In the city center of Toulouse, there is a monastery. And it is open for visitors to walk around in. One part of the monastery (the church) is free of charge and one part costs four euros. But it is worth visiting all of it and not just the free part! Can you find the crushed little man? He is inside the monastery and I would love to know the story about him ending up crushed.
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Monastery Des Jacobins in Toulouse, France
Eight centuries of history, all in one place. The Couvent des Jacobins was built in 1229 and it is made in a southern gothic design. It is huge and really worth a visit. This is the place that created the first university in Toulouse. The lectures were held in the convent. But that was a long time ago and today there are exhibitions that are shown inside the cloister. But before you reach the cloisters you enter into the church. Pillars that are huge and that fan out like palm trees in the ceiling.
So what about the crushed little man? Well first off the church is most famous for housing the remains of St. Thomas Aquinas ( a famous Italian priest). If you look at the bottom on one of the pillars near where his remains are, you will see hands sticking up at one side and feet on the other side of the pillar. It’s like someone got crushed under the pillar.
I have tried to find the meaning behind it. However, I didn’t get anywhere. This is such an old place that the man that made it is long gone (and so are his great great great great great grandchildren I believe). So no one to answer my question. Some of the other pillars have different carvings but nothing like the tiny man. I explain it to my self that the man got crushed because he was trying to steal something?! What’s your thought?
The cloister in the city center of Toulouse
There is more than one monastery in the city center of Toulouse. In one there is a museum but the one in the Des Jacobins is a great place for meditation and just walking around. I loved it here. There is like a yard that is surrounded by amazing pillars and this is the perfect place to find peace. You are also allowed into the chapter house and the refectory.
During our visit here, there was a group of visually impaired that also were there. It was amazing! They had a guide that was explaining the sights to them and they all walked around. I have seen it once before – at the top of Notre Dame and it was just as amazing. You don’t need to have your sight to feel the magic in the monastery – you can feel the pillars and the stones and all of it!
Exhibition from a cemetery
During our visit to De Jacobins, there was a temporary exhibition that was scary and great and freaky and awesome – all at the same time! Being that it was around Halloween the theme of the exhibition was very fitting. This was the information that we got from the exhibition:
The portrait cemetery – Out of respect for the eternal sleep of the recumbent effigies, this exhibition plunged into darkness. Is to be visited in silence with a head torch. This exhibition echoes the theatre performances “Les Dialogues D’outre-Tombe”, taken from “La Mastication des Morts” by Patrick Kermann, performed in the cloisters. This experiment invites brave visitors to play dead just long enough for a picture to be taken so their life-size photograph can be added to the exhibit.
I loved this exhibition. It was so cool! Just to get a headlight and walk around was awesome! Mini was not as impressed as I was but I think that he liked it! Unfortunately, this exhibit is temporary so you need to find out where it’s going next if you want to catch it!
I couldn’t resist making a video because I was that amazed! Enjoy 🙂
Information about the Monastery Des Jacobins
Address: Rue Lakanal.
Opening Hours: 10.00 – 18.00 daily except for Mondays. On Mondays, it is closed.
Entrance Fee: 4 euros to visit the cloister. Free entrance to the church.