Saint Sernin Basilica, Toulouse: Romanesque enchantment (just ignore the parking lot)

By now you know that I feel all warm in my ladyparts just thinking about Romanesque art and architecture, most especially French Romanesque.  The juiciest of all French Romanesque buildings are the pilgrimage churches, and Saint Sernin is a delightful representation of a French Romanesque pilgrimage church, complete with stunning well-preserved stone carvings, medieval frescos, capital carvings, an ambulatory that seems carved out of ivory and a museum-like crypt treasury.  What doesn’t Saint Sernin have going for it?  A stunning setting.  Seriously, urban planners of Toulouse, did you really need to put a giant ugly parking lot right in front of your most gorgeous landmark?

ss1

Built from 1080 – 1150.  In this view you see the chapels radiating the ambulatory.  The tower has five stories.

ssdoor

Porte Miegeville tympanium with the Ascension of Christ, door built before 1118,  thumb photo-bomb present day.  It’s hard to see in the picture, but there’s a line up of head-craning apostles looking up to the ascension in the center of the portal.

ss5

The ascension of Christ, who is so chubby he needs the assist of two angels.  In an art historical context, the upward movement rendered in stone in a landmark achievement.

ss2  ss4

ss3

King David is all chill playing his harp despite being surrounded by lions.

sswindow

sslock

Lock outside the crypt.

ssfresco

Fresco from around 1180.

ssgrrrrrrr

sslight

Try to see the ambulatory in the strong morning light.

232323232fp63559_nu=3289_296_5_2_WSNRCG=373666577732_nu0mrj

Tubby Christ in Majesty surrounded by the symbols of the four evangelists.  I like his long hair.

sstower

ssnight

Good night Saint Serin.  We’ll be back soon!

 

How we got to Toulouse: train from Moissac.

Where we slept: Hotel Saint-Severin.  Price: €54 for a double.  Recommended: yes.

 

 

 

 

 

4 comments

  1. Super to see St. Sernin again…it must be over forty years since I was there…and there wasn’t a car park then, but French municipal planners hadn’t really got into their stride then!

    Like

  2. It really has been well preserved…despite the car park.

    Like

  3. Lovely…..Thanks for this eye opener…

    Like

    1. Thanks for reading madamsabi!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: