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Bordeaux City Sights Walking Tour
"Your 2-hour walking tour starts from the tourist office in central Bordeaux. The exact route may vary depending on the weather and number of people in the group but your guide will be sure to show you as many of the city’s highlights as possible.Walk to Monument aux Girondins a dramatic fountain statue commemorating the Girondists a group of political martyrs who were executed for their militant support during the French Revolution.Continue along the banks of the Garonne River to Place de la Bourse home to the stock exchange. This square was laid out in the 1700s by King Louis XV's architect Gabriel to act as a dramatic frame for an equestrian statue of the monarch.Make your way to Rue Sainte-Catherine the pedestrian street in the heart of the historical city center
From EUR10.00
 
Garonne River Cruise Including Lunch from Bordeaux
"Board your cruiser near Bordeaux's city center and enjoy a welcome cocktail as you settle in and begin gliding along the Garonne River. One of the largest rivers in France the Garonne runs through Bordeaux and offers sightseers beautiful views of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed buildings that line the historic waterway.Admire typical French classical and neoclassical architecture as you cruise past Place de la Bourse a dramatic 18th-century square laid out by King Louis XV's architect. Cruise along Quai Richelieu to the arch of Porte de Bourgogne pass under the Pont de Pierre bridge and admire the flamboyant Gothic spire of Basilica of St Michael.With Bordeaux's sights drifting by sit down to a lovely 3-course lunch freshly prepared on board (see sample menu below. Drinks are at your own expense). View the Port of Bassens and glide under the Pont d'Aquitaine suspension bridge to elegant Château Grattequina the turning-point of your cruise.Your 3-hour Bordeaux lunch cruise ends back at the starting point.Sample Menu:Starter (choice of one): Homemade terrine Mullet tartare with dill vinaigrette Main course (ch""
From EUR55.00
 
Garonne River Cruise Including Bordeaux Wine Tasting
"Begin your Bordeaux cruise at Quai Richelieu or Cité du Vin and set off along the ancient Garonne River. Admire views of Bordeaux'sUNESCO World Heritage-listed cityscape as you cruise past historic landmarks and architectural treasures. Bordeaux has and the sense of history is palpable.View stately Place de la Bourse and pass under the modern Jacques Chalban-Delmas Bridge and the imposing Pont d’Aquitaine bridge. With Bordeaux's waterfront sights drifting slowly past listen as your guide explains the remarkable history architecture and heritage of this fine city and feel free to ask any questions you may have.Watch ornate city buildings give way to the open farmland and nature reserves of the Aquitaine region. Now you're in the heart of Bordeaux wine country home to famous wine-producing areas including St-Emilion Médoc
From EUR21.00

St. Etienne Cathedral Tips (13)

St. Etienne Cathedral

The last stop on our guided walking tour Atmosphères toulousaines was the St. Etienne Cathedral – St. Etienne being the French name for St. Stephen, the first martyr in Christian history.

This cathedral is described in its own website as a “curious church” and a “church of bricks and stones.” The same website says: “St Stephen in Toulouse is a puzzling cathedral because it is the result of a juxtaposition of buildings that have been either amputated or left unfinished, between the 11th and the 17th century, and even in the 20th century with the North portal.”

Second photo: Sarah giving us a summary of the cathedral’s haphazard development over the centuries.

Third photo: Inside the cathedral.

Fourth photo: Here she is showing us how the cathedral used to look, before parts of it were torn down during the French Revolution and in the 19th century.

Address: Place Saint-Étienne, 31000 Toulouse
Directions: VélÔToulouse station 24
Aerial view and photo on monumentum.fr
Phone: +33 5 61 52 03 82
Website: http://cathedrale.toulouse.free.fr/

Next: Grand Monuments of Toulouse

Nemorino's Profile Photo
Nemorino
Mar 08, 2015

Cathédrale Saint Etienne - St-Stephen's Cathedral

The leaflet, in English, at the entrance explains:
"The Cathedral of St-Stephen surprises and puzzles the visitor whether one looks at it from inside or from outside, since it is the result of a juxtaposition of buildings that have been either amputed or left unfinished, built between the 11th and the 17th century."

The traveller, who on his trip in old Europe, will have seen hundreds of churches with a classical plan, will enjoy leaning against the enormous central pillar (of Jean of Orleans) and discovering to his left the Bishop Isarn's nave, known as Raimondine nave, the most ancient part and on his right the choir of the Canons with the stalls, the altar, the ambulatory with twelve chapels .
The tapestries show the life of St-Stephen.
Unfinished and truncated, because of financial difficulties, death of the master of the works, fire, revolution, St-Etienne is a perfect example of setbacks that made this cathedral, which should have been a rival of Reims according to the bishop Bertrand de l'Isle, more surprising than beautiful.

===========

Le dépliant fort intéressant mis à disposition à l'entrée de l'église indique fort justement:
"Autant à l'intérieur qu'à l'extérieur, cette cathédrale surprend et déconcerte: elle est le résultat d'une juxtaposition d'édifices amputés et inachevés, du XIe au XVIIe siècles et même jusqu'au XXe siècle (portail nord).
A travers les caprices d'un plan et de structures aux formes asymétriques; la cathédrale de Toulouse réalise un ensemble plein d'intérêt par l'abondance et la variété des œuvres qu'elle renferme."
Le voyageur, qui dans son périple en cette vieille Europe, aura vu des centaines d'églises au plan classique, sera ravi en s'adossant à l'énorme pilier central (de Jean d'Orléans) de découvrir à sa gauche la nef Raimondine et à sa droite le chœur des Chanoines.

breughel's Profile Photo
breughel
Nov 24, 2013

St Etienne Cathedral Tapisseries - Tapestries

FOR TAPESTRY AMATEURS.

During my visit of the basilica St Etienne I had been intrigued by the numerous tapestries hung above stalls because it is a less frequent element of decoration in a church than frescoes or paintings, at least according to my experience. (The cathedral of Strasbourg is another rare example of this type of decoration).
The origin of these tapestries seemed uncertain because the brands of tapestry makers, being generally in the margins, are not visible. We know on the other hand that the manufacturers of Flanders or Aubusson exported their tapestries all over Europe.

My curiosity was satisfied when I discovered Pascal-François Bertrand's article: " the trade of the tapestry in the 16th century: artistic exchanges between Toulouse, Aubusson and Flanders ". This specialist identifies Jean Péchaut as being the tapestry maker which executed in the years 1532-1533 "the History of Holy Etienne".

=================

POUR AMATEURS DE TAPISSERIES.

Lors de ma visite de la basilique St Etienne j'avais été intrigué par les nombreuses tapisseries pendues au dessus des stalles car c'est un élément de décoration moins fréquent dans une église que les fresques ou tableaux, du moins d'après mon expérience. (La cathédrale de Strasbourg est un autre exemple rare de ce type de décoration).
Leur origine semblait incertaine car les marques de licier, se trouvant en général dans les marges, n'étaient pas visibles. L'on sait d'autre part que les fabricants des Flandres ou d'Aubusson exportaient leurs tapisseries dans toute l'Europe.

Ma curiosité fut satisfaite en découvrant un article de Pascal-François BERTRAND: "Le commerce de la tapisserie au XVIe siècle : échanges artistiques entre Toulouse, Aubusson et les Flandres". Ce spécialiste identifie Jean Péchaut comme étant le licier qui exécuta dans les années 1532-1533 "l'Histoire de Saint Etienne".

breughel's Profile Photo
breughel
Nov 24, 2013

The mixed up Cathedral

St Etienne (St Stephen) is the Cathedral of the City of Toulouse. It is odd looking for a reason. It is actually the merging of two unfinished churches. There was an earlier church standing on this ground as early as the 800's but the present church dates from the 1200's.

St Etienne is a mixture of so many styles that you really walk away with the feeling that its a church that can't make up its mind what it wants to be. Started as early as the 1200's, it wasn't truly finished until the 1900's. It has a cross section of all the styles from the intervening years. Interestingly, it also melds Northern and Southern French styles.

In talking to locals, they always seemed to ask what I thought of St Etienne. I'm not sure why. Perhaps they were trying to find out if I was able to see beyond the overwhelming sense of disharmony (chaos even) to appreciate some of the individual aspects of the Cathedral.

My recommendation- not a must see truthfully. There are many more beautiful, historic churches in Toulouse.

Weekdays- 8am to 19h
Weekends-9am to 19h

GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
GentleSpirit
Oct 21, 2013
 
 
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Home Grown Tapestries (5)

Toulouse was not a vigorous tapestry weaving center in the 16C, but at least one set from that time exists in the Cathedral (and another example is in the Angers Tapestry Museum (which we have seen but do not remember and did not photograph). At the time we visited Toulouse we were not yet fascinated by this Art Form, yet it is an integral part of medieval culture not to be ignored. Because of our ignorance these views are casual abstractions from other photographs and we do not know the details other than that they are from the Life of St.-Etienne. (See the Tip by Breughel at this site).

hquittner's Profile Photo
hquittner
Aug 15, 2009

17 C Beautification (4)

After the fire in 1609, the church spent its funds on wood sculpture : an organ case in 1614 and choir stalls by Pierre Monge, the glass of the apse in 1612 by Jean & Arnaud de Moles (glass painters of Auch), statuary (17 & 18 C) and gargoyles.

hquittner's Profile Photo
hquittner
Aug 15, 2009

See the 13-17C Stained Glass (3)

The oldest glass in the church is in the Rose Window inserted in the West Facade in the 13C, originally an imitation of the one in the Paris Cathedral (it has been modified in the 15C to accommodate the west doors making aberrations in both with the removed pieces of tracery now in the Augustinian Museum). Much 15C glass was spared in the roof fire in the 17C and is in the ambulatory chapel right of the axis. It contains figures of King Charles VII and dauphin Louis XI who is kneeling, both garbed in fleur-de-lis. The glass high in the apse is 17C.

hquittner's Profile Photo
hquittner
Aug 15, 2009

The Interior (2)

The main features of St.-Etienne are the great single vaulting of the nave and its misalignment with the immense 5 bay Flamboyant Gothic choir. The retable behind the altar is 17C as are the surmounting stained glass windows of the apse. (There is older glass below in the ambulatory). The church has an unusual set of 16C tapestries, now hung in the 17C choir stalls, created locally. Another fine piece of 17C carving is the organ case placed on the wall of the north nave-transept.

hquittner's Profile Photo
hquittner
Aug 15, 2009

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The "Incomplete" Cathedral (1)

In 1080, while he was building St. Sernin, the Archbishop of Toulouse started on a Cathedral in which to hold Mass for his flock. St.-Etienne was built on the ruins of a previous church starting at the west end. It struggled and in 1211 its piers were removed and a new approach instituted (1218) as befitted the experimentation of the early Gothic period: an aisless nave, 19m wide and high, the widest in Europe at the time! This was achieved using the new light vaulting technics that were appearing.It was complete to the transepts by 1235. This method would be used in other Toulouse churches. In 1272 anothe Bishop cleared the ground beyond for a choir. It was twice the size of the nave (5 bays, an ambulatory and radiaiting chapels and a wooden roof ). Incomplete, due to lack of funds, the roof burned stimulating rebuilding. This led to vaulting , with heavy buttresses and hooking the two structures together by a transept.(relegating the common folk to the nave), with a fine entrance on the North side of the transept. To that door’s west is the military-looking 16C belfry (which now also boasts a 22-bell carillon). Beyond through the gate on the North, the large square of the church occupies much of the grounds where the removed ancillary monastery buildings once stood. Renovation, addition and misalignment seem to be the main themes of the Cathedral. Even the 13C Rose (originally in imitation of Notre Dame de Paris but later changed) is misaligned with the 15C west front door.

hquittner's Profile Photo
hquittner
Aug 15, 2009

Cathédrale Saint-Étienne

The Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Toulouse is a magnificent structure that looms large over what would otherwise be a comfortable bourgeois retail section of the city. In between stores and galleries, the massive cathedral rises up, bounded by a well-kept park on one side, and an airy square that often features booksellers on another side (Place de Saint-Étienne). It was built around 1070 and is the official cathedral for the city of Toulouse. The sheer size of the building should give any visitor an indication of the important of the building in the city’s religious and cultural life. The building had various renovations and additions, the last of which was at the beginning of the 17th century – something that should be obvious to any visitor, as the various styles can be seen as you wander through the church. The western side of the church (the one that gives onto Place Saint-Étienne) is particularly odd, as it has a roof that slopes to the right only, a fairly start contrast from the rest of the church as it extends east. Inside, you cannot help but be awe-struck by the sheer size of the church and its massive vaulting ceilings, the enormous stained glass windows and the chapels that are larger than some churches. It is said that on major events, the church might welcome 2000 people – and that’s not even capacity!

mikey_e's Profile Photo
mikey_e
Dec 21, 2008

St. Etienne Cathedral

This cathedral offers an unsymetrical aspect: it results from juxtaposition of succevely built churches.
The uniqueness of the cathedral is that it presents two very distinct styles: a Roman part in the back of the church (the raymondine nave) and a Gothic part (the choir).

portgrl's Profile Photo
portgrl
Apr 17, 2005

The Saint-Etienne Cathedral...

The Saint-Etienne Cathedral

This church is disconcerting in appearance. It was built over a number of centuries (11th to 17th) in an architectural combination of Languedoc and French Gothic. It is extremely rich in its details with its stained-glass windows, large rose window, tapestries and 17 chapels.

piccolina's Profile Photo
piccolina
Sep 08, 2002

Things to Do Near St. Etienne Cathedral

Things to Do

Musée des Augustins

The major art museum of Toulouse was founded during the French Revolution and is still located in the old Augustinian Convent, which was constructed beginning in the fourteenth century. By the...
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Things to Do

Briques roses - Pink bricks

If in combination with dressed stone as on the facade of the Capitole (photo n°1) or some private buildings (n°2) bricks in all their shades are pleasant to look at, there are public or religious...
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Things to Do

Musée des Antiques - St Raymond

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...
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Things to Do

La Garonne

You’ll never guess what the lady in this sculpture (in the first photo) is supposed to represent. Joan of Arc? No, she’s not Joan of Arc, though the shaft she is holding in her right hand does look...
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Things to Do

Place du Capitole

I have known for a long time that the opera house in Toulouse is called the “Théâtre du Capitole”, but I didn’t realize (never having been there before) that the Opera and the City Hall were in the...
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Things to Do

Jacobins Church & Cloister

The last stop on our guided walking tour “Grand Monuments of Toulouse” was the Jacobean (Dominican) convent, adjacent to the Jacobean Church. This convent suffered serious damage during the French...
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Getting to St. Etienne Cathedral

Address

Place Saint Etienne

Hours

  • Sunday 09:00 to 19:00
  • Monday 08:00 to 19:00
  • Tuesday 08:00 to 19:00
  • Wednesday 08:00 to 19:00
  • Thursday 08:00 to 19:00
  • Friday 08:00 to 19:00
  • Saturday 08:00 to 19:00

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