Travel to the Canal de Garonne

Day 2 Montauban

Canal de Garonne


 

(in 38 km.) Montauban: Today the rest of the group is going to incorporate with us, so while we give them time to arrive, before starting the bike section that is planned for today, we will visit the nearby town of Montauban. Montauban is a city of art and history. The construction material more used is the red brick. The city has the typical architectural curiosity of fortified towns in the region. Founded in 1144 by the Count of Toulouse, like many small towns in the southwest, meets certain characteristics: all streets intersecting at right angles and define a rectangular central square.

Montauban - Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption
Montauban - Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-l´Assomption

We parked under the Pont Vieux and went up the historic center. First we passed in front of Notre-Dame-de-l´Assomption. We were a little disappointed by the first impression of this building because the car park in front of the facade spoils the image. The cathedral is remarkable only for the possession of the "Vow of Louis XIII", one of the masterpieces of Ingres. The old town is very homogeneous and no modern buildings disrupt the harmony of the brick facades generally built in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Montauban - Place Nationale
Montauban - Place Nationale

The Place Nationale is a square of the 17th century, entered at each corner by gateways giving access to a large open space surrounded by red brick houses supported by double rows of arcades. It was rebuilt in the seventeenth century as a result of the fires in 1614 and 1649. We continue towards the church of St Jacques (14th and 15th centuries), dedicated to Saint James of Compostela, the façade of which is surmounted by a handsome octagonal tower, the base of which is in Romanesque style, while the upper levels, built later, are in Gothic style.

Montauban - Pont vieux
Montauban - Pont vieux

Also highlights in the city the Musée Ingres, building that was the old town hall and an episcopal palace built in 1664 on the ruins of the palace occupied by the Black Prince during the Hundred Years´ War. The building houses works of Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres and Emile Antoine Bourdelle. We end our short visit to Montauban in the Pont Vieux (Old Bridge), a pink brick structure, build in the early 14th century, over 205 metres in length, but while its fortified towers have disappeared, it is otherwise in a good state of preservation.


 

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Canal de Garonne