The unusual anecdotes of the city of Toulouse!

Toulouse, its red brick alleys, its Place du Capitole, its Dôme de la Grave, its famous chocolatine and its singing accent … All this, as you already know, forms the beauty of our city! But do you know the unusual anecdotes of the city of Toulouse? Well there are some and we bet you will be surprised!

A dying bar

It is well known, Toulouse is known to be a festive city, popular with students and all active people! In summer, as in winter, the terraces of La Daurade are the favorites of locals and visitors alike for its charm and its “guinguette” atmosphere.

A “deadly” atmosphere to say the least! Indeed, this place was formerly … The morgue. Nice isn’t it ?

toulouse garonne

The real Manneken-Pis?

Initially built inside the cathedral, the griffoul is the oldest fountain in Toulouse. Now positioned on the place St Etienne, this fountain had to undergo in 1649 some modifications by its sculptor Pierre Affre.

Technical problem ? Pudeur ? Indeed, the water that used to flow through the intimate part of the little cherubs now flows through their arms. Farewell to our little Manneken-Pis Toulousain!

st etienne

An abandoned wardrobe

Did you know that? Our famous Hôtel Dieu Hospital used to have a secret passage within its walls. A small recess which was actually a revolving cupboard in which the inhabitants could deposit their child to abandon him anonymously …

The nuns of the hospital only had to take the child and provide him with all the necessary care. Its nickname? “The Tower”.

hotel dieu toulouse

A clock not like the others

It’s time to raise your head at 59 rue Alsace-Lorraine! No, you are not dreaming, the clock indicates 24 hours and not 12 hours as on the dial of your watch. But why is that? Fantasy, military owner or astronomer?

Nobody has yet unraveled the mystery of this clock. Namely that 24-hour dials are extremely rare and generally used in the space field or in the army. So here’s to your theories!

horloge toulouse

Going on a treasure hunt?

What if someone told you that a treasure was hidden under the Basilica of Saint Sernin? You would want to go and look for it of course! Yes, but what if someone told you that it is cursed? Indeed, according to the legend, Gallic soldiers would have plundered the temple of Apollo during antiquity.

Once back home, they all died of a terrible epidemic (Karma? Or a curse?). To avoid any doubts, this treasure considered as cursed was buried in a lake. Lake which would be located under the Basilica of St. Sernin. 

st sernin

A reinvented history

We don’t teach you anything, some streets of Toulouse have daring names : rue de la Verge d’Or, chemin de la levrette … ! Even if it is sometimes difficult to understand why, there is always a story behind it. 

What about the chemin Maréchal Clabel ? Who is he? Well … Nobody. This Marshal has never existed. This is human error! Initially Rue Mal Clabel (“badly paved” in Occitan), it became chemin du Maréchal Clabel because of a distracted worker. The result was the birth of an officer who never existed. So don’t waste your time looking for him in your history books!


So ? Did you learn more about our charming pink city? Toulouse is full of surprising mysteries and these unusual anecdotes are proof of it. 

Take the time to wander through its cobbled streets and don’t miss anything. 

Raise and lower your head at every street corner! To help you in your discovery, here are the musts of our city not to be missed. Enjoy your visit!

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