Archive for ‘Europe’

January 20, 2020

Sports in Toulouse!

Ok ok this is hard. I grew up on football/soccer but have taken a lot of liking to Rugby in France. Having family from the Toulouse area you need to be into Rugby and especially the Stade Toulousain! However, never leave my football and the Toulouse FC! 1-2 punch in the pink city of Toulouse

First, my football/soccer Toulouse FC!

The Toulouse Football Club, abbreviated as Toulouse FC, is founded in 1970. The current Toulouse FC having in addition been founded in 1970 under the name of Union Sportive de Toulouse. The latter receives at its creation the support of the city/town hall, which offers it to play at the Municipal Stadium, and the French Football Federation, which integrates it among the clubs chosen to directly access the new Division 2 open to amateur clubs for the 1970-1971 season during the 1970 championship reform. In 1979, US Toulouse took the name of Toulouse FC and adopted professional status. It joined Division 1 in 1982 and finished three times in the first five places in the championship.


Its history in French League 2 Championship Champion: 1982 and 2003, and Vice-champion: 1981 and 1997. In French League 1 Championship Third: 1987 and 2007.  Some of its famous coaches was the legendary Just Fontaine, also, Alain Giresse, and Antoine Kombouaré. Main players were Moussa Sissoko, Étienne Capoue, Franck Tabanou or Wissam Ben Yedder. It is also a springboard to the very highest level for other players like Jérémy Mathieu sold to FC Valence, Aymen Abdennour sold to AS Monaco or Serge Aurier sold to PSG.

The Toulouse Stadium, previously called the Municipal Stadium, is the largest sports arena in Toulouse. Its has 33,150 seats, and it is located on the Ramier Island, very close to the center of Toulouse. Its construction began in 1937 , and was finally completed in 1949, work having been interrupted by WWII.


It welcomes the professional team of the Toulouse Football Club (TFC), as well as the big rugby matches of the Stade Toulousain in the European Cup or in the Top 14. It has hosted football world cup matches, the European championship football, and friendly matches of the French football team. It has also hosted rugby world cup matches, friendly matches of the French rugby union team, and major international matches and many finals of the French rugby league championship.


The webpages for the Toulouse FC are

Official Toulouse FC football team

City of Toulouse football stadium

Tourist office on the Toulouse FC tour

And now the mighty Stade Toulousain rugby, which we follow as our team in France, and visit of course.

The Stade Toulousain is rugby union club founded in 1907 and based in Toulouse. Stade toulousain is domiciled at Stade Ernest-Wallon. The club has won the French rugby union championship twenty times, it is also a quadruple European champion, which makes it the most successful French and European club. Its philosophy of play “hand game, Toulousain game” is recognized by the world of rugby as close to total rugby practiced in particular by the All Blacks (New Zealand).


Rugby Union made its appearance in Toulouse at the end of the 19C and the first clubs were formed in the 1890s. It was notably the students who practiced this sport, the existence of which in France was very recent c.1872. The Toulouse Student Stadium (SOET), created in 1897, and bringing together students from all disciplines, was soon split up since the Sports Union of the Veterinary School (USEV) created in 1899. These two clubs added the Toulousain Athletic Sport (SAT). In 1905, the USEV (gray color) and the SAT (yellow and black colors) merged to be called Toulouse Véto-Sport (gray jersey, black pants). In 1907, the merger of two Toulouse clubs (SOET and Véto-sport) gave birth to the Stade Olympien and Véto-sport Toulousain which for the sake of an essential shortcut will be called the Stade Toulousain.


The Stade Toulousain traditionally play in red and black, the colors of SOET. These were the colors of the Capitouls, the former municipal councilors. The white jersey appeared later in the 1920s as an away jersey. Over the years, the gray jersey also appeared, certainly a tribute to Véto-sport. The only sprain to these colors is the pale pink jersey used throughout 2007, which to celebrate the club’s centenary, pays tribute to the pink city which is its cradle -Toulouse.

During WWI, many players from the Stade Toulousain served in the French army. About eighty died in the trenches during the battles of Verdun, Somme, etc. Many players were then champions of France in 1912, and were part of the team nicknamed “the Red Virgin”.

A Stade Toulousain manager, Lucien Cézéra, had the idea in the 1950s of creating a logo for the club. He found his inspiration in the Saint-Sernin Basilica of Toulouse where, in a chapel dedicated to Saint Thomas Aquinas which was created when his relics were provisionally deposited there, is a mosaic of an astonishing resemblance to the logo of the club Red and black. The club logo, worn on the jersey, consists of the letters “S” and “T” intertwined. It is the faithful copy of the acronym of Saint Thomas in the Saint-Sernin Basilica.

Indeed, since 1985, the Stade Toulousain has been one of the very best clubs in Europe. It has raised the Brennus Shield eleven times, including four consecutive from 1994 to 1997. It is also the first club to win the European Cup in 1996. With four continental titles, Stade Toulousain is the most successful club in the European Cup.  112 years after its creation, the Stade Toulousain has won 20 French champion titles, four European Cups, has a 19,500-seat stadium , about 250 partner companies, and 117 international players over its history. Important players for me are Thierry Dusautoir, Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, Yannick Jauzon, Frédéric Michalak, Emile Ntamack, Clément Poitranaud, and Maxime Médard. As coach none other than Guy Novés.

The Stade Toulousain evolved during its creation in the Parc des Prairie des Filters. This place notably hosted the meetings of the Stade Olympien of Toulouse students. In 1907, Ernest Wallon, president of the club, decided to provide the club with a sports arena. Located in the heart of the Ponts-Jumeaux district, not far from the site of the old stadium of the Prairie des Filters , the club moves to the Ponts Jumeaux stadium. It was inaugurated on November 24, 1907. The Stade Toulousain is one of the rare French clubs, all sports combined, to have its own sports facilities. It therefore owns the stadium, Stade Ernest-Wallon, commonly known as the Sept Deniers stadium, near Blagnac. It is named after Ernest Wallon, president of the Stade Olympien des étudiants de Toulouse or Toulouse Olympic Stadium for Students (SOET) and law professor at the Faculty of Toulouse, at the beginning of the 20C, who participated in the creation of the Ponts Jumeaux stadium in Toulouse. The latter, opened in 1982, has been recently renovated and has a capacity of 19,500 seats. In 2019, the stadium lawn was completely changed to adopt a hybrid lawn. A new dining hall is built between the store and the entrance to the training center. The current main entrance to the changing rooms under the grandstand, the visitors changing rooms and the old canteen were then completely refurbished


The webpages for the Stade Toulousain are

Official Stade Toulousain rugby

Official Stade Toulousain on the Ernest Wallon stadium

There you a lethal combination if in town, the pink city is Toulouse and football/rugby is it. Been a huge university town with over 100K students helps too. Enjoy the sports of Toulouse!

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



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January 20, 2020

Church of St Exupère, Toulouse

In my continuing walks with my boys we did a lot of walking and came by area that normally we would just bypass or briefly walk on them, this time we took more time. And as usually the case with time, we saw a lot more of the beautiful monuments this time of the pink city of Toulouse.

One of these monument in the off the beaten path way was the Church of St Exupère, and I like to tell you a bit on it ok

The Church of Saint-Exupère is of baroque style which is located in the old district of Saint-Michel on the right bank at Allées Jules Guesdes. Its small octagonal bell-tower shelters a carillon of 14 bells. Built from 1620 to serve as a chapel with the barefoot Carmelites, a religious order resulting from the reform of Carmel, it was inaugurated in 1623 under the name of Saint Joseph.


Abandoned from the French revolution to the Concordat (1801), it was again worshiped and consecrated in 1807 under the new name of Saint Exupère, bishop of Toulouse in the 4C. The statue of Saint Joseph and the infant Jesus on the facade is from 1658.

The choir Christ behind the tabernacle and the wooden statues and, from Saint Rose of Lima, in the first half of the 17C. There is a nice Christ on the Cross. The choir, which originally had a fence, was transformed in 1807 also the pulpit. There is a nice chapelle des Pénitents by Jean-Baptiste Despax. The nave is decorated with plasterwork from the 17C, with paintings painted in the 17-18C. Among this set “La Transverbération de Sainte Thèrèse d’Avila” by the Italian painter Antonio Verrio who spent two years in Toulouse.


In the Chapelle Notre-Dame de la Salette chapel, there is an anonymous painting of Saint Teresa of Avila restored to the church after the French revolution. In the first chapel on the left, a 17C painting representing “The Virgin and Child Jesus appearing to a Carmelite monk”


The current organ is remarkable. It was made in 1887 by the house Théodore Puget. Jacques-Pascal Virebent is the author of the grandstand with an organ column, with its four turrets, its three sideboards, its musician cherubs, its flower pots and its foliage friezes sculpted in the Baroque manner.


There is only the parish site as not considered a tourist attraction in fact they showcase usually in Heritage days in France or Journée de Patrimoine.

Catholic Parish of Toulouse on Church St Exupère

There you go a nice place to visit in a wonderful area full of gardens and museums. Do not forget to enter this church. St Exupère was a wonderful discovery in my Toulouse

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


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January 19, 2020

The aviation and aeronautics at 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. Unfortunately the places were either close for the season or inventory. Nevertheless , we stop by to say the boys were here and remind us to be back for a better visit.  As said , I have visited on a pro visit part of my job…I will give the civilian view from the outside on this post.

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 .6 mile. Easy me think.


Aviation enthusiasts will not want to miss the visit of the queen 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.


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.


The official Manatour of Airbus

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Airbus visit

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, will be renovated and will 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

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.


Official Aeroscopia museum

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Aeroscopia museum

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….



Official association of old wings or ailes anciennes

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Ailes Anciennes old wings

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.



Official Cité de l’Espace in English

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Cite de l’Espace

There you 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. Enjoy the pink city of Toulouse.

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


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January 19, 2020

Public Transport in Toulouse!

Ok so going in to the usually taken never my favorite but need to do it here. This is public transportation and it is very popular in France and even by visitors seeking to see something different. I like the car and not shy to tell the world, the best invention of mankind oh well in the top 10.

Toulouse is no different when it comes to public transportation and very heavily use as it is a huge university town as well with over 100K students. Let me tell you briefly on the transportation in Toulouse.

The airport is at Blagnac easy to city center Toulouse and use it several times as well as the navette bus from airport, very good mode of transportation. Easy in and out. First you now have the tramway line 2 direct access with automatic machine for ticketing at Hall C – niveau Arrivées (porte C2) this is arrival levels at gate C2 best to Fer de Cheval by Pont St Michel. The navette bus which is the one I used is taken at  street level stop gate or porte C2 arrivals. Take it direction Gare Routiére bus terminal which is at Matabiau next to train station and you can get on metro ,bus or walk as I do into city center along Allées Jean Jaurés. And of course, there is always the taxi  they are at street level arrivals between gates or portes B3 in Hall B and C1 in Hall C; but the navette bus is nicer me think.

Official Airport Toulouse Blagnac in English

You have a wonderful train station Gare Toulouse-Matabiau located in the district of Matabiau near walking distance done it to city center; there are other stations to serve the TER Occitanie trains. I have come by train here several times over the years, very nice. Just crossing the allées Jean Jaurés or rue Raymond VI and you are in the center in  5-10 minutes.

The main regular intercité train lines are from Paris Gare d’Austerlitz ,and the TGV from Gare Montparnasse. The Gare Matabiau Toulouse SNCF is here: Official train station Matabiau Toulouse

The local train network is TER Occitanie, webpage here: TER SNCF Occitanie Matabiau Toulouse


You have the tramway line 1 and 2 in town and the network as for buses and metro/subway is TISSEO.

From Beauzelle to Toulouse passing by Blagnac, the line 1 service 24 stations.  The itinerary is long of 14.4 km  allowing you to connect the Aéroconstallation to the Palais de JusticeThe T2 tram line connects Toulouse city center to Toulouse-Blagnac airport.
Line 2 is made up of a joint section with line T1 from Palais de Justice to Ancely and a new track connecting line T1 at the Jean Maga roundabout to the terminus located at the terminal. The course, 2375m long, is made up of three stations: Airport: near hall C, Arrivals level, and the bus station.  Didier Daurat: near rue Jean Dufour, near the eponymous avenue. Pierre Nadot: halfway between the Dewoitine roundabout and the A 621 crossing viaduct in contact with the Airbus bridge.


You have the Metro or subway or tube of Toulouse. It has two lines A and B.

The metro line A has a correspondance station at Jean Jaurés with line B as well as with the tramway  T1 et T2  in stop or arrêt Arènes.  Metro line A has these 18 stations : Balma-Gramont – Parking Relais, Argoulets – Parking Relais; Roseraie, Jolimont – Parking Relais, Marengo – SNCF, Jean-Jaurès – correspondance with line B; Capitole, Esquirol, Saint-Cyprien République, Patte-d’Oie, Arènes – Parking Relais – correspondance with tramways T1 and T2 – Gare St Cyprien – Arènes,  Fontaine-Lestang; Mermoz; Bagatelle; Mirail-Université;  Reynerie; Bellefontaine,  and Basso-Cambo – Parking Relais.

The Metro line B, over nearly 16 km along a north-south axis, links some 20 stations between Borderouge and Ramonville-Saint-Agne. It offers a connecting station with line A  at Jean-Jaurès station and one with lines T1 and T2 of the tramway in Palais de Justice. The 20 stations are Borderouge – Parking Relais; Trois Cocus; La Vache – Parking Relais; Barrière de Paris; Minimes – Claude Nougaro; Canal du Midi; Compans Caffarelli; Jeanne d’Arc; Jean Jaurès – correspondance with metro line A; François Verdier; Carmes; Palais de Justice -correspondance with tramways T1 and T2 (towards airport) ; St Michel – Marcel Langer ;  Empalot; Saint-Agne – SNCF; Saouzelong; Rangueil ;Faculté de Pharmacie; Université Paul Sabatier and Ramonville – Parking Relais.

For info I put metro line C here but is of no significance for the visitor. Metro Line C connecting the Arénes to Colomiers .It serves Toec, Lardenne, Saint-Martin-du-Touch, Les Ramassiers and Colomiers.  Between Colomiers Gare and the Arénes; your Tisséo ticket allows you to get 2nd class bus-metro-train connections.

The bus has over 80 lines too much to explain here but easy and frequent service is available. I have never use it. Here are the bus lines and schedules: Official TISSEO bus lines and schedules


The complete public transporation network of Toulouse is call TISSEO as said and its webpage is in French, Spanish, and English. Here it is in English: Public transportation of Toulouse, TISSEO

And of course the tourist office has more in English here: Tourist office of Toulouse on public transporation in English

And of course this is intended to move about in Toulouse. Once arriving walking is the best way to move around, and if daring the bike. Vélo Toulouse. Which of course have no knowledge of, the site is here for the finding a bike station: Official Vélo Toulouse, the bike in the city

Hope it helps move about, and if questions let me know. Enjoy your stay in Toulouse and do walk!!

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



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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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January 17, 2020

Basilique Notre-Dame la Daurade, Toulouse!

And to continue with old reliable and wonderful monument in my pink city of Toulouse I take you to another off the beaten path me think, one that I have passed by it many time but as yet going in. Therefore, let me tell you very briefly on the Basilica of Notre Dame la Daurade.

The Notre-Dame la Daurade Basilica, also known as Sainte-Marie la Daurade, is a church with the title of minor basilica. It is located along the quays of the Garonne river, near the square and the port of the same name.


It is a church apparently without a steeple, with a classical facade, whose architecture can be better appreciated on the other side of the river: we then see a small undersized steeple. It was completely rebuilt at the end of the 18C on the site of one of the oldest churches in Toulouse, which was probably the chapel of the Visigothic kings and whose apse was covered with gilded early Christian mosaics (hence the name daurada, golden). Seat of a Benedictine abbey whose prior was one of the main characters of medieval Toulouse, it was bordered by mills until the end of the 14C and overlooked the main bridge of Toulouse from the 12C to the 17C, the pont de la Daurade. One of the special features of the basilica is that it houses a black virgin. The statue presented today is however the second copy of a brown virgin, known in the 10C. The worship of the Black Virgin is particularly dedicated to pregnant women. from the 16C, Notre-Dame la Brune was known as Notre-Dame La Noire (Our Lady of Black). This statue is said to have many miracles to its credit. In particular, it would have saved the Saint-Michel district from a fire in 1672.


The statue was burned during the French revolution, in 1799, on Place du Capitole. In 1807, a new statue was sculpted after the memories that one had of the old burnt virgin. The current statue measures approximately 2 meters in height.

The basilica has a tribune organ and a choir organ. The choir the two angels in gilded wood, on either side of the altar; in 1812. Several chalices and Gospel manuscript, as well as ciboriums and other objects of worship. A pair of Louis XIV style sconces on either side of the High Altar. The Chapels have a monument to the dead of WWI between the Chapels of the Sacred Heart and the Guardian Angel. The tables show Christ on the cross between two thieves; The mystical press; Christ on the cross The crowns and scepters of the Black Madonna and Child.

The webpages as usual to help you plan your trip are

Tourist office of ToulouseTourist office of Toulouse on the Notre Dame de la Daurade Basilica

And the Cathedral Parish of Toulouse: Cathedral Parish of Toulouse on the Notre Dame de la Daurade Basilica

There you go another wonderful monument to visit and again and again, along the Garonne river is wonderful. The Basilique Notre Dame de la Daurade in Toulouse is on the list for finally going in lol! Hope you enjoy it

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





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January 17, 2020

Church Notre Dame de la Dalbade, Toulouse!

SO here I am again walking along the pink city of Toulouse. I have come by here and never enough time but is a nice monument to visit indeed. I will tell you briefly and for me too to come back here for more.

Let me tell you very briefly about the Church Notre Dame de la Dalbade in Toulouse.

Notre-Dame de la Dalbade Church is located rue de la Dalbade in the Carmelite quarter. Its current name comes from the old church which preceded it and which was covered with a white coating of lime, giving it the name of Santa Maria Dealbata (Sainte-Marie la blanche). The current building, quite austere from the outside, is typical of southern Gothic architecture.


The first church stood in place from 541 at the end of the 15C on the site of a first oratory. It ends up devastated by a fire on October 27, 1442 at the same time as the rest of the district. Despite its disappearance, the current name of the dalbade ,which derives from the dealbata was preserved.

The construction of the current church dates from the end of the 15C, around 1480. Its bell tower was built in 1551. Symbol of ecclesiastical power, its spire which culminated at 87 meters was dismantled in 1795 during the French revolution. It was rebuilt in 1881, raised to 91 meters, and marked the highest point of the city until 1926. It collapsed brutally in the night of April 11 to 12, 1926.

The medieval fortress-like church with thick walls, narrow openings and a north tower with battlements presents on the front, an Italian Renaissance tympanum, made of ceramic which represents a copy of the Coronation of the Virgin by Fra Angelico. This flamboyant decor was done by Gaston Virebent in 1874. The renaissance portal dates from 1537. On the engraved lintel located under the eardrum, we can read this couplet of two Alexandrines: “Chrestien if my love is in your engraved heart” and “Don’t drift by the way to tell me an ave”

The portal dates from the Renaissance, in the middle a statue of the Virgin and Child, on the left Sainte-Catherine and on the right Sainte-Barbe. The ceramic tympanum is from 1878 after the coronation of the Virgin by Fra Angelico. The statues on the left Saint-Germier and below Saint-John the Baptist; on the right the bishop Saint-Rémi and below Saint-Sébastien. The originals are kept in the Chapel of Saint-Germier. Below the rose window, the baby Jesus is standing. The Welcome Chapel, we see a wooden carved statue of the Virgin Mary with the child, the Chapel of the Carmel tradition, we see a statue of Sainte-Thérèse de Lisieux, a statue of Sainte-Jeanne D’Arc, and an 18C painting representing Sainte-Thérèse d’Avila. The Chapel of Saint John the Baptist, a monument to the memory of the Hospitallers of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem , and a painting representing the Visitation from the 18C.  the Chapel of Sainte-Barbe (Saint Barbara), an 18C painting representing Sainte-Barbe, a statue of Saint John the Evangelist, and a statue of Sainte-Germaine de Pibrac. The Chapel of Saint-Pierre, before the choir: Round wooden hump from the 16C representing Saint-Pierre walking on the water. This statue was venerated by the brotherhood of fishermen and boatmen of Tounis. Initially in the chapel of the baptismal font, it was damaged by the fall of the bell tower in 1926. The choir has a Nativity of the Virgin , and four paintings from the workshop of Jean-Baptiste Despax. The large stained glass windows at the back tell the story of Mary’s life: the Presentation in the temple, the Annunciation, the Nativity of Jesus, the Assumption.

The Chapel of Our Lady of Dalbade with a statue of the Virgin Mary with the child. Chapel of Saint-Germier with statues of Saint-Germier, Saint-Jean-Baptiste and Saint-Sébastien. These statues were originally on the facade of the church. They have been replaced by copies. Chapel of Notre-Dame du Mont Carmel, a bas-relief by Henry Maurette from 1891, the scene depicts the Blessed Virgin presenting the “Scapulaire” du Mont Carmel to Saint-Simon Stock in 1251, in Cambridge. Chapel of Christ of suffering with the reliquary busts of Saint-Saturnin and Saint-Germier, in the middle is a stone statue from the 16C: Ecce Homo (Christ of Mercy).  The Fonts-Baptismaux Chapel(baptismal chapel), with a scene representing the crucifixion of Jesus, with the Virgin Mary on the left, and Saint John the Evangelist on the right. At the foot was a wooden Pietà from the 16C. This crucifix was originally that of the oratory of Salin in the 15C, it was known as the “Miraculous Christ of the Salin”, transferred to Dalbade in the 16C and hidden during the French revolution. The organ Originally built in 1888, inaugurated on November 22, 1888, this instrument was restored in 2009.

There you go a brief lump sum description of this wonderful Church of Notre Dame de la Dalbade that obviously needs to be visit more fully; next time. Hope you enjoy and do visit, let me know.

Some webpage to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Toulouse on Church Notre Dame de la Dalbade

Parish Cathedral of Toulouse on the Church Notre Dame de la Dalbade in French

There you go another dandy in the pink city of Toulouse. Remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

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January 16, 2020

Bridges over the Garonne at Toulouse

And no great city is without its great river ,and Toulouse has a dandy in the Garonne river. Part of the Canal du Midi and traversing the city link to left and right banks by wonderful bridges. I have passed some by car and of course on foot and here are some of them. Hope you enjoy it

The Pont Saint-Pierre bridge passes over the Garonne river and connects the Place Saint-Pierre to the hospice de la Grave. It is a bridge with a metallic deck, entirely rebuilt in 1987. The Pont Saint-Pierre is located downstream from the Pont Neuf and upstream from the Pont des Catalans. The first Pont Saint-Pierre was built between 1849 and 1852. It was a wooden toll bridge where pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages passed. It rested on two piles of stone and bricks, and was reinforced by metal cables. Very damaged, the Saint-Pierre bridge was entrusted to the city in 1904, which removed the toll at the same time as it prohibited the passage of cars!!!. When the municipality decided to rebuild the deck, in 1927, it opted for a suspension bridge, with a metal frame, considered more aesthetic. in 1984, and three years later a new bridge was built, 240 meters long. The lampposts of the old suspension bridge have been reused on the Pont des Catalans.


The Pont-Neuf spans the Garonne river , and links the Place du Pont-Neuf to the Rue de la République . Despite its name, it is the oldest bridge in the city still standing which spans the Garonne. The bridge is still used by vehicles and pedestrians. The first stone is laid on January 8, 1544 Interrupted in 1560 by the wars of religion, the works were completed in 1632. The bridge was inaugurated by King Louis XIV in person, on October 19, 1659. It has seven irregular arches, bridge piers opened by six disguisers or gills and ridges in front of each stack. The flooding was so strong that it reached the top of the arches, but the building held up. Its piers were still reinforced between 1937 and 1948. The bridge is anchored on blocks of granite buried in the bed of the Garonne. It is located downstream from Pont Saint-Michel and upstream from Pont Saint-Pierre. Its path is part of the straight alignment of the street starting at Place Dupuy, passing through the metro Esquirol, the metro Saint-Cyprien, and metro Patte-d’Oie , to be extended by the Lardenne / Lombez avenues.


The Pont des Catalans is another bridge crossing the Garonne river . It is a bridge in arch and stone and reinforced concrete inaugurated in 1908. This bridge was initially called the bridge of the Amidonniers, of the name of the district which it connects. It is a road bridge consisting of a two-lane carriageway surrounded on both sides by a sidewalk and a cycle path. It measures 257 m long and 22 m wide. support a 22 m wide deck, in reinforced concrete, on two masonry vaults which together make a width of 6.50 m.


And there are other bridges such as!

The Pont Saint-Michel is the bridge which links the Paul Feuga alleys to the place du fer à cheval or horseshoe square was built in 1836 but was washed away by the great flood of 1875. Rebuilt 10 years later in metal, it was replaced in 1954 by a concrete structure. Today it is the busiest bridge in the Pink City.

The Pont Jumeaux built in 1770, this bridge marks the meeting point between the waters coming from the Mediterranean, by the Canal du Midi, those of the Garonne, by the Brienne Canal and ensures the junction with the Atlantic Ocean, via the Canal Lateral.

The Pont des Demoiselles built in 1971, it succeeded the Montaudran bridge, dating from 1683. The name of the current bridge could be explained by the fact that at that time, the district was very swampy, and saw abundant dragonflies, called damsels.

A general transport site on the city of ToulouseCity of Toulouse on public transports

You will do well to walk these bridges or drive on them as we do, its awesome. Enjoy the bridges of Toulouse and the super Garonne river.

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

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