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.
I’ve never seen so much brick! From our apartment building…
to ancient garden walls…
to public buildings like the grand Capitole, Toulouse is a brick mason’s paradise.
Wandering the streets of the Pink City is a pleasure as you never know what brick concoction you’ll see next.
And when you tire of brick, you can take a stroll along the Garonne…
or duck inside one of the brick masterpieces. The Capitole has been my favorite thus far.
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.
The Salle des Illustres is used for official receptions, but also hosts wedding ceremonies.
But my favorite was the Salle Henri-Martin, filled with giant paintings by the artist born in Toulouse in 1860.
It was a treat to be able to see each brushstroke up close and personal.
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.