SAN BERNARDO BASILICA
Petit Futé's opinion on SAN BERNARDO BASILICA
Vestige of an ancient collegiate enclosure, the basilica, listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, is considered the largest existing Romanesque church. Its dimensions and beauty still fascinate, just as Stendhal was when he visited in 1838. This church is 115 meters long, 64 meters wide at the transept level which gives it its Latin cross shape, 20 meters high under its barrel vault divided into twelve bays by double transoms and supported by the tribunes, a central nave with double side aisles, an ambulatory and radiating chapels illustrates an architecture adapted to the circulation of pilgrims on their way to Compostela, who came to venerate numerous relics, among which those of Saint Saturnin.
It all began with the story of the city's first bishop, Saturnin or Sernin in Occitan, who was martyred in the year 250. The legend written in the5th century tells how the Romans sacrificed him to the gods, tying him to a bull that roamed the entire ancient city before abandoning the body, outside the city walls, at the place where the church of Notre-Dame-du-Taur was built, the first place where his relics were buried. In fact, the street connecting the two buildings has kept traces of this event in its name, taur meaning "bull". Having become too small, a new basilica was built in the5th century on the site of the present one. The crypt was built in the apse of this first building. Construction of the Romanesque church began around 1070, and by 1096 the chevet and the walls up to the western portal were completed. Pope Urban II consecrated the building that year during his visit to Toulouse to preach the departure for the first crusade. The construction site ended in the middle of the 13th century. Its restoration was undertaken by Viollet-le-Duc in 1860, resumed in 1990 and embellished with the pedestrianization of the square in 2019.
The " Tour des corps saints " is freely accessible to visitors. The ambulatory and crypt contained 175 different relics. To see: the sumptuous reliquaries of the 17th century, the remains of the base of the Romanesque altar: Christ in majesty and angels, cherubs and seraphim, which we owe to the sculptor Bernard Gilduin, as well as the altar table (a visible copy) still in place in the chancel, or the sculptures of theMiègeville door (dated 1100) representing an Ascension of Christ (tympanum) and the Apostles witnesses (lintel).
Approximately 700 capitals adorn the columns, some of which are historiated, others decorated with plant or animal motifs. They can be seen outside, notably at the Porte des Comtes (south transept, parable of Lazarus and the rich man) or inside in the tribunes (access only accompanied by volunteers from Saint-Sernin) and at the chevet.
Some sections of the walls still have Romanesque paintings (north transept, cycle of the passion and resurrection of Christ (1180)), Renaissance (choir dated 1535-1550, Christ in glory).
The baroque baldachin, built in 1718-1759 by Marc Arcis, houses the tomb of Saint Sernin.
The great organs of the Basilica of Saint Sernin are renowned throughout the world, completed in 1889 by the Cavaillé-Coll firm. The instrument has fifty-four stops on three manuals and a pedalboard (exactly 3,458 pipes). Concerts.
The bell tower rises above the transept crossing at a height of 65 m. Its carillon plays the Ave Maria de Lourdes canticle every hour.
Information on SAN BERNARDO BASILICA
All year long, the association Basilique Saint-Sernin organizes a free presentation of the building. Low season : open every day from 8:30 am to 7 pm. High season: every day from 8:30 am to 8 pm. Pilgrims welcome every day from April to October from 3 to 6 pm. Crypt and ambulatory: free entrance, open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5:45pm (6:45pm July and August), Sunday from 2pm to 5:45pm. Concerts.
Services offered by SAN BERNARDO BASILICA
Members' reviews on SAN BERNARDO BASILICA
Learn more about Toulouse (31000)
Selection Accommodation Toulouse
QUALITY HOTEL TOULOUSE ...€€ - HôtelToulouse - France
HOTEL CROIX BARAGNON€€ - HôtelToulouse - France5.0/5 (1 review)
LE RUPÉ€€ - CampingToulouse - France3.0/5 (1 review)
RADISSON BLU HÔTEL TOUL...€€€ - HôtelBlagnac - France5.0/5 (1 review)
Selection Restaurants Toulouse
BODEGA DON PANCHO€€ - Restaurant espagnolToulouse - France4.0/5 (17 review)
LES BROCHETTES€€ - Cuisine françaiseToulouse - France4.1/5 (11 review)
CHEZ CARMEN€€ - Restaurant du Sud-OuestToulouse - France4.8/5 (5 review)
BRASSERIE DE L'OPÉRA€€€ - Bistrot - BrasserieToulouse - France3.9/5 (10 review)