Place du Capitole
The distinctive pink brick that makes up the 419 ft (128 meter) façade of the Capitole and many of the surrounding buildings has lent the name of La Ville Rose, or the Pink City, to Toulouse. The building was first started in the late 12th century and was tweaked and enlarged over the following centuries. Its current neoclassical facade was built in the 1750s. Along with the city hall the building houses the renowned opera venue, the Théâtre du Capitole, and the highly decorated Salle des Illustrés, celebrating famous residents of the city.
If you’re visiting Toulouse you’re sure to pass through the square more than once – it serves as a meeting point for both locals and tourists alike. Guided walking or bike tours are sure to stop at the square on their route. Look down as you cross the square; a large gold-coloured Occitan cross is inlaid into the paving, paying homage to the Cathar period which still forms a part of the identity of the Languedoc region.
Things to know before you go
*The entrance to the Capitole building is free. *The square and Capitole building are wheelchair-accessible. *You’ll find several cafés serving food and drinks in the square – it’s a good place to stop and people watch while sightseeing. *The 12-branched Occitane cross is marked with the signs of the zodiac – try and find your sign!
How to get there
The Place du Capitole is located in the Old Quarter of Toulouse. It can be easily reached from Toulouse central train station with its connection to Paris, and London via the Eurostar. The journey takes around 20 minutes on foot. Toulouse-Blagnac airport is less than a 30-minute drive from the city center.
When to get there
The square is open 24 hours a day year-round. The Capitole building is open every day except Saturday. In the winter months the square hosts a Christmas market, while in summer cafés and restaurants create a buzzy atmosphere. To see a show at the theater, check online to see the upcoming program.
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