Saint-Raymond is a museum for connoisseurs of the Roman antiquity installed in a former university college from the 16th century. The museum is dedicated to the art and to the archaeology of the Antiquity.
The visit begins with the second floor evoking the progressive Romanisation of Tolosa, the city which preceded Toulouse, and reveals, thanks to numerous objects, its appearance and its prosperity in the Antiquity.
The first floor presents an important selection of antics resulting from the villa of Chiragan. One notices the unique relief's of Hercule's works and an extraordinary collection of Roman sculpted heads.
In the basement, appear vestiges of the churchyard Saint-Sernin and works of funeral origin of the Roman Antiquity and medieval Age. The visitor will notice how ancient Christian sarcophaguses were transformed to lime in a lime kiln active in the 5th and 6th centuries.
The art lover will notice on the excavations how art objects were destroyed without remorse to obtain lime.
The phenomenon is not specific to Toulouse. En Egypt, still at the beginning of the 19th century, monuments were widely used to feed lime kilns.
Open all days, even Tuesday, from 10h to 18h. From 1/06 to 31/08 10h to 19h.
Price 3€, free 18 yr and students.
a wonderful antiques museum right around from the basilica St Sernin.
it is at the old hospital Saint Raymond from the 16C, it houses objects and sculptures ,busts ,stones from antiquity ,romans to the present time; very educational of history;
The museum is open every day from 10h to 18h and until 19h during June to september.
Admission is 4€ adults, but you can combine it with the passport for 3 museums for 8€
The Musee Saint-Raymond, in a beautiful building opposite the Saint-Senin Basilica, is a wonderful muesum of Roman antiquities, but with the exception of the underground arcaheological remains in-situ, it is very specialist.
If you are very interested in Roman history, but especially Roman art, then the museum will entertain you for a whole day. However, 90%+ of the museum is on the marble and limestone busts found at several Roman sites in the Haute-Garonne area (notably the finds at Chiragan).
However, the artwork of the busts is astonishing, and by having so many in one place, you can compare the different styles with ease and realise that they are not "all the same". Some of the most elegant ones are of the children.
The museum is a member of the ten-strong "Roman Europe: Roman museums in Europe network" that is collaborating to provide a better understanding of Roman times, and are creating a collaborative, single website.
The Musee Saint-Raymond is a particularly well-designed museum (if you are 'into' good museum design!), reopening in 1999 after a massive overhaul. The structure dates back to 1080, and is an interesting building in its own right, having been a hospital then a dormitory for poor students, before a fire destroyed the premises. The front garden is also a nice, quiet place to sit and have a snack or a coffee..or just while away the time in the sunshine.
I must admit that I'm not a huge fan of antiquities. I find ancient history fascinating, and love to visit museums that track the Greek colonization, Phoenician settlements, pre-Indo European populations and the Roman Empire, but when it comes down to pottery and utensils, I get a bit restless. So if you get a bad feeling from my review of the St. Raymond Musée des Antiquités, keep that caveat in mind and maybe take my two-cents with a grain of salt. The museum is not huge, and to be fair it provides quite a lot of interesting material on the early settlement of Toulouse, as well as Greek and Roman history. There are also temporary exhibits (the one when I was there was on stone carving in Aquitainia) and tombs in the basement. The thing is that, while some of the initial information in the stone carving exhibit was interesting, by the time I got to the first floor and its collection of pottery, I was really beginning to wonder if this was worth the admission. The second floor, however, makes up for it with a large number of bas-reliefs and sculptures of Greek mythology and famous Greeks.
Just next to the sublime St Sernin church is an archaeological museum: Musee St-Raymond. It is laid out with great elegance and has artefacts from the neolithic age through to Roman times. A picture of the fascinating pre-Christian Eve can be seen in one of my travelogues.
For those attracted to the ghoulish, there's a basement necropolis, but I didn't spend much time there, being of a nervous disposition!
Outside the museum you'll find a pretty oasis of a garden with palm trees, sweet smelling mignonettes, and a little coffee stall. A good place to take a break from site seeing.
Entrance to museum is €2.20 (this is as of autumn 2004).
Open summer hours (June -Sept) 10am - 7pm, closing at 6pm Oct to May.
C'est un musée pour amateurs et connaisseurs de l'antiquité romaine. Il est installé dans un ancien collège universitaire qui remonte au XVIe siècle situé à côté de l'Eglise St Sernin. Depuis les années 1950 il est consacré uniquement à l'art et à l'archéologie de l'Antiquité. Les objets exposés vont de l'age des métaux jusqu'au VIIIe siècle. La visite commence par le haut.
Le deuxième étage qui évoque la romanisation progressive de l’exceptionnel site toulousain. Tolosa, la ville qui a précédé Toulouse, dévoile, grâce à de nombreuses pièces lapidaires et à des objets choisis, son apparence et sa prospérité dans l’Antiquité. Elle faisait partie de la Province Narbonaise.
Le premier étage présente une importante sélection des antiques provenant de la villa de Chiragan. On y remarque tout particulièrement l’ensemble unique des reliefs des travaux d’Hercule et une extraordinaire galerie de portraits romains.
Dans le sous-sol, apparaissent des vestiges de la nécropole Saint Sernin et une grande partie des œuvres d’origine funéraire de l’Antiquité romaine et du haut Moyen Age.
Le visiteur sera saisi de constater comment des sarcophages paléochrétiens étaient transformés en pierre à chaux dans un rare four à chaux qui fonctionna aux Ve et VIe siècles.
L'amateur d'art ancien constatera sur des fouilles comment des pièces d'art en calcaire étaient détruites sans remords pour obtenir de la chaux.
Le phénomène n'est pas spécifique à Toulouse, l'on sait qu'en Egypte, encore au début du XIXe siècle, les monuments servaient largement à l'alimentation des fours à chaux.
Ouvert tous les jours, même le mardi, de 10h à 18h. Du 1er juin au 31 août de 10h à 19h.