Posts tagged ‘France’

January 16, 2020

The Dôme de la Chapelle Saint-Joseph de la Grave, Toulouse!

So i continue on the off the beaten path of Toulouse; well not so very well known but is not visited so kind of and we love to walk by it each visit to the pink city. Therefore, let me tell you a bit on the Dome of the Saint Joseph de la Grave Chapel and the hospital.

The hospital of La Grave is located in the Saint-Cyprien district in Toulouse, that is to say on the left bank of the city. On almost six hectares , La Grave was the second major hospital and the main maternity hospital in Toulouse during much of the 20C before the CHU de Rangueil was created. . Its name comes from the strike where it was built along the Garonne river . The hospital served during the Middle Ages to populations suffering from the plague then from 1647, as a place of great confinement of beggars, prostitutes and insane. It is cited for the first time in a charter of Raymond IV in 1197. It was built near from the Sainte-Marie de la Daurade hospital near the Garonne in the Saint-Cyprien district. Sainte-Marie de la Daurade hospital has now completely disappeared

It became hospital Saint-Sébastien in the 14C, it is then reserved for the isolation of plague victims. In the 17C, it took the name of Hôpital Général Saint-Joseph de La Grave and became the site of the great enclosure of beggars, prostitutes and destitute, as can still be seen today in the large square courtyards of the 17C and 18C.

In 1789, the city of Toulouse took over control from the hospital. In 1793, La Grave was renamed the Hospice de Bienfaisance In 1797, the Grave hospital annexed neighboring military premises which came from the former Clarisses convent of Saint-Cyprien. It becomes the largest hospital in the city with an area of 6 hectares

The Grave hospital is also known for its famous Saint-Joseph de la Grave Chapel. It is one of the most famous monuments of Toulouse because easily identifiable from the quays of the Garonne river. The first stone of the Chapel of the Grave is laid in 1758 but work is often interrupted and is not completed until 1845. Its foundations have been replaced by concrete and the dome has the distinction of being made of wood, covered with copper because with its brick finish and its metal cover, the dome weighed more than eight tons. The Saint-Joseph Chapel in La Grave can only be visited during the Heritage Days unfortunately.

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Some webpage for guidance as always from me

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Chapel St Joseph de la Grave

On the site of the Hospital today there is a historical mention of La Grave in French here: CHU Hospital ot Toulouse on La Grave

There is a renovation work going on today that eventually will change all around here.  The site will experience a new life by transforming into a cultural space at the heart of a new walk on the banks of the Garonne river. All this on the  axis  Abattoirs – Raymond VI Garden – Dome of La Grave and its garden – Port Viguerie within the framework of the development of the Garonne quays led by the City of Toulouse. So stay tune…

Enjoy the walks now to have a feeling of the old before all is change… And remember ,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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January 16, 2020

The Capitole, Toulouse!

So here I am after several trips there and last week in my lovely Toulouse and realise not written a post on the Capitole of Toulouse! wow, well is time to remedy that. Here is my take on them. Enjoy it

First  , a bit on the location, the square.

The Place du Capitole is a square in the historic center of Toulouse. It measures 12,000 m2 and contains no construction other than the Occitan cross on the ground. The capitouls decided in 1676 to create a Place Royale; in order to circumvent the Parliament of Toulouse which is opposed to the project, they include in the plan of the square a statue of king Louis XIV, which gives his agreement. Administrative difficulties delay the project, whose plan for the square was not drawn up until 1730, fifteen years after the death of Louis XIV, which no doubt explains why the statue never was done; following the renovation of the Capitol facade in 1739, it was decided to enlarge the square ; work only started in 1750. The current square was not completely built until 1792.

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And the building of the Capitole

The Capitole is THE monument of the city of Toulouse, which now houses the City/Town Hall and the Capitole theater. The history of this building begins in 1190 when the Toulouse consuls (capitouls) are looking for a building to house the common house. Their ambition is to build an administrative city surrounded by ramparts in the 13C. But it was not until the 17C that the palace we know today was built by the capitouls. The name of this common house is initially Capitulum (Chapter), Capitoul in Occitan: the house of the capitouls, who voted by headcount, like the ecclesiastical chapters. The eight columns of the Caunes-Minervois marble facade symbolize the first eight capitouls. At that time, Toulouse was divided into eight districts: the capitoulats, each managed by a capitoul.

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Old buildings around it are: .Facade of the Capitole,Cour Henri-IV ; Poids Commun and the Bouille ; Great Consistory; Chapel of the Consistories ; Octagon hall ; Logis of the shield ; Dungeon of the Capitol;. Tour de la Vis ; Charlemagne tower ; Men’s prison;. Arsenal; poids de l’huile , and the Petit Versailles. Places like the Arsenal are no longer visible.

The building consists of two floors, three fronts crowned with pediments and an entablature supporting an attic. Eight marble columns were placed on the central front to symbolize the eight capitoulats or districts of old Toulouse. The facade is pierced with forty-one windows decorated with wrought iron balconies. Each balcony is decorated with escutcheons: two (the sixth and sixteenth balconies) have the colored escutcheons of the arms of the city, the others represent the arms of the capitouls in exercise at the time of construction. But in 1760, when the badges were applied, the capitouls were no longer the same and refused to lay down the arms of their predecessors. The coats of arms were placed in the attic of the Capitol and replaced by those of the capitols in place. For several years, each time the capitouls were changed, the coats of arms suffered the same fate until 1770. In 1793, the revolutionaries tore off the coats of arms but forgot those hidden in the attic. They were found in 1827 to put them back on the balconies. In 1988, they were replaced by copies because of their state of degradation.

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Some of the interior ,briefly are: The original escalier d’honneur or staircase built in 1674 and rebuilt in 1886. At the entrance a monumental bust of Jean Jaurès. Salle Gervais, this room is named after the painter Paul J. Gervais who decorated the room with allegories of Love. The salle Martin, this room served as a wedding hall. It is decorated with ten large canvases by Henri Martin . The Salle des Illustres or room of the illustrious located along the facade of the Capitole. The current gallery replaces the old room of the Illustrious built in 1674 and destroyed in 1887 It now serves as a reception room for distinguished guests of the city of Toulouse and for the bride and groom . The Salle du Conseil municipal (municipal council room) It is decorated with paintings by Paul J. Gervais representing monuments of the city and its region and country scenes.

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The impressive donjon or dungeon has it that after 60 years of work on the ruins of the great Capitol fire, the capitouls decided, in 1525, to build the Donjon, also called the Tour des Consistoires in order to protect the archives and gunpowder in anticipation of an invasion of Languedoc by the Spanish during the war between François Ier and Carlos V. The keep is restored by Viollet-le-Duc between 1873 and 1887 because it threatened to collapse. The three bells that can be heard ringing the quarter, are located behind the pediment of the facade of the City/Town Hall. It is now under renovation and the tourist office is just across in the large building well mark.

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The tourist office of Toulouse on the Capitole building: Tourist office of Toulouse on the Capitole

Worth mention the separate webpage for the theaterOfficial Theatre du Capitole

And the one on the donjon on the tourist office: Tourist office of Toulouse on the donjon

Hope you enjoy as we do, a great area to hang around as well in town. As said, the Capitole is a must if coming here ,and coming you must. Toulouse is it

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

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January 15, 2020

The bell tower of the Cordelier Church, Toulouse!

In telling you about Toulouse, I will come across some valuable historical and archictecurally stunning buildings I will mentioned and some that were closed when in town but worth the mention and souvenir. Toulouse is a great city that needs at least 3 days to see all. We spent 5 and still left out some…

Today, I will briefly mention the bells of the Cordeliers Church in this post, now in ruins. The Clocher des Cordeliers.

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The Cordeliers Church is the former Church of the Cordeliers convent. It closed after a fire in 1798, then was occupied by the military administration until 1871 when it is devastated by a new fire. It was then in ruins as of today.

The Friars Minor of the Order of Saint Francis, called Franciscans or Cordeliers, settled in Toulouse in 1222. From the 13C to the 15C, they built their convent in the space between the current streets of rue des Lois, rue du Collège de Foix, rue Albert-Lautmann and rue Deville. It was after the Saint-Sernin Basilica the largest church in Toulouse, and which had the highest arch 25 meters.

The church, dedicated to the Virgin, with Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Louis of Anjou, bishop of Toulouse, as secondary patrons, was built at the beginning of the 14C. It was 86 meters long and 26 m wide. The height from the ground to the gable was 30 meters.

In 1794, during the French revolution , the convent was sold as national property. The spire of the steeple was demolished, and in 1834 a Chappe telegraph station on the Toulouse-Bayonne line was established. The buildings serve as a prison. In 1818, the convent fell to the military administration which made it a store of fodder for horses, mainly in the large nave of the church. It can store more than 9000 quintals of fodder, and as many of oats.

Today, only the bell tower and the departure of the arches from the reconstructed south portal of the church, still visible on the rue du Collège de Foix, remain from the church. The chapter house and the sacristy have been preserved from destruction. Elements of sculpture, capitals, keystones, etc. have been recovered, in particular by Alexandre Du Mège, and grouped at the Musée des Augustins, including a series of fifteen very beautiful gargoyles kept in the cloister. The Paul-Dupuy museum preserves an altar facing the Cordeliers church, one of the rare textile masterpieces that have survived to the present day.

Of course no official webpage in tourist office but in my favorite Yelp page there is some info and location. Hope it makes you take your feet around this wonderful area of Toulouse.

Yelp on the Clocher des Cordeliers Toulouse

Again, enjoy the pink city of Toulouse. We always do…And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

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January 15, 2020

Former Church of St Pierre des Cuisines, Toulouse!

And continuing with the off the beaten path notion, I came along walking the wonderful streets of Toulouse with the nice monument of the former church of St Pierre des Cuisines, today an entertainment auditorium center.

I like to tell you a bit on it and worth a detour indeed.

The Saint-Pierre-des-Cuisines church, located at rue de la Boule, next to Place Saint-Pierre is the oldest church in southwest France!!!. It is built on an old Gallo-Roman necropolis of the 4C. It is now placed under the responsibility of the Saint-Raymond museum. Today, it houses a 400-seat auditorium for the Toulouse regional conservatory.

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The original church was built in the 5C on a necropolis. In the 10C, Count William IV allowed the Benedictines of Moissac Abbey to take possession of it. It was only a priory which was entrusted five centuries later to the Carthusians. Meanwhile, the church is adorned with a new nave and a new choir.

The name Saint-Pierre-des-Cuisines comes from a French version of Coquinis, designating small craftsmen. History tells that fishermen in the region once honored Saint Peter by dedicating a priory to him. The name of these Coquins from the Gallo-Roman era was therefore assigned by Guilhem IV to the building when he entrusted it to the Abbey of Moissac. The church contains an archaeological crypt presenting the remains of a 4C early Christian basilica and a pre-Romanesque church. In the 11C, the church was donated to the Abbey of Moissac by the Count of Toulouse. From the 12C, the church was a high public place. In 1189, Count Raymond V of Toulouse recognized the privileges of the Commune of Toulouse, headed by capitouls. This gesture was renewed by Raymond VI of Toulouse in 1195, and by Raymond VII of Toulouse in 1222.

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This is where Simon de Montfort signed the Toulouse surrender. It is also within these walls that the counts took the habit of gathering the people of Toulouse. In 1286, the Customs of the city were officially promulgated there. In the 16C, the church became the property of the Carthusians. During the French revolution, Saint-Pierre-des-Cuisines suffered the same fate as the Jacobins church and the Daurade basilica. The army took possession of the place and used it to melt cannons, and as a warehouse. The parish is transferred to the Chartreux church which then takes the name of Saint-Pierre-des-Chartreux (see previous post).

The proximity of the place to the premises of the National Conservatory of Toulouse Region made it an auditorium for this establishment (for the old church), but also, for the surrounding premises, a dance school attached to the Conservatory which houses several dance halls.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and why not if time allowed even see an event at the auditorium are

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Auditorium at the Church

Museuml of St Raymond on the Church funerary relics in French

Another awesome monument to see in the pretty pink city of Toulouse. And do walk to find these wonders of our world, even today the building is more a church than an auditorium looking. Enjoy it

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

 

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January 15, 2020

Church St Pierre des Chartreux, Toulouse!

So let’s go into the off the beaten path trails of my beautiful pink city of Toulouse. As said we do a lot of walking here as usual for us once in town. And each time we come up with new monuments to see of a never ending showcase of my belle France. And even thus have passed by this Church before never paid attention until now.

Let me tell you very briefly on the Church of St Pierre des Chartreux in Toulouse. As we were walking by and dwell on its history a bit.

The Saint-Pierre des Chartreux Church is located on rue Valade, near Place Saint-Pierre. It owes its name to the monastic community of the Carthusians who built it at the start of the 17C. Construction of the church began in 1602: the Chartreux brothers, driven out of Saïx (near Castres) by the Protestants, decided to build a monastery sheltered from the walls of Toulouse. After the fall of the first dome in 1609, the building was raised. The Church of St Peter of the Carthusians was consecrated by Cardinal François de Sourdis on May 20, 1612. After the French revolution, the monks were driven out and the convent was transformed into an arsenal. All that remains today is the church, the old pharmacy, elements of the hotel industry ,and part of the cloister.

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The large central nave of the Church of St Pierre des Chartreux has the particularity of being divided into two parts, separated by a double-sided high altar. On each side of the nave of the faithful are three dedicated chapels on the left to the souls of Purgatory, to the Sacred Heart, to Our Lady of the Rosary, and to the right the baptismal chapel, to Our Lady of Sorrows and finally to Saint Peter. The pulpit dates from the 18C and was transported from the Saint-Pierre des Cuisines Church in the French revolution. Its iconography (the hull of a boat sailing on a globe, now disappeared but with an outline still visible) is particularly evocative of Saint Peter.

The Church St Pierre des Chartreux Choir is made up of 62 carved stalls dating from the 17C, and is closed by a grid from the same period. Finally, the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which opens under the organ gallery, presents an exceptional set of wood carvings in the 17C. The grandstand organ, with its magnificent buffet, has 51 stops and comes from the convent of the Jacobins from which it was transferred in 1792. There is also a small choir organ, built in the 19C. The old cloister now forms a green space within the Toulouse 1 Capitole University.

In all a very nice architectural building and with a nice history to it. One nice detour while walking the streets of Toulouse! Hope you enjoy it

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Church St Pierre des Chartreux

As it serves today as the student church of the university complex of Toulouse, here is the Catholic site.  Toulouse Student Catholics webpage in French

And voilà another dandy monument in quant Toulouse! Enjoy the walks…. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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January 14, 2020

Convent des Jacobins, Toulouse!

And here is a monument that we have visited but hardly taken any photos or at least I cannot find them chez moi. So on this trip I made sure visited and took photos of a wonderfully architecturally and historical monument of the pink city of Toulouse. 

I will like to tell you briefly  on the Convent des Jacobins. Here is my take on it. It is well place in city center walking distance from the Capitole and well worth the walk.

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The Convent of the Jacobins of Toulouse, is made up of a church called Church of the Jacobins, a cloister, a chapter house, a refectory and a chapel, the Saint-Antonin chapel. It was built by the order of the preaching brothers, a begging order whose first convent of the male branch was founded in 1215 in Toulouse by Dominique de Guzmán, ( Spanish,Domingo Núñez de Guzmán) future Saint Dominique, in order to promote the preaching of the Gospel and fight against the Cathar heresy. These buildings, entirely made of brick, are considered as jewels of Languedoc Gothic art in terms of monastic construction of the 13C and 14C.

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The preaching brothers were called Dominicans from the 13C and also Jacobins, much later, in the modern period, in reference to the great convent of Paris located rue Saint-Jacques. Since 1369 the church has housed the relics (first order relics) of Saint Thomas Aquinas, to which it is dedicated. It is also in these buildings that the old university of Toulouse was established for several centuries from its foundation in 1229 until its suppression during the French revolution.

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The Convent of the Jacobins, abandoned by the Dominicans with the prohibition of their order during the French revolution, is confiscated as national property and used as barracks and as a depot. One part was allocated to the city of Toulouse in 1810, but the other continued to house an army of horses, and more than 5,000 cubic meters of land to as ground. The side chapels are slightly damaged to enlarge the place. The church becomes a vast stable while the Saint-Antonin chapel becomes a veterinary infirmary. Finally the cloister is demolished three-quarters to improve the passage of horses. In 1865, the monument was exchanged in the city of Toulouse for land where barracks were built and the army left the site.

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In 2016, on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the Dominicans, the Saint Antonin Chapel of the Couvent des Jacobins hosts the exhibition “Dominican Trajectories” in order to reconnect with the medieval roots of this Order born in Toulouse

The church was considered the most beautiful Dominican church in Christian Europe. It measures 80 meters long by 20 meters wide creating an impressive interior volume. The stone piers are 22 meters high. The palm tree is a masterpiece unique in the world rising to 28 meters in height. The interior is painted in polychrome decor with Toulouse crosses here and there. Stained glass windows inspired by 14C western roses were made by Max Ingrand in 1955.  The church was consecrated several times, notably on October 22, 1385, and the return of the relics of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

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The bell tower rests on the north side of the church and is 45 meters high. It was built between 1275 and 1298 in a similar way to that of the nearby Saint-Sernin basilica. It is an octagonal bell tower of four recessed floors pierced with twin bays covered with a miter arch. Its original arrow was destroyed during the Revolution. The cloister is made up of four galleries built between 1306 and 1309. The colonnades are in gray Saint-Béat marble and the capitals are decorated with plant sculptures. They support a lean-to roof resting on arches of bricks, themselves resting on the capitals.

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The chapter house dating from between 1299 and 1301 is located in the western gallery of the cloister. It is a vast room, the vault of which rests on two fine prismatic marble columns. The refectory is located in the extension of the eastern gallery of the cloister. It is a large room with diaphragm arches bearing a paneled frame. It measures 17 m in height and is one of the largest monastic refectories of medieval times. It now hosts temporary exhibitions. The Saint-Antonin chapel is located between the refectory and the chapter house. It was built and decorated between 1335 and 1341 at the expense of Dominique Grima, brother preacher and bishop of Pamiers. It is intended to receive the tombs of the canons and the remains of its founder.

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Its decoration is painted in tempera and represents the second vision of the Apocalypse. Near the false windows with white lily flowers on a blue background, there are angels with a series of instruments, including a viola, a bagpipe, a harp, a portable organ, a double drone and a psaltery. The walls display paintings from the life of Saint Antoninus, patron of the Pamiers Cathedral.

As said a monument worth your time to visit, I say a must while in Toulouse. Here are the webpages to help you plan your trip to it

Official Convent des Jacobins of Toulouse

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Convent des Jacobins

And there you go a must to see . Convent des Jacobins.  Enjoy Toulouse,the pink city of France, a must to see I said.. 

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

 

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January 14, 2020

Revisit the Hotel d’Assezat, Toulouse!

This is a must, one good reason to come to Toulouse, the pink city. I have walked by  here many times and last came in to visit in 2010 yes your are reading right. So much to see in this wonderful city, re visit and will be back again. The Hôtel d’Assézat was a pity to wait this long to be back.

I have written briefly on it from an old picture I had , much on its history. This is my previous post in my blog. Previous post in blog on the Hotel d’Assezat

It is time I tell you a bit more and newer photos of 2020! This is my take on the museum and property of the Hôtel d’Assézat of Toulouse.

Located a short distance from Place Esquirol, the Hôtel d’Assézat is a private mansion, built in 1555-1557 on plans by Nicolas Bachelier, the greatest Toulouse architect of the Renaissance. Behind a monumental wooden portal hides an interior courtyard, renovated in 1993. It houses the Bemberg Foundation museum since 1995, which presents a collection of art, including painting, from the 15C to the beginning of the 20C.

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Beyond the entrance pavilion, the buildings bordering the main courtyard have independent access. If the entrance to reception and living rooms ,genuinely furnished in the 17C is via the high steps of the main staircase, under the pavilion, a paved descent provides access to food services with kitchens and outbuildings in the basement before emerging into the backyard which combines shed, barn and stable.

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The third side of the courtyard is dominated by the loggia. This elevated gallery covered with a slate roof with dormer windows is the ideal place to receive loved ones and clients. As for the Chapter Tower, the tallest private tower in Toulouse, it houses two terraces, a covered walkway and at its summit a “tempietto” or small temple.

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The story goes that following the episode known as the Deliverance from Toulouse where Catholics drive Protestants out of the city, Pierre d’Assézat had to go into exile, returning sporadically to the banks of the Garonne river until his death in the summer of 1581 The hotel remained in the family fold until 1761, when it was sold to Nicolas-Joseph Marcassus de Puymaurin, a cloth merchant.

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In the middle of the 18C, the Hôtel d’Assézat once again became, as in the Renaissance, a formidable laboratory of artistic modernity, under the impetus of Nicolas-Joseph Marcassus de Puymaurin, its owner. He contributed, among other things, to the birth of the Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and played a prominent role in the organization of the Toulouse Salons. A great art collector, he brought together the works of Rivalz, Despax or Carrache and allows the hatching of Jacques Gamelin. This appetite for the dissemination of knowledge and the arts is found in Théodore Ozenne. In 1895, this wealthy business banker bought the building and bequeathed it to the City of Toulouse on the condition that it housed the Academies and Learned societies there. A century later, Dominique Baudis left part of the building at the disposal of Georges Bemberg in order to house his rich private collection.

The museum once going up the steps houses in the first floor the Salle Venice showcasing the Venetian school of the 18C with work of Canaletto, Guardi, Teipolo, etc. It also has art from the 16C with paintings by Véronése, Titien, and Tintoret. The floor continues with work of Pourbus, Brueghel, Van Dyck and Pieter de Hooch etc. There are bronces from the Renaissance rare books, precious objects, furniture, tapestries etc.

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At the 2nd Floor, you have a room dedicated to Bonnard and as well the modern French school with work by Matisse, Degas, and Monet etc.

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official museum Bemberg foundation

Tourist office of Toulouse on Hotel d’Assezat

And there you go like I said a must to visit while in Toulouse. You have arts, architecture ,and history all in one building. A Toulouse tradition that is kept alive, live it. Enjoy it, the Hôtel d’Assézat

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

 

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January 14, 2020

Basilica Saint Sernin, Toulouse!!!

Looking back I cannot believe not written a post on one of the most important monuments in Toulouse!! It goes saying there is a lot of things to see in my belle France. Right here in lovely pink city of Toulouse, the Basilica of Saint Sernin is awesome to say the least.

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It’s time I remedy this oversight and tell you a bit on this wonderful place we love so much. Architecturally ,historically ,and religiously it is all tops.

The Saint-Sernin Basilica is a sanctuary built to house the relics of Saint Saturnin, first bishop of Toulouse, martyred in 250. It became one of the most important pilgrimage centers of the medieval West, it was served since the 9C at the latest and until the French revolution, by a canonical community. Saint-Sernin is one of the largest preserved Romanesque churches in Europe!

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Saint Saturnin, then head of the Christian community of Toulouse, was taken to task in 250 by pagan priests in the forum at the foot of the ancient Capitolium (current Place Esquirol). He refused to renounce Christianity and to sacrifice to Jupiter ;a bull; he was then attached to the latter who dragged him through the streets of the city along the cardo and crossed the north door to the present site of the basilica, where the rope broke. Two young girls, the holy Puelles, buried Saint Saturnin on the spot. The bull notably passed by the rue de Claustre, now Rue du Taur, renamed after the animal.

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The Basilica St Sernin retains 260 Romanesque capitals and is the symbol of southern Romanesque architecture. Toulouse then received the visit of many pilgrims on the way to Saint-James of Compostela, who came to honor the relics of Saint Saturnin. The Saint-Sernin Basilica is classified as a historic monument by the 1840 list. It is also listed as a UNESCO world heritage site by the ways of Santiago de Compostela in France since 1998.

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As said , a brief description. The nave is 115 meters long. It is made up of 5 naves and its main nave is 8 meters wide. The nave presents stands on the side aisles. The height of the semicircular vault is 21 meters. The transept of the basilica extends from the Porte des Comtes to the Chapels of the Sacred Heart and Saint-Exupère, formerly the royal door open to the monastery, to the north of the church. In front of the Porte des Comtes (counts gate) are, on one of the pillars, a carved feet of Saint-Christophe and, on the eastern face of the southern transept, the Chapels of Sainte-Germaine and the Virgin Mary. The Choir of the basilica houses the tomb of Saint-Saturnin: a baroque canopy in which there is a statue to the glory of the Saint, his burial, as well as a representation of his ordeal in a bas-relief of golden lead. This tomb, was made between 1718 and 1759.

Just above the crossing of the transept, where the main altar is located, stands a bell tower 65 meters high and octagonal in shape. It consists of 5 levels. The transept is followed by an ambulatory bedside with radiating chapels. These chapels are the exhibition site for the reliquaries of the abbey. The ambulatory is decorated with seven marble bas-reliefs embedded in the wall, with in the center a Christ framed by a cherub, a seraphim, two apostles and two angels.

The Basilica of Saint-Sernin has preserved the head and body of Saint James the Great since 1354. The reliquary of the Holy Thorn has since 1251 been preserved here , this is a thorn taken from the Holy Crown thanks to the gift of Alphonse de Poitiers, brother of Saint Louis. From 1083, after a brief period of monastic obedience under the authority of the abbots of Cluny and Moissac, the basilica became a collegiate church, that is to say a church held by a college of regular canons led by a provost, then by an abbot. The canonical chapter was suppressed during the French revolution and Saint-Sernin became a simple collegiate church until 1878, when it was consecrated again and received the honorary title of minor basilica by Pope Leo XIII. After the Revolution and with the abandonment of the abbey buildings, it was decided to clear the basilica and make its forecourt and its various doors accessible. This project will be implemented at the beginning of the 19C. From 1804 to 1808, the cloister of the old abbey was dismantled and some capitals were preserved and exhibited at the Musée des Augustins. Then, by expropriation and repurchases, the buildings and edifices are destroyed all around the church under the impulse of the city architect, in order to form an elliptical square. The Saint-Raymond museum, a former college of the same name, originally a hospital run by the abbey, is the only surviving old building in the abbey complex.

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The great organs of the Saint-Sernin Basilica, renowned throughout the world, were completed in 1889 by the house of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. Inaugurated on April 3, 1889 by Alexandre Guilmant, the instrument has fifty-four stops distributed over three keyboards and a pedal (exactly 3,458 pipes). From 1992 to 1996, it was restored.

toulouse

The chapels and doors inside the Basilica are numerous but will mention the main ones briefly here: Porte des Comtes, Enfeu des Comtes; Porte Miégeville; Chapel of Saint-Pierre; Sacristy; Chapel of the Crucifix; Chapel of Souls in purgatory; Chapel of the Immaculate Conception; Chapel of Saint-Georges; Chapel of the Holy Spirit; Chapelle Saint-Martial, Saint-Cyr and Sainte-Julitte: Chapelle Saint-Sylve; Chapelle of the Virgin; and Sainte-Germaine Chapel.

It is a huge building and will take at least half a day to see all in details, but worth it. We have done in several trips here and each time come back for somthing new and its great. Come see the Basilica of Saint Sernin in lovely Toulouse.

The tourist office of Toulouse: Tourist office of Toulouse on the Basilica St Sernin

Official Basilica of St Sernin: Official Basilica of Saint Sernin

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

 

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January 12, 2020

The old observatory of Toulouse!

So on our trips to Toulouse or any other city we try to find some off the beaten path places , new places seldom seen even by us. In Toulouse, there are not too many places like this but anyhow on every visit we see a new one. Talk about the richness of places to see in my belle France!

This time we were staying out from the city center in the district of Jolimont or pretty hill  and we took our dog Rex to a park nearby, needless to say it was very nice and we found a new place to see. The Jardin de l’Observatoire are still there , in the first place where a sky planetarium was founded in Toulouse!!! Now its just a garden park.

Toulouse

A classic park, planted with large trees, has its composition axes linked to the function of the Observatory axis of view of the astronomical lenses and axis of the meridian in 1847 .  Covering an area of three hectares and surrounded by walls, the park is home to many species of trees: ash trees, Judas trees, melia, charms, Pennsylvania maple trees, lime trees, American walnut trees, umbrella pines, winged pines, persimmon trees. On the side of the shrubs, mainly laurel tin, but also an almond tree, quince trees, a filaria tree, arbutus trees and buckthorn.  The garden was designed as an integral part of the observatory and keeps several traces: the paths are oriented along the meridian and in the east-west axis. There are also two pillars used to adjust the meridian telescope.

toulouse

toulouse

At the entrance of this park, we find the National School of Air and Space: a building built in a traditional style, with large white columns, which welcomes many students of various ages. Behind this building which could be confused with a historic monument, we find a large park, where the greenery and the buildings dedicated to astronomy mingle with nature in harmony.

toulouse

In fact, the city’s first astronomical observatory was founded in 1733 by the local Academy of Sciences. In the middle of the 19C, the observatory was enlarged and took place on the hill of Jolimont. This is also where you can admire the architecture of the buildings designed by Urbain Vitry. In all, three domes allowed astronomers to study the Occitan sky and advance the great aerospace adventure of Toulouse.

toulouse

Today, it houses the Societies of Popular Astronomy and the Air and Space Academy. The Toulouse Observatory garden has been a public garden since 1982.

The official site is here in French: The official Astronomy society of Toulouse

City of Toulouse on the observatory garden

The Parc de la Colonne park, also now call the Félix-Tisserand garden, is a public garden located in the district of Jolimont, next to the Jardin de l’Observatoire. Its creation was decided in 1830 to celebrate the battle of Toulouse on April 10, 1814. This saw the Napoleonic troops led by Marshal Soult and the Anglo-Hispano-Portuguese troops of Marshal Wellington clash.

The park was inaugurated on July 24, 1839. It consists of a large lawn bordered by an alignment of cedars in which stands an obelisk, a monument commemorating the battle. Commonly called La Colonne or the column, it was entirely built in brick, between 1835 and 1839. Its total height is around 30 meters and it rests on a cellar with a square plan of 4 m x 4 m), 5.45 m high. Three sides of the cellar carry part of the phrase “AUX BRAVES MORTS POUR LA PATRIE” – “TOULOUSE RECONNAISSANTE” ( To the Braves who die for the fatherland , Toulouse recognize)- “BATTLE OF APRIL 10, 1814” and the fourth has a door.

See above links as it correspond. The column picture I took…

toulouse

You got it a new off the beaten path indeed and I think worth a detour for some nice killing time in Toulouse, easy from the center on the metro line A or bus 37. The Jardin de l’observatoire is a nice spot.

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

 

 

 

 

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January 10, 2020

The museum’s of Toulouse!!!

And here I am with Toulouse again. This time will be recap several museums in the city some of which I have written before in my blog.

Toulouse has some nice museums that are often overlook but should not in my opinion. I start with the musée Saint Raymond, just across from the Basilica of St Sernin.  The musée Saint-Raymond, former museum of antiquities , is the archeological museum of Toulouse  opened since 1892.  It is located in the walls of the former university college of Saint-Raymond dating from the 16C.

The tourist office of Toulouse: Tourist office of Toulouse on the St Raymond museum

Toulouse

Toulouse

Then , you have the musée des Saint-Augustins , that this time was in renovations.  The musée des Augustins is the fine arts museum of Toulouse.  It was created in 1793 and opened in 1795. As it was during the French revolution period , it was house in the former convent of Augustins housing the important collections of painting and sculptures.

The tourist office of Toulouse: Tourist office of Toulouse on the St Augustins museum

Toulouse

Toulouse

So this is was walking and saw it and figure it was nice, too much to see just noter for a future visit but seems interestings, the Museum of Toulouse located at 35 Allée Jules Guesdes and near the gardens that I have in other posts so a perfect day could be arrange, hint hint…

The Toulouse Museum, bordered by the Jardin des Plantes, is a museum at the crossroads of the world of science, culture, education, social issues and questions. It invites the visitor to wonder about his relationship to the living world around him.

In 1796, Philippe Picot, holder of the first chair in natural history in Toulouse and director of the Jardin des Plantes, transferred his cabinet and his collections to an old monastery. It is the birth of the Museum. 200 years later, millions have passed the walls to discover the relationship that man maintains with the nature that surrounds him, through his history and the major challenges he encounters.

The official Museum webpage: Official Museum of Toulouse in English

The tourist office has more info in English: Tourist office of Toulouse on the Museum

City of Toulouse on the museum in French

Toulouse

Toulouse

You should plan half a day for each to see it well, or come back as we do… they are really worth it and need to be known more other than those in Paris. Hope you enjoy the museums of Toulouse

City of Toulouse on its museums in French: City of Toulouse on its museums

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

 

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