The Basilica of Saint-Sernin

This 11th-century brick and stone basilica is no less than one of the largest Romanesque buildings in the western world!

On the road to Santiago de Compostela

Built in honour of Saint Saturnin (or Sernin), the first Bishop of Toulouse, it was constructed between the 11th and 13th centuries. Wander around the building and admire the elegant apse, staggered from the chapels to the octagonal bell tower, typical of Toulouse architecture.

Inside, 5 large vaulted naves converge on the choir and the gilded wood and marble canopy. Access the crypts and the Tour des Corps Saints, a treasure trove of relics testifying to the prestigious past of this pilgrimage church.

A former stopover on the Pilgrim’s Way of St James, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This “Coral Flower”

Toulouse singer Claude Nougaro paid a vibrant tribute to the Basilica of Saint-Sernin in his song “O Toulouse”:
“There’s a storm in the air and yet the church of Saint-Sernin lights up the evening like a coral flower that is watered by the sun”.

Romanesque sculpture

The tympanum, the Miègeville door, the capitals… the basilica’s decorative stone carvings are masterpieces of Romanesque sculpture.

The Miègeville door owes its name to the fact that it opens onto a street that once ran through the middle of the town (mièja vila). Its Pyrenean marble tympanum depicts the Ascension of Christ, surrounded by angels and the twelve apostles, with two other figures at the base. The doorway dates from the early 12th century.

Place Saint-Sernin