Basilique Saint-Sernin de Toulouse, Midi-Pyrenees, France

The current basilica dates back to the 11th centuryalthough construction continued throughout the following centuries. The exceptional harmony of the building is due to the fact that the successive architects complied with the initial plans.

The basilica’s plans reflect two important religious realities: pilgrimages and the worship of relics. In the Middle Ages, veneration of relics and pilgrimages was of great importance, thinking that they were the means of expiating one’s sins and gaining salvation. Also, the large ambulatory and double collaterals should allow believers to circulate easily during processions.

The building consists of half stone and brick. The first material being expensive, the brick was used for parts of the building. Its dimensions (115 m long and 64 m wide) give it the title of the largest Romanesque church in the world!

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