Ode to Brick

Toulouse. They built this city on brick. Lots of it. That’s why Toulouse is nicknamed la Ville Rose (the Pink City).

All the terracotta bricks in this city of 460,000 people make for a unique architecture, particularly in France where most buildings are made from limestone.

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Saint-Sernin Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

I’ve never seen so much brick! From our apartment building…

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Home for a week in Toulouse.

to ancient garden walls…

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to public buildings like the grand Capitole, Toulouse is a brick mason’s paradise.

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The Capitole facade dates from 1750-1760.

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John entering a side door at the Capitole.

Wandering the streets of the Pink City is a pleasure as you never know what brick concoction you’ll see next.

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And when you tire of brick, you can take a stroll along the Garonne…

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or duck inside one of the brick masterpieces. The Capitole has been my favorite thus far.

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John ascending the main staircase.

The first room at the top of the main staircase, the Salle Gervais, is decorated with allegories on the theme of love painted by Paul-Jean Gervais in the 19th century. Aptly, this big ballroom was first used for wedding receptions.

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Salle Gervais

The Salle des Illustres is used for official receptions, but also hosts wedding ceremonies.

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Salles des Illustres

But my favorite was the Salle Henri-Martin, filled with giant paintings by the artist born in Toulouse in 1860.

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"The Dreamers" by Henri Matin.

It was a treat to be able to see each brushstroke up close and personal.

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Of course, in the City That Brick Built, you get as many close-ups of the masons’ work as you like. I call this one Ode à la Brique.

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One Response to Ode to Brick

  1. Heather says:

    Lovely.

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