Capitole de Toulouse, Toulouse

Capitole de Toulouse, Toulouse (must see)

In 1096 Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, took his army and headed for the Holy Land. The Pope said to do this. What could go wrong? Several religious expeditions and invasions later, the power of the Counts had waned.

By the 12th century the "Notables" who were watching the store, so to speak, while the Counts were away, created a group of capitouls (consuls) to manage the city. Thus the Capitole came to be. As the name suggests, the Capitole was for the Capitouls.

The facade of the Capitole is pink brick set in 1750 in Neoclassical style as designed by Guillaume Cammas. The Capitole is 456 feet long. It dominates the vast Place du Capitole in the heart of Toulouse. Eight columns above the main entrance are in memory of the eight original Capitouls. In 1873 a bell tower was erected atop the donjon.

A donjon is not a dungeon, but a keep, the strongest part of a castle. The donjon of the Capitole has a dark past. Jean Calas, an unlucky Protestant was interrogated here. The Duke de Montmorency was decapitated in the courtyard after losing an argument with Cardinal Richelieu. The donjon once housed city archives. Now it is the tourist office.

The Capitole is home to city hall, the Theatre du Capitole de Toulouse opera company and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. Murals recount great events from the past: The Cathar period, The early Counts of Toulouse, The sieges of the city, and the Floral Games.

The Floral Games were poetry competitions held every May since 1324. First prize was a golden violet. Second prize was a silver rose. The contests were judged by the Leys d'amor, a theme on Occitan poetry.

The Hall of Illustrious must not be missed. The paintings of Paul Gervais, Henri Martin, and above all the Hall of Illustrious. The room is 202 feet long. It is filled with sculptures, paintings and stunning murals and ceilings dedicated to famous historical people of Toulouse.

Why you should visit
See first the power and perseverance of the city personified in the Capitole.

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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Capitole de Toulouse on Map

Sight Name: Capitole de Toulouse
Sight Location: Toulouse, France (See walking tours in Toulouse)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
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
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
Architectural Jewels of Toulouse

Architectural Jewels of Toulouse

It doesn't take an architectural expert to appreciate the beauty of Toulouse's historic buildings. Walking the city's streets one can't help admiring the galore of ancient architecture which has earned Toulouse, since as early as the 16th century, the title of "the most beautiful city in France".

Once a powerful provincial capital, Toulouse utilized its prosperity,...  view more

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

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Pub Crawl of Toulouse

Pub Crawl of Toulouse

There are some really great little pubs in Toulouse. This guide helps you find a few of the local favourites, one pint after the other. Discover good craic at Mulligans and The Killarney; be amazed at what's on tap at Bar l'Ancienne Belgique and Bar La Tireuse; and put the English back in...