One of the finest Romanesque churches in France, pairing large and harmonious architecture with important medieval sculptures and frescoes.
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- St. Sernin Basilica
- Place Saint-Sernin
- 43.608531° N, 1.442103° E
- 05 61 21 70 18
- Date Published
- October 8, 2013
- Last Updated
- April 11, 2015
Eugene Viollet-le-Duc makes well-intentioned but overzealous "restorations" of St. Sernin Basilica, including raising the floors and plastering the walls.
An extensive cleaning and restoration project at St. Sernin Basilica reverses the modifications of Viollet-le-Duc and returns the church to its original medieval appearance.
Martyrdom of St. Saturninus in Toulouse
Saturninus, the first Bishop of Toulouse, meets a violent death for refusing to worship pagan gods. Roped to a sacrificial bull by mobs gathered on the steps of the Capitoline Temple, he is dragged down the main street to his death. The saint's body is buried by the local Christian community outside the city walls.
The first shrine to Saturninus on the site of the present St. Sernin Basilica is built by Bishop Exupere of Toulouse, a little to the north of the saint's original tomb.
Pilgrimages to Toulouse increase rapidly with the rise of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, as the city is along a main route to the Spanish shrine.
Construction begins on a larger church in Toulouse to cope with the crowds of pilgrims stopping at the tomb of St. Sernin on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Fortunately, the city can afford it - its counts are the most powerful in southwest France and the diocese is flourishing thanks to recent Gregorian reforms.
- May 24, 1096
According to a surviving inscription, the altar of St. Sernin Basilica in Toulouse is consecrated by Pope Urban II on this date.
The collegiate church of St. Sernin in Toulouse is elevated to the status of an abbey while it is still under construction. Attentions shifts away from the nave to the cloister and necessary monastic buildings; the west end will never be completed.