The Cathedral of Rieux-Volvestre, the Lajous Bridge and some of the old Episcopal palace.
Beauty… Greatness… Many flattering adjectives may describe cathedrals. The 3 cathedrals of Haute-Garonne are not exempt from them either, the opposite in fact!
Resting on the path
of Compostela Via Garona (GR861), they rise up like lighthouses beside the
- The Cathedral of Saint-Etienne in the heart of Toulouse makes for an essential visit in the pink city. The building, with its surprising and crooked structure, features a variety of styles from Roman to Gothic… A mixture resulting from its history which has led to its incredible current state.
Take this opportunity to grab something to eat at the Cassoularium, less than 1 km away, where you can enjoy a local Cassoulet !
The Cathedral of Saint-Marie in Rieux-Volvestre is another lovely example of the Southern Gothic style, an austere architectural trend that is specific to the South of France and differentiates us from neighbouring regions. In the heart of the episcopal city, its foundations are set deep into the river, giving it a unique distinction. This majestic building is host to Episcopal treasure, including 66 classified objects. One of them is known to be one of the 10 major pieces of the international silverware. Will you be able to find out which one it is ? The village also lays claim to seven classified or historical monuments… A stroll in the streets surrounding the building is a must !
Finally, you will discover the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges, registered at the UNESCO (no less!). But there is more than just its atypical architecture to it ! Perched at more than 500m altitude at the top of an oppidum, it overlooks the valley of the Garonne and is nestled in an incredible natural surrounding. Bell-tower, cloister (offering a breathtaking view over the Pyrenees), tomb effigies, treasure, the organ (which is worth a visit, but we won’t say more), wooden sculptures and the legendary reptile (Intrigued yet ? You need to go there to find out more...) make for a visit that is unmissable.
Are you intrigued ? Do you want to discover all of these monuments ? We have thought of you and have gathered a custom-made itinerary available here (guide only available in French).
A printable copy is
also available for free at the Tourism Office of Volvestre (in French).
This itinerary can be done by groups over 3 days, accommodation and food included. More info here on page 22 (in French).
Read a related article in the french newspaper La Dépêche du Midi.