The Dome de la grave is one of the most important monument of Toulouse. But a lot of toulousains do not know what it is really. Do you know the history of this building ?
The dome dominates the whole city. This is one of the highest building in town. With its 67 meters, it overlooks the Garonne. That is why it is a symbol of Toulouse. Even if it is an old building, it is also very modern. It appears frequently on social media such as Instagram, it is currently the most photographed monument in Toulouse before the Capitole. There is a hashtag especially for it. #JeudiCEstGrave. An app is also available for your smartphone : « Où est la grave ». It is like a compass which indicates your position from the dôme and not the north. That shows the importance of the building for the Toulousains.
An unknown monument
Despite his recent success most of the people do not know the exact history of the dome de la grave. Just like Hugo who has lived in Toulouse for 2 years « I absolutely don’t know what it is » or Nicolas a toulousain since 2015 « I have no idea ! » Indeed some people walk near the monument every day, but they do not know what it is.
Some walkers are on the good way like Alexandre, who’s been living in the city for 10 years « It’s La Grave, it’s an old hospital. For me, the Dome is something religious. Maybe an ancient convent ». Lysiane makes the same analysis « I never wondered what it was before. But i think this is a spiritual place ». Still confusing …
Pierre, an old man, who is walking on the dock has the answer « This is the Dome de la Grave ! It’s a chapel. » This building is the top of the saint joseph de la Grave chapel. At the beginning it was an hospital, and in 1717, the archbishop Henri de Nesmond left his money to build a new chapel and replace the former one. The construction began in 1758 and finished in 1845. As time went by, the monument got damaged, that is why the chapel was often closed. Since 1978, it has been ranked as an historic building
Today, you can not enter the Dome, it is being reconstructed. The city hall manages it and wants to transform this place in an exhibition center. In 2 years from now the doors of one of the most iconic monument of Toulouse should reopen.