Travelling in Europe, we discovered a treasure trove of majestic cathedrals. The Basilica of St Sernin in the city of Toulouse France was no exception. It is the largest Romanesque church in Europe. Inside we found antiquities, relics, and museum quality frescoes.
Historically, the early 5th-century church built on this location encapsulated the remains of Saint Sernin, the first Bishop of Toulouse. Violently martyred for refusing to pray to pagan gods, his relics later attracted many pilgrims. The resulting rebuilt 11th-century Basilica of Saint Sernin that we see today is a masterpiece.
Free Tour of the Basilica of St Sernin
We enjoyed a free (with donation) private tour of the church. Our guides knowledge of the history, art, and other features was impressive and his enthusiasm contagious. We found our guide at a table near the entrance. If the guides are available when you arrive, we highly recommend taking this tour, before exploring on your own.
Highlights of the Basilica in Photos
More Information on Basilica of St Sernin in Toulouse
- The main church of the Basilica of Saint-Sernin is open daily from 8.30 am. Closing times vary by day and season. Check times on their official website.
- There is a small fee to enter the crypt and ambulatory; both have varied opening hours.
- You can visit the Basilica of Saint-Sernin on its own, or as part of a city tour. ⇒ Check prices for Toulouse city tours.
- We first discovered the Basilica of St Sernin in Lonely Planet’s Western Europe Travel Guide.
- Located in the Midi-Pyrenees region of France, there are plenty of things to do in Toulouse.
- We visited during the Pyrenees portion of our road trip through Spain and southern France.
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