing Saint François-Xavier preaching to the Indians. The Saint-Joseph Chapel , The Chapel of Saint Joan of Arc with on the right side a statue of Saint Clotilde and on the left side of Saint Geneviève. This chapel dates from 1279. The current decor dates from 1922 after her canonization in 1920.



Toulouse cat st etienne chapel ste jeanne d'arc jul10

You can look up and see beautiful stained glass even the incomplete stained glass windows from the 14C adorn the chapels of Saint Pierre, Saint François, Saint Augustin, and Saint Vincent de Paul. The royal canopy (15C) offers portraits of Charles VII and his eldest son, the future Louis XI. Remarkable among others, the image of Saint Louis, seated on his throne, raised to Heaven by 2 angels, around 1300, Saint Joseph’s Chapel, Saint Catherine and a bishop, these scultées circa 1340, On the south collateral you see the woodwork of the choir and the great organ, executed from 1610, constitute a rare set of sculptures, which complete the large altarpiece of the High Altar circa 1660-1668, it is surrounded by wrought iron gates done in 1766, A 33-piece hanging, from the 16-17C, is dedicated to the history of Saint Etienne and the Holy Bishops of Toulouse. In the side aisles are the tombs of President de Lestang 1623, Bishop H. de Sponde 17C, and President de Puyvert 1784. Finally, 2 painted canvases from the 17C : the Triumph of Joseph by H. Pader, under the organ, and the Adoration of the Shepherds by Nicolas Bollery, school of Fontainebleau.


It has wonderful sublime tapestries such as with the first group includes four pieces , dating from 1532 to 1534. The scenes trace the history of St Etienne. The second group consists of 17 tapestries, first suite dedicated to the life of St Etienne, includes 9 pieces; the other includes 8 pieces and is dedicated to the holy Bishops of Toulouse such as Saturnin, Hilaire, Sylve, Exupère, Germier, Louis d’Anjou, Martial, and Bertrand de Comminges, The 9 tapestries of the first suite, devoted to the life of St Etienne represent the election to the diaconate, the miracles, the appearance before his judges, the stoning, the burial, and the translation of the body of the martyr.  Four of these tapestries were presented,  installed in the stalls from March 19 to 31, 2016. These are : The ordination or the election of Saint Etienne to the diaconate, the stoning , the burial, and the translation of the relics.

The official Cathédrale Saint Etienne

The Toulouse tourist office on the Cathedral:

There you go folks, even a revolution could not change the faith. So do come to the Cathédrale St Etienne as it is a wonderful monument testament of enduring faith and beautiful architecture. It is Toulouse, if you are here , you must come to it. Again, hope you have enjoy the post as I.

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

Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: