Heritage Walks - banks of the Garonne
The itinerary suggested offers the most beautiful views of the city and its river. Eighteen remarkable monuments are detailed here so that visitors can discover and arrive at a better understanding of the identity of Toulouse.
Overlooking the Garonne, this hospital founded by Benedictine monks from La Daurade basilica shows off its majestic brick façade, the result of several centuries of modifications.
The Pont de la Daurade, the main route into the city centre up until the 17th Century and whose arch still survives just beneath the great skylight as a reminder, confirms the importance of the two hospitals: Sainte-Marie and Novel, situated on the left bank at either side of the bridge. Progressively merging with other establishments, Sainte-Marie became the Hôtel- Dieu. It finally took on its definitive form in the 19th Century and still remains true to its original mission: to treat and nourish the needy, pilgrims and abandoned new-borns –these unfortunate infants would be left at the tower, still visible today, to the right of the frontispiece. Flanking the U-shaped courtyard and its great scallop shell, the former hospital wards bear witness to this past. This place of hospitality, an obligatory stop for pilgrims that were on their way to pray at Saint-Sernin, forms part of the UNESCO estate of the Ways of St James in France.