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Welcome to Toulouse ! (2011)

The Capitole's Architecture

Publié le dimanche 17 avril 2011 15:44 - Mis à jour le dimanche 24 avril 2011 16:56

The Façade

The Capitole was built in limestone and brick. The building is two floors high. The front of the Capitole consists in 41 windows embellished by forged iron balconies and by blazons representing the arms of the city and the arms of the Capitouls. The monument possesses also 8 pink marble columns and a hall having a triangular front wall surmounted by several statues which are copies of the works by the sculptor Louis Parant.

Cour Henri IV

The courtyard is surrounded by two galleries built between 1602 and 1607 and are the most famous parts of the Capitole. It was given this name because the Capitouls had to build a statue in honour of the king in exchange for his money. This statue is made by a body in black armor and by a white head crowned with green laurels. It is placed between two blazons of the Capitouls and under the statue, we can read a quotation dating back to the Revolution:

"Vivant, le peuple entier l'aima. Il le pleura quand il fut enlevé. La postérité ne cessera de l'aimer d'un amour pieux."

Which means : " While living, the whole people loved him.  When he died, they mourned him. He will always be loved with a pious love. ".

The first floor is a gallery constituted by several rooms:

- The City Council : decorated once again Paul J. Gervais’s paintings representing monuments of the city and its region. André Roucolle's painting (The entrance of Louis XI into Toulouse) and Édouard Debat-Ponsan's (Molière and Goudouli in the court of a house in Languedoc) also decorate the room. Busts sculptured by Marc Arcis, that of Raymond IV and the Wisigoths kings are also present.

- Salle des Illustres : classified as a "Historic Monument" since 1994. This gallery is the work of the architects Paul Pujol and Pierre Esquié, it is 60 m long by 9 m wide. Its name comes from numerous busts of the Toulousian celebrities who first decorated it, today the majority of these busts are preserved in the museum Saint Raymond.

- Henri Martin room : is decorated with ten Henri Martin's huge paintings. The most known are Les Rêveurs and represent Jean Jaurès at the edge of the Garonne. It is also decorated with three busts of Toulousian figures: the sculptor and the architect Nicolas Bachelier, the mathematician Pierre de Fermat and the jurist Jacques Cujas. This room served to expose the most famous Capitouls too.

- Gervais room : its name comes from the painter Paul J. Gervais who decorated the room with allusions to Love. This room serves as the wedding room. Three paintings represent love at 20 , 40 and 60, the other one represents the island of Cythère.

For more information and photos