Visiting Matabiau Railroad Station, Toulouse, France: elegant 1905 structure by Marius Toudoire

Flag of France
Flag of France | Source
Toulouse-Matabiau station
Toulouse-Matabiau station | Source
Toulouse station and Midi Canal, old postcard
Toulouse station and Midi Canal, old postcard | Source
Map location of Toulouse, France
Map location of Toulouse, France | Source

A sedate communications hub

This fine structure in Toulouse, France, is Matabiau railroad station. It was executed in Saintonge stone. The architect responsible was Marius Toudoire (1852-1922)(1).

Work on the edifice commenced in 1903 and was completed in 1905. I have supplied a photo (right) depicting the frontage of the station prior to the widespread development of automobile travel.

Further building work was carried out prior to World War Two.

In addition to the mansard roofing at its front elevation, noted features of the building include an ornate clock and the arms of all the major cities in the south of France which were served by the station when it was opened.

A previous station at Toulouse was inaugurated in 1858. Railroad services to the region originally owed much to the entrepreneurial activities of the Pereire brothers (Emile and Isaac), who controlled the Southern Railroad Company (French: Compagnie des chemins de fer du Midi ). Operation of the station and its services have long been under the auspices of the SNCF railroad company (French: Société nationale des chemins de fer français ).

The station building faces the Toulouse section of the Midi Canal (French: Canal du Midi ), a remarkable, 17th century piece of engineering which linked the Atlantic with the Mediterranean.

The station, which has all the amenities of a rail hub in a large city, now serves over 9 million passengers each year, including via the high-speed TGV service (2), and has thus long been established as one of France's major railroad termini. It is connected to Toulouse's Metro system of underground trains; thus, the long distance traveller arriving at Toulouse-Matabiau may within minutes arrive at the Capitole in the Downtown area of the city.

Toulouse-Matabiau railroad station is located facing Boulevard Pierre-Semard , Toulouse, in France's Haute-Garonne department.

September 27, 2012

Notes

(1) Railroad stations were something of a specialism for Architect Toudoire; other examples of his work include the Gare de Lyon, Paris and Bordeau-Saint-Jean. He was also known for his designs of a number of public buildings in Algeria.

(2) TGV in French refers to: train à grande vitesse.

Also worth seeing

In Toulouse itself, the many attractions for visitors include the Saint-Sernin Basilica and the Capitole, housing the City Hall.

Cahors (distance: 113 kilometres) has some striking architecture, including the imposing, 14th century Valentré bridge.

...

How to get there: United Airlines flies from New York Newark to Paris (Aéroport Paris-Charles de Gaulle ), where car rental is available; there are also domestic air services between Paris and Toulouse-Blagnac airport (Aéroport de Toulouse - Blagnac ), where car rental is also available. The French railroad company SNCF maintains services from Paris to Toulouse . (Paris-Toulouse: distance: 677 kilometres.) Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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Comments 2 comments

mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago

Wow, beautiful architecture and fascinating history. Thank you for sharing. Voted up for interesting and awesome.


MJFenn profile image

MJFenn 4 years ago Author

mecheshier: Toulouse is a fine city, and not a few public buildings in France — especially those dating from the Belle Epoque — are impressively ornate. Thank-you for your comment.

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