The Banks of the Garonne

The Garonne has everything to offer: an exceptional vista with the Pont Neuf, the Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Jacques and the Dôme de la Grave, vast expanses of nature such as the Ile du Ramier and the Prairie des Filtres, as well as guinguette cafés and a host of original activities on fine summer days.

Itinerary between the right and left banks

The Prairie des Filtres

The 18th-century developments reshaped the left bank, the lower bank that was prone to flooding. Built above the level of the Garonne, the Cours Dillon acted as a dyke protecting the Saint-Cyprien quarter. It overlooks the Prairie des Filtres, a bed of sediment that has gradually silted up, providing a natural filter for the water drawn from it by the Château d’Eau in its day.

Today, the site is a public garden with a splendid view over the Quai de Tounis and the Pont Neuf.

The Pont Neuf

The construction of the oldest bridge over the Garonne in 1544 was the result of a national project. Anxious to have a wide and safe crossing on the strategic route to Spain, François I gave the city the funds to build the bridge. However, the construction work proved to be chaotic, with a number of devastating floods.

It was finally completed in 1632. Today, you can admire its eight majestic arches – made of brick and cut stone – and its hollowed-out piers, which limit the pressure of the water and withstand the ravages of the river.

Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Jacques

The majestic brick façade plunges directly into the waters of the Garonne, creating a mirror effect with its reflections. You can see the remains of the Daurade bridge, just above the large glass roof, which was destroyed when the river flooded. The hospital’s mission was to care for and feed the needy as well as pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela, who stopped off to pray at Saint-Sernin.

Saint-Joseph de la Grave hospital

Built from the 12th century onwards, La Grave took in the poor, orphans, prostitutes and the insane, as well as plague victims, thanks in particular to its location outside the city centre, which was ideal for isolating contagious patients.

Easily identifiable, its circular chapel has a copper-covered dome with a lantern. The chapel is open to visitors.

The port and quays of La Daurade

This is one of the favourite spots of Toulouse’s young people, who gather here at the end of the day to enjoy the calm of the river as the sun sets. Huge quays protect Toulouse’s right bank from flooding by the Garonne, and today offer a 360° view of the city’s most beautiful monuments.