Toulouse Cathedral (Cathedrale St-Etienne)
Toulouse Cathedral consists of two incomplete churches joined together – one started in the first half of the 13th century and the other started at the end of the 13th century and then abandoned. The two churches bring together two distinct Gothic styles. One is the first-ever example of Southern Gothic style in red brick; the other is built in the more traditional Northern Gothic style, similar to what is found at the cathedrals of Chartres and Notre Dame.
The interior is just as unusual as the exterior, with two separate sections that are not on the same axis and give the cathedral a disjointed feeling. One of the main attractions lies inside: an organ whose pipes are suspended 56 feet (17 meters) off the ground. Originally built in the 17th century, the organ is still used for concerts to this day.
Things to know before you go
- Entrance to the cathedral is free.
- The cathedral is wheelchair-accessible.
- Keep an eye out for the interesting choir stalls with carvings of both pagan and mythological creatures.
How to get there
The Toulouse Cathedral is located in Place Saint-Étienne on the southern edge of the Old Quarter of Toulouse. It’s around 20 minutes on foot from Toulouse’s central station. It’s a 20-minute car, taxi, or bus ride from Toulouse-Blagnac airport. Alternatively, visitors can join a guided cycle tour of the city to see the cathedral and other monuments in one trip.
When to get there
The basilica is open daily throughout the year, but opening times vary depending on the season, so it’s best to check in advance. Toulouse enjoys a temperate, sunny climate. Spring or early autumn temperatures are pleasantly warm, summer months are generally hot with a humid climate while winters are generally mild and wet.
Ranked one of the best cities in France to cycle in, Toulouse has 305 miles (490 kilometers) of bicycle paths, and 15 percent of its roadwork is designed for bikes, There are also more than 3,000 docking stations for the city’s public bike network and plenty of bike rental companies, making and it an ideal place to explore on two wheels.
- Things to do in Midi-Pyrénées
- Things to do in Montpellier
- Things to do in Bordeaux
- Things to do in Girona
- Things to do in Nîmes
- Things to do in Barcelona
- Things to do in Arles
- Things to do in Avignon
- Things to do in Tarragona
- Things to do in San Sebastian
- Things to do in Zaragoza
- Things to do in Marseille
- Things to do in Aix-en-Provence
- Things to do in Languedoc-Roussillon
- Things to do in Aquitaine
- Museum of Augustins (Musée des Augustins)
- Place du Capitole
- Basilica of Our Lady of the Daurade (Notre-Dame de la Daurade)
- Pont Neuf
- Garonne River
- St. Sernin Basilica (Basilique Saint-Sernin)
- Les Abattoirs Museum
- Space City (Cite de l'Espace)
- Fronton Wine Region
- Albi Cathedral
- Toulouse-Lautrec Museum (Musée Toulouse-Lautrec)
- Black Mountains (Montagne Noire)
- Cabardès Wine Region