The Cathedrale St-Etienne Toulouse is a rather quirky and unusual cathedral. Due to a series of setbacks during the construction process, the church took a long time to build; some 600 years in fact, and that doesn't take into account the renovations in the 1920s. The overall result is a mix of styles that result in a sort of disjointed and almost bizarre effect, and this isn't limited to the exterior. Anyone looking for things to do in Toulouse should drop by the Cathedral for a look. The structure is an oddity both inside and out.
In and around the year 1078, work on the Cathedrale St-Etienne Toulouse began. The cathedral replaced an older church that had been around for a long period of time. In fact, the first-known mention of a church on the site is linked to a charter that dates back to 844. The newer cathedral didn't maintain its look for as long a period. By the early thirteenth century, an even newer church was constructed. Its ornate facade, which features a rose window that resembles that of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, is of the early Gothic style.
The Cathedral in Toulouse was altered on numerous occasions. The choir was updated in the 1400s, for example, and the west portal was made over in the Flamboyant style. A 1609 fire only added to the construction mayhem, as repairs had to be made, and several other building projects were undertaken in later years.
Some critics don't consider the Cathedrale St-Etienne Toulouse to be a significant European cathedral, as it is so quirky. That quirkiness, however, only serves to make it a fun place to explore. There are certainly plenty of amazing things to see both inside and out. On the inside, the charms include lovely tapestries from the early seventeenth century and a dazzling Baroque retable. Visitors might also pay special attention to the choir stalls and the organ. The choir stalls feature amazing carvings, while the organ boasts an attractive walnut case. The famous nineteenth-century organ maker, Aristide Cavaille-Coll, restored the organ in 1868. This same organ maker is credited with designing some of France's most important organs, including that which can be found at Toulouse's Basilique Saint Sernin.
The Cathedrale St-Etienne Toulouse is found along the Rue de Metz. To the near west along this same road is the Musee des Augustines, and it is arguably the best museum in Toulouse. As such, St Etienne Cathedral visitors might look to pair the attractions together while sightseeing. Rue de Metz, it should be mentioned, turns into the Pont Neuf bridge on its western end, and this bridge is just one more attraction that deserves a look while in town.