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.
The construction from 1544 onwards of Toulouse’s oldest bridge across the River Garonne was of real significance to the nation.
Mindful of the need for a major and reliable crossing point along the strategic route to Spain, Francis I of France provided the funds for the city to carry out this work. The project was, however, very chaotic. The devastating floods and the unpredictable bed of the River Garonne and the wars of religion meant that this construction faced severe challenges and Nicolas Bachelier, the great Toulouse architect of the Renaissance, had great difficulty in tackling this extraordinary task. Pierre Souffron, and then Jacques Lemercier, would replace him. In 1632 the bridge was finally finished. Today we can admire the eight majestic arches -built in brick and cut stone– and its pillars that are hollowed out in order to limit the pressure of the water, a technique that has allowed it to withstand the whims of the river.