Architectural Jewels of Toulouse (Self Guided), Toulouse

Even if you are not an architectural expert, you can appreciate the beauty of Toulouse's historic buildings. Walk the streets of Toulouse and admire medieval 16th-century buildings alongside 19th-century structures. Take this tour and explore the hospitals, hotels, churches and plazas that make Toulouse unique.
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Architectural Jewels of Toulouse Map

Guide Name: Architectural Jewels of Toulouse
Guide Location: France » Toulouse (See other walking tours in Toulouse)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Author: helenp
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Basilica of Saint Sernin
  • Capitole de Toulouse
  • Hôtel de Bernuy
  • Hôtel d'Assézat
  • Saint-Étienne de Toulouse Cathedral
  • Hôtel du Vieux-Raisin
  • Hôtel de Bagis
  • Notre-Dame de la Dalbade
  • Pont Neuf
  • L'hôpital de La Grave
Basilica of Saint Sernin

1) Basilica of Saint Sernin (must see)

The Basilica of St. Sernin is the former church of the Abbey of St. Sernin or St. Saturnin, and it was built in the Romanesque style between 1080 and 1120. The bell tower, which stands directly over the transept crossing, is the most visible feature of the church. The structure is divided into five tiers; the lower three tiers date from the 12th century and the upper two from the 14th century. The spire was added in the 15th century. The 11th-century chevet is the oldest part of the building and consists of nine chapels. The church is known for its two exterior doorways, the Porte des Comtes and the Porte des Miégeville. Above the Porte des Comtes is a depiction of Lazarus and Dives. The interior of the basilica measures 115 x 64 x 21 meters, a vast space for a Romanesque church.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Capitole de Toulouse

2) Capitole de Toulouse (must see)

The Capitole de Toulouse is the seat of Toulouse's municipal administration. In the 20th century, the structures surrounding the vast Place du Capitole were redesigned. Parts the Capitole building can be traced back to the 16th century, but the current Neoclassical facade dates back to 1750 and was built by Guillaume Cammas. The building's eight columns represent the original eight areas of the city. In 1873, Eugène Viollet-le-Duc built the bell tower. It was here that Jean Calas, a Protestant victim of a biased trial, was interrogated. Only the Henri IV courtyard and gate survive from the original medieval buildings. It was in this courtyard that Duke de Montmorency was decapitated after his rebellion against Cardinal Richelieu.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Hôtel de Bernuy

3) Hôtel de Bernuy

Bernuy Hotel is located on Rue Gambetta in the historic center of Toulouse. Construction on the hotel continued from 1503 to 1533. The building was home to the first Jesuit college from 1567 to 1762 and later the Royal College. The hotel was designed by architect and sculptor Louis Privat. It was built in the Renaissance style. Its hexagonal tower is one of the highest in the city at 26.5 meters.
Hôtel d'Assézat

4) Hôtel d'Assézat

The Hôtel d'Assézat is a 16th-century Renaissance palace, which houses the Bemberg Foundation, a major art gallery. The Hôtel d'Assézat was probably designed by Toulouse architect Nicolas Bachelier for Pierre d'Assézat, a rich manufacturer. Construction on the hotel began in 1555 and was not yet completed when Pierre d'Assézat died in 1581. It is an outstanding example of the Renaissance architecture characteristic of southern France. It has an elaborately decorated courtyard influenced by Italian Mannerism and by Classicism. The use of brick is typical of Toulouse architecture. The hotel now belongs to the city of Toulouse and was restored in the 1980s.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Saint-Étienne de Toulouse Cathedral

5) Saint-Étienne de Toulouse Cathedral (must see)

Toulouse Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Toulouse) is a Roman Catholic cathedral and a national monument of France. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Toulouse. The exact date of the original building's construction is unknown, although the first mention of a church building on this site is found in a charter dating back to 844. In 1073 the Bishop of Toulouse commenced work on a more elaborate structure, and more additions were made in the 13th century. The west front of the cathedral is irregular because it consists of two incomplete churches. The first church dates back to the early 13th century and includes the rose window from 1230. The other church was built around 1272 on a different axis. Although the architectural plan for the church was abandoned before it was completed, by 1445 a triforium had been added to the choir and a flamboyant west portal had been built.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Hôtel du Vieux-Raisin

6) Hôtel du Vieux-Raisin

Hotel du Vieux-Raisin, also called Maynier Hotel, dates back to 1518 and is one of the finest mansions of the era. It was built for Maynier Berenger, a law professor and Lord of Canac and Galicia. The architectural style was strongly influenced by the Italian Renaissance. The hotel was completed in 1547 for the civil clerk Jean Brunet. The architectural plans were embellished by the famous Toulouse architect Nicolas Bachelier.
Hôtel de Bagis

7) Hôtel de Bagis

Construction on Hôtel de Bagis took place in three stages over four centuries. The five buildings that John Bagis bought in 1533 were transformed by the famous architect Nicolas Bachelier into a beautiful hotel by 1537. These buildings were part of a complex with a Renaissance-style courtyard at its center. The stone facades of the buildings were decorated and carved by Bachelier himself. However, it was only in 1608 when Francis Clary became the owner that the building's facade became famous. He built an impressive stone exterior, which led to the hotel being nicknamed the "stone house." A later owner, Calvet-Besson, completed work on the buildings in 1857.
Notre-Dame de la Dalbade

8) Notre-Dame de la Dalbade (must see)

The Church of Our Lady of Dalbade is located in Toulouse's Carmelite neighborhood. Its current name comes from the ancient church that preceded it, which was covered with white plaster and thus called Santa Maria Dealbata (Saint Mary the White). The church has an organ constructed by Eugene Puget. This instrument was inaugurated on November 22, 1888, by Charles-Marie Widor and has recently been restored. The parish was entrusted in 2008 to the Archbishop of Toulouse, a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei.
Pont Neuf

9) Pont Neuf (must see)

Pont Neuf, or New Bridge in English, is a 16th-century bridge. Original planning for the bridge began in 1542, and construction on the foundations started in 1544. The first arch was started in 1614. The bridge was finished in 1632 and was inaugurated on October 19, 1659. The bridge is not symmetrical, as the arches are of different lengths. The openings through the piers were originally supposed to represent the face and mane of a lion. A triumphal archway added in 1686 constricted traffic and was removed in 1860. The bridge is 220 meters long and has seven arches.
Sight description based on wikipedia
L'hôpital de La Grave

10) L'hôpital de La Grave

The Hôpital de La Grave is a hospital situated in the Saint-Cyprien quartier of Toulouse. Taking up six hectares, La Grave was the second largest hospital establishment and primary maternal care center of Toulouse during much of the 20th century until the CHU of Rangueil was built. It is named for the sandy bank (French: grève) of the Garonne where it was built.

The hospital was transitioned into a place to confine and care for the city's poor beginning on 26 March 1647. The name was changed to Toulouse l’Hôpital Général Saint-Joseph de La Grave. A Papal Bull granted approval in 1658.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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.
Eastern Toulouse Tour

Eastern Toulouse Tour

Many of Toulouse's most popular attractions are located in the historical center of the city. However, if you want to explore Toulouse further, visit the eastern part of the city. You will see more locals and be able to better practice your French. Take this tour to explore the eastern part of Toulouse.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Toulouse Introduction Walk

Toulouse Introduction Walk

Toulouse is an enchanting city and much of its beauty is found in the amazing details of its old, elaborate architecture and historic landmarks. Discover the noteworthy bridges, buildings and statues of Toulouse with this orientation walk.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 Km or 3.5 Miles
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 tour to visit Toulouse's picturesque churches.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 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 tour to explore the best shopping areas and markets of Toulouse.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Toulouse Museums Tour

Toulouse Museums Tour

Toulouse is the sixth-largest city in France and has an endless list of interesting places to visit. Some of the city's most noteworthy attractions are its museums, where you will find a large array of paintings, artifacts, sculptures and more. Take the time to explore the beautiful museums and galleries of Toulouse on this walking tour.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Cultural Venues

Cultural Venues

Toulouse, also called the Pink City due to its original brick architectural style, has a unique cultural scene. It is the center of Occitan culture in France, because the renowned Académie des Jeux Floraux is located here. The Occitan cross is, in fact, the symbol of Toulouse. Take this self-guided tour to gain some insight into the cultural life of Toulouse.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 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...