Basilica of Saint Sernin, Toulouse

Basilica of Saint Sernin, Toulouse (must see)

Prominent on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites is the Basilica of Saint Sernin in Toulouse. The church is on the site of an earlier basilica dating from the fourth century. This older Basilica may have had the bones of Saint Sernin, the first Bishop of Toulouse.

The basilica was built in the Romanesque style in the early 12th century. It was a favorite stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela and even a pilgrimage destination in itself. Construction continued over the centuries with many fits and starts. It is estimated to have been at least four major building undertakings.

Viewed from outside, the bell tower over the transept is the most prominent aspect. It is divided into five tiers. The lower three tiers have Romanesque arches and date from the 12th century. The upper two tiers have pointed Gothic arches from the 13th century. There are two doorways to the Basilica, the Comtes Gate and the Miegeville Gate.

On the Comtes Gate is a scene of Lazarus and Dives. Poor Dives is shown in Hell. Above the Miegeville Gate is sculpture of the ascending Christ. The interior of the Basilica is enormous for a Romanesque church. The nave and the aisles are vaulted with buttresses. Below the transept is a marble altar, consecrated in 1096.

In the middle ages churches were equipped with small chapels in the apse. These chapels would hold relics of interest to the pilgrims who were continually filtering in. The pilgrims could gather at the chapels on the sides of the church without disturbing services in progress. In Saint Sernin's there are nine radiating chapels housing relics.

Why you should visit
To see the reemerging of Cathedrals and shrines throughout the centuries is to witness the no-surrender spirit of the Occitan civilization.

Tips
Generally there is no admission charged but donations are welcome.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Toulouse. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Basilica of Saint Sernin on Map

Sight Name: Basilica of Saint Sernin
Sight Location: Toulouse, France (See walking tours in Toulouse)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Toulouse, France

Create Your Own Walk in Toulouse

Create Your Own Walk in Toulouse

Creating your own self-guided walk in Toulouse is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Churches Tour

Historical Churches Tour

Toulouse's historical center is full of architectural treasures, particularly churches. You will find a large variety of basilicas, cathedrals and cloisters built from the 11th to the 19th centuries in the city. Their architectural style varies from Romanesque to Gothic. Take this self-guided walking tour to visit Toulouse's picturesque churches.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Architectural Jewels of Toulouse

Architectural Jewels of Toulouse

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Toulouse Markets and Shopping Streets

Toulouse Markets and Shopping Streets

At Galeries Lafayette, a renowned Toulouse department store, you can find exclusive French items for sale. However, to discover some great bargains, visit Toulouse's street markets. At the markets, you will see everything from fresh, organic vegetables to antiques. Take this self-guided walk to explore the best shopping areas and markets of Toulouse.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Toulouse Introduction Walking Tour

Toulouse Introduction Walking Tour

Toulouse has always been an important trading center, communicating between the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coasts even before the Iron Age. Its name is from the Greek "Tolosa." The meaning is a mystery.

In 1096 Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, left to join the First crusade. This move turned out to be a popular thing among the counts. While they were away, their...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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