Pont Neuf

If you want to get the local feel of Toulouse blended with some key tourist sights then St. Cyprien is a neighborhood is not to be missed.  Saint Cyprien is located on the west side of the Garonne River, just outside the old city walls of Toulouse.  It is a major residential area that is a mixture of unique houses, modern apartment buildings and old houses converted to flats.  

In the center of St. Cyprien near the old city gates and metro stop is the Saint Cyprien market.  It is generally a covered food market with butchers, fish mongers and cheese shops inside and most of the produce being on the outside perimeters.  It is open every morning and is bustling with wonderful activity that is truly a local event not to be missed by a tourist.  At the corner cafes, one can usually see the old toulousain men having their Ricard drinks and enjoying their morning of people watching.

Walk down any of the many side streets in Saint Cyprien and you can find a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, bars, bakeries, specialty shops and hair dressers.  Most of the people walking the streets are locals who are doing their daily shopping and errand running.  You can find many smaller plazas within the neighborhood where you'll see men playing the beloved petonque game until late in the night.  The energy of this neighborhood include even the aged residents who walk religiously each day to run their errands and keep their zest for life going.

If art is your thing, Les Abattoirs is a museum of modern art on one of the main streets in St. Cyprien, alle de Charles de Fitte.  Les Abattoirs was an immense industrial building from the 19th century which was transformed into the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Toulouse and the Midi-Pyrénées under the name of Les Abattoirs.  Outside of the museum is a beautiful park that has a platform for a view of the Garonne and Centre Ville.  The grassy park extends down Charles de Fitte avenue and has ponds and a carrousel.  

The Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Jacques and Hôpital de la Grave still bear witness the past of Saint Cyprien.  Hotel Dieu has the Musée de la Médecine. Hoptial de la Grave is recognized by the blue-green dome of its chapel, a veritable landmark visible for miles around, and its maze of courtyards where pink brick prevails.  The dome is always a treat at night thanks to the central location on the river bank and the creative lighting experts of Toulouse.   There are 3 main bridges that connect Saint Cyprien to the center of Toulouse, all unique in architecture and history;  Pont des Catalans, Pont St. Pierre, and the oldest one Pont Neuf, which ironically means "New Bridge".  This bridge is a landmark of Toulouse because of its beauty, tunnels and arches.  The Pont Neuf was built between 1544 and 1632, and Louis XIV himself crossed it in 1659.  Flooding of the Garonne destroyed all the previous bridges, but this one has been in place for four centuries, thanks to tunnels above the arches, which allow water to flow away during floods. From the right bank there is an exceptional view of the Hotel-Dieu and the Prairie des Filtres Park which is on the Saint Cyprien side of the river.     This is not an extensive list of things to do or see in the neighborhood of Saint Cyprien but hopefully it is a starting point for some very enriching tourism and a slice of local life in the Pink City...Toulouse, France.  

   Les Abattoirs Hopital de la Grave Toulouse