Culture & Foie gras Par Excellence
Toulouse is France’s fourth largest city and bubbles over with life. There’s nothing like a stroll around the historic centre, walking alongside the Garonne and the Canal du Midi, or stopping in one of the many cafés with their terraces spilling out onto the streets. Throughout the city, the friendly ambience is tinged with the well-meaning familiarity particular of the Southern French.
Toulouse is also a major shopping destination, with all the major internationally-renowned brands in fashion, design, leather goods and jewellery well-represented. The city pulsates to the rhythms of open-air and covered markets. Tourists from across Europe love the Midi-Pyrenean local products – it is one of the South-West’s most important gastronomic regions – producing wine, foie gras, cheeses, charcuterie, and of course cassoulet – the Toulousain dish ‘par excellence’.
2,000 years of Toulousain history have given the city a first-rate heritage, which represents centuries of Southern French style.
The Saint-Sernin Basilica, a jewel of 11th and 12th century Roman art, is an important stage on the Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle pilgrimage. It is home to the grave of Saint Saturnin, first Bishop of Toulouse in the 3rd century. The Jacobins convent buildings are renowned for their Southern-French gothic architecture including the amazing ‘palm-tree’ pillar, which sprouts twenty-two branches.
At the heart of the antique dealer’s quarter, the Saint Etienne cathedral epitomises the evolution of sacred architecture. The city is also rich in Renaissance townhouses: hôtel de Bernuy, hôtel d’Assézat, hôtel de Pierre… Not to forget the City Hall ‘Capitole’, with its magnificently decorated historic rooms and the immense ‘place’ with its Occitan Cross. Sneaking a peek under any porch as you pass by often reveals stunning gardens and façades. Many 19th century industrial buildings have been renovated as cultural venues – such as the Galerie du Château d’Eau, the Musée des Abattoirs or the Bazacle – a permanent exhibition space on the banks of the Garonne.
Works of art abound in Toulouse along with music of all genres: classical (Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse), jazz, variety, opera - the arches of the Halle aux Grains, the Théâtre du Capitole and, more recently, the 9,000-seat Zénith often resound with the ovations of enthusiastic spectators and will do so for many years to come.
Add numerous museums, well-stocked art galleries, entertainment venues, cinema screens and you will soon discover that there’s no shortage of opportunities to gladden your heart in Toulouse.
Be it a discovery week-end along the Canal du Midi, a cultural heritage two-week visit or a long holiday dedicated to relaxation and well being - any one of these “à la carte week-ends” will make you realise how lucky you are to be in Toulouse, a city renowned for its great way of life.
HOW TO GET THERE
Toulouse-Blagnac international airport is 8 km west of Toulouse and the city centre is easily reached by the airport shuttle service or by taxi.
Toulouse-Blagnac Airport can be reached via Istanbul, which has direct flights from Lviv by Turkish Airlines (THY) - Turkey's national air carrier and one of the fastest growing and most prosperous airlines in the world. This spring Turkish Airlines launched a convenient and competitive service between Istanbul and Toulouse.
Turkish Airlines’ Lviv office is at 4 Mickiewicza Sqr. and is open daily except Saturday. For further details please call + 38032-297-08-49.