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Toulouse is one of the few cities in France that combines the spirit of an old medieval city and a modernly developing scientific and economic center. Quarters of buildings with tiled roofs here harmoniously coexist with high-rise office districts.Toulouse attracts a lot of young people who enter the city's universities, so it can be called a city of young people.
Most of the sights of Toulouse are scattered in the historic center - there are a lot of places of worship, from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. Toulouse's trademark is its mansions, which are enough here to devote most of the day to sightseeing. Park areas of the city are also popular among tourists.
The main attraction and one of the official symbols of Toulouse is the Basilica of Saint Saturnius, one from the oldest temples in Europe. According to the scant information of historical documents, the temple was laid on this place in the 5th century, but it was rebuilt and expanded many times. By the XII century, the construction and decoration were finally completed, which is noteworthy, the ancient church was not completely demolished, the first premises can still be visited, they serve as a crypt. The organ located in the main hall of the church was restored at the end of the 20th century and now, in addition to daily services, organ music concerts are regularly held in the Basilica.
Toulouse also has its own monastery, built in the 13th century, today, unfortunately, it is not active. The Dominican monastery complex survived many historical events in France, including such terrible for the church as the revolution of the 18th century. Since the abolition of all abbeys, the holy monastery for a century and a half was a barracks for the military part of Toulouse. Since 1865, the monastery has been considered a museum. Now the interior of the monastery has been partially restored to recreate the appearance of a medieval monastery. Most of the halls are available for excursion visits, during the height of the tourist season, some halls are given for exhibitions of paintings by contemporary artists.
The City Hall of Toulouse also sits in one of the historically important buildings - Capitol. It is located not far from the Basilica of Saturnia, therefore, very often excursion groups boldly move between these two attractions. The beginning of the construction of the current Capitol was laid back in the 1670s, but it turned out to be too costly to realize the architects' plan, so the building can be attributed to the monuments of the 19th century - it was then that it was fully completed. Since the building is still used by the city administration, access inside for tourists is limited, free entrance only from the side of the theater hall, which now houses the Toulouse Opera.
Mansions of the historic center are one of the hallmarks of Toulouse, one of the most striking is the Assese mansion. The three-storey building was erected no later than the middle of the 16th century and has remained virtually unchanged since then. Over the long years of its history, the owners have changed here more than once, the former mansion even managed to visit a bank, but now all the premises are given to the scientific societies of Toulouse. One of these societies founded an exhibition hall in the mansion, where the originals of works by famous artists, including Modigliani and Picasso, are kept.
Bazhi Mansion - the second most important private house of the 16th century, located in the historic center of Toulouse. In fact, the modern look of the mansion is the result of fairly large reconstructions, and the mansion itself did not grow from scratch, but instead of five neighboring houses, between which partitions were demolished. These works were finally completed only in 1850, and until the end of World War II, the mansion belonged to private individuals. At the moment, access to the inside of the mansion is limited due to restoration work, all tourists are allowed to remove the facade and courtyard of the mansion.
Right on the banks of the Garonne River, there is Hospital of St. James, one of the oldest hospital complexes in France that have survived to this day. It was created in the XII century and immediately became one of the most advanced hospitals in the French state. Until the beginning of the 20th century, the richest and most influential people of the country received treatment here. The Hospital is now used as a venue for scientific conferences and seminars of leading French doctors. In addition, a number of the Hospital's premises are reserved for the exhibition halls of the Museum of Medicine.
St. Stephen's Cathedral will delight all connoisseurs of unusual architectural masterpieces - the shrine simply does not have a specific style. Built over six centuries, this cathedral was finally completed only by the 18th century, according to a number of versions, it has not been completed to this day. On the facade, at the entrance, and in the cathedral itself, you can see decorative elements dating back to different historical eras, starting from the 13th century. Behind the cathedral is the Royal Garden - the most luxurious park in Toulouse, laid out in the 18th century.
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Topic: Information about Toulouse France.