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  • Halfway between the sun-lit shores of the

  • Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea,

  • and just a stone's throw from the snow-capped Pyrenees,

  • is the Southern French city of Toulouse.

  • While most major French cities are proudly hewn from stone,

  • Toulouse is built from bricks,

  • These humble bricks, once considered a sign of poverty,

  • are now a source of pride.

  • Throughout the day their colors change, from red, to orange, to pink,

  • earning Toulouse the namela ville rose”, the pink city.

  • Much of Toulouse's finest brickwork is found in its holy places.

  • Step into the rose-coloured light of the Church of the Jacobins

  • and gaze up at the incredible vaulted palm

  • that rises over the final resting place of Thomas Aquinas.

  • Then, climb the bell tower for views across a

  • sea of terracotta and a maze of medieval lanes below.

  • Follow the footsteps of centuries of pilgrims to The Basilica of Saint-Sernin,

  • a hallowed stop for those who walk the Camino de Santiago to Spain.

  • From a fragment of the true cross to the bones of over 100 saints,

  • these vaults house the world's largest collection

  • of holy relics outside the Vatican.

  • Wander down Rue Croix Baragnon to one of the France's most beloved churches,

  • Toulouse Cathedral.

  • Although the design changed course many times

  • over the Cathedral's 500-year construction,

  • this lopsided, mishmash of styles is proof

  • that when we look beyond imperfection, true beauty often awaits.

  • Toulouse's many civic buildings and museums

  • breathe life into the city's brickwork too.

  • The pink heart of Toulouse is its Capitole,

  • whose walls celebrate the city's great moments

  • it's four seasons

  • and love itself.

  • Come face to face with the city's Roman past at the Museum Saint Raymond.

  • Ponder past deeds and deceptions in the Gallery of Emperors;

  • an incredible gathering of marble busts

  • unearthed 40 miles upriver at the Roman Villa of Chiragan.

  • The stone lips whisper hopes, secrets and curses too,

  • within the medieval vaults,

  • staircases and cloisters of the Museum of the Augustins.

  • A home to artistic treasures from across the ages,

  • this 14th century convent is also a refuge for homeless gargoyles,

  • rescued from the wrecking ball of war and time.

  • Color is a theme that has long infused the story

  • of France's fourth-largest city.

  • While brickwork earned the pink city its sobriquet,

  • blue is the colour that brought the city its incredible wealth.

  • Toulouse is filled with mansions built by 15th century dye merchants

  • who made fortunes when the city was the epicentre of the pastel trade.

  • The stateliest of all istel d'Assézat,

  • which today houses one of the finest Renaissance

  • and Impressionist art collections in Europe.

  • From fabric dye to the sky above,

  • blue is a colour that continues to bring prosperity to Toulouse.

  • At the Aeroscopia Aeronautical Museum,

  • discover the city's rich aviation heritage,

  • from its perilous beginnings to the design and manufacture

  • of the world's most iconic aircraft.

  • While at Cite de l'Espace,

  • discover how Toulouse's aerospace prowess has helped humankind

  • push beyond the clouds and into the final frontier.

  • No matter how far from Earth we may roam,

  • Toulouse's many gardens remind us that there is no place like home.

  • So take the time to relax amid the groves

  • and floral displays of Jardin Royal and Jardin des Plantes,

  • before losing yourself in the city's other simple pleasures.

  • Sample local delicacies at the Victor Hugo Market

  • watch the waters of the Garonne slide by to far off Bordeaux

  • or just ride a bicycle to nowhere in particular.

  • Visit Toulouse and you'll soon understand that it is not

  • just the red oxide within its bricks that gives this city its special glow.

  • It is people who breathe life and magic into her clay.

  • So pack your sense of wonder and follow the light to Toulouse,

  • for when you walk these streets,

  • the pink city shines even brighter.

Halfway between the sun-lit shores of the

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Toulouse Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

  • 147 10
    Eric Wang posted on 2019/06/22
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