"A Premium Visit" Top 5 Page for this destination Toulouse by hquittner

Toulouse Travel Guide: 616 reviews and 1,339 photos


Looking back over more than 30 years of European travel and over 30 trips to France (including many other sites as well) our single four-night stay in Toulouse achieved our peak of satisfaction,. Unfortunately we did not see it all. It took place 15 years ago, in 1995 at the end of September and the weather was balmy and rain free. Our hotel was on the Place Wilson and we found the city easily walkable from there. There was a series of brasseries and restaurants around the Place and we ate all our late meals there. The traffic, climate and ambiance reminded us of our hometown (New Orleans). We did not see everything in two days.

Old Churches

By the time of our Toulouse visit, we were well grounded in Romanesque Art and Architecture and had become captivated by it. Our first site on our first day had to be St. Sernin. It has been redesignated a holy basilica and with Cluny no longer in existence it is the largest Romanesque church is France. But all of that obscures the fact that its stone carvings represent the earliest work in that medium in modern Western culture and there is 100 years of artistic evolution on its capitals and other works.

Raw Meat

Our hotel opened onto the Place Wilson, a grand oval with fountains and a statue of the Occitan poet Goudouli at the center. Around the oval streams traffic. Also around the traffic are several restaurants, bistros and brasseries. Most have terraces looking out on the activity. As we walked from our hotel after our jet-lag nap, immediately next door in “Le Bistro Romain” we saw a glass-walled refrigerator full of plates containing thin strips of red raw beef. We were seated and inquired; we were informed “Carpaccio” and a description then followed. As carnivores, we drooled. He added that it was “all you can eat for a prix fixe. (it came to 2 1/2 plates each for four straight nights with bread, Merlot wine and salad). We only ate small lunches elsewhere. Call it gourmandism. (That was long ago. Only later did we learn that this delicacy with vinagarette originated at Harry's Bar in Venice).

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The Cradle of Romanesque Sculpture
  • Cons:We Should Return (but cannot).
  • Last visit to Toulouse: Sep 1995
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (31)

Comments (2)

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Jun 7, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Nice page!

  • breughel's Profile Photo
    Sep 9, 2009 at 2:52 AM

    Glad to see that you started Toulouse with St. Sernin and completed with St. Etienne. That gave me the opportunity to work on the grouping of tips and split the various churches in St. Sernin, St. Etienne, Jacobins and Others.


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