Toulouse — the pink city of violets

June 13, 2019

by Evgeny Kulkov

I want to introduce you to Toulouse in France — the pink city of violets. Why is the city pink? Many houses in Toulouse are built of pink brick. A violet — a real symbol of the city. It is grown here in large quantities and then used for the production of perfumes, cosmetics, liqueurs, jams, honey, all kinds of sweets and even covered with sugar.

The station Matabiau

If one day you get to Toulouse, I wish you to come there by train. The fact that the station Matabiau, where you arrive — a real business card of the city, resembling the Palace of a local count with two towers on the sides and 17 coats of arms of the cities of the province of Languedoc, decorating the facade. For the second hundred years, it meets visitors, with a promise that the best is yet to come.

The city of Saint Saturnin

And these expectations are justified. Go straight from the station on the Rue De Bayard and focus on the ringing of bells. Soon in front of the right over the roofs of the houses, you will see an unusual octagonal tower. This is the dome of the Basilica of St. Saturnin. I visited many cities in Europe, but only in Toulouse, I met such church architecture.

Saturnin was a missionary. He went to Gaul to convert pagan tribes to Christianity. One day the priests seized him and forced him to renounce Christianity and worship pagan deities. It was not possible to break the missionary, then the torturers tied him to the tail of a mad bull. A wild bull dragged Saturn’s body through the streets of Toulouse. When the rope finally broke, the Martyr was dead. The women buried his remains. This place converts, the Christians built a small chapel, and in the V century, it was rebuilt into a church. In the Holy place reached the pilgrims. The small church could not accommodate all, and in the XI century, it was decided to build a large basilica. Now it is the largest church in Europe in the Romanesque style.

But it is not the only Church in Toulouse connected with this story. Further, on the street de Taur there is a Church with a strange name Notre-Dame de Taur /our lady of the Bull/. It is built on the spot where the bull who killed Saint Saturninus fell lifeless, struck by the heavenly fire.

The Capitol square

The same street will take you to the most beautiful square of Toulouse — the Capitol square. Capitol — so-called city hall in Toulouse, in memory of the 8 capitals, members of the City Council in the middle ages. By the way, the facade of the Capitol is decorated with 8 columns, the number of members of the City Council.

In addition to the city meeting in the Capitol building, today are concert and Symphony Hall and the Capitol Theater. This is the second most important Opera scene in France. It was established in 1818. And in the tower-donjon, attached to the Capitol in the 19th century, you will find a tourist office and can get a map of the city with the sights because I told you not about all. But I am happy to continue my story next time because of Toulouse — a city that holds a lot of historical and architectural treasures.

Evgeny Kulkov

By Evgeny Kulkov

For many years I travel and do tourism. The journeys I have made and continue to make are divided into three types. First: economy-travel with my wife and two children (rent cheap housing, self-cooking, etc.). Second: single kayak trips along the rivers of Russia with visits to small towns and historical sites (about 40 rivers). Third: hitchhiking through Europe. I also love my Moscow and know a lot about my city. All that I have accumulated during my travels and my walks around Moscow, I want to share with you.

Read more at evgenykulkov.com

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