Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ville Rose and Ville Rouge


Driving north we arrived at Toulouse, capital of the former province Languedoc and nowadays headquarter of Airbus Industries. At an elevation of 130 meters above the Mediterranean sea level the Canal du Midi passes through the city.

The Canal du Midi from Sete to Toulouse and the Robine de Narbonne (©Wikipedia/dringend)

Toulouse's Capitol was built in 1750 on the site of previous official buildings that date back to 1160 not regarding earlier Roman constructions.

Toulouse's Capitol version 18th century
The building shows the typical pink color of the local terracotta bricks so Toulouse is also called Ville Rose (Pink City). One of the highlights of Toulouse is the Romanesque abbey church of Saint Cernin or in Latin Sanctus Saturninus.

The impressive steeple of Saint Cernin

Closer look on the choir of the basilica

Saint Cernin's Romanesque nave gives the impression
of a rather Gothic interior

Saint Cernin's ordeal (©Wikipedia/Polylerus)

In 250 the pope sent Bishop Saturninus to bring the gospel to Gaul. One day in passing Toulouse's Capitol the Roman authorities ordered him to worship Caesar in sacrificing a bull. When Saturninus refused they attached him to the beast killing him by dragging his body over the steps of the Capitol.

Toulouse's curiosity is the Gothic cathedral Saint Etienne a patchwork construction both from the out- and the inside.

The main entrance to Saint Etienne

An altar for many holy popes

Toulouse's Jacobine Priory (©Wikipedia/Pom)

The breath taking interior
The impressive church building of the former Jacobine Priory houses the relics of the Dominican Thomas Aquinas. As Doctor of the Church Thomas is regarded as the greatest theologian and philosopher of the Catholic Church.

Thomas Aquinas' illuminated shrine below the altar

Jacobine's cloister is an oasis of tranquility.

Here repose Toulouse's rich people at the end of the 17th century, the craftsmen:
The shoemaker and his beloved
The chandelier maker, RIP

Leaving the Jacobine priory
Red Baron admired a guy playing some sort of viola la gamba ...

... for this couple embraced in love?


While Toulouse is called the Ville Rose Albi is known for its red brick buildings as Ville Rouge situated on the river Tarn.

Old bridge over the river Tarn
One of the highlights of Albi is its Gothic cathedral Sainte Cecile.

All cathedrals in the world are building sites, forever 

High Altar: The gospel is knocking at the door

Sainte Cecile's altar
Albi's other highlight is a museum dedicated to the painter Henri de Toulous-Lautrec.

No, this is neither the entrance to the museum
nor are these the girls of Moulin Rouge

This is how we all know Toulouse-Lautrec's artwork ...

... but here is Napoleon ...

... and here is the arrogant Prussian lieutenant entering
Paris following France's defeat in the War of 1870/71

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