couv58p.BMP (80838 octets)

Mémoires de la Société
Archéologique du Midi de la France

Tome LVIII (1998)



DELAPLACE Christine, St Exupere and the Tolosan Hagiographic Tradition

    Second to St Saturnin, St Exupere’s cult is one of the most significant in Toulouse and in the area. The hagiographic picture of the facts and deeds of this bishop, active during the early Vth cent., was recorded during a somewhat late period. A study of the hagiographic tradition is enlightening the evolution to which the Saint highlights were submitted and how they were emphasized in the course of time. After this study, it was possible to comment the intellectual and religious background which directed St-Exupere chapel restoration in Blagnac (Haute-Garonne) at the end of XIXth cent. This chapel had been decorated with a cycle of wall paintings, dated of XVIth cent., exhibiting scenes of the tolosan confessor heroic life. Benezet, the restorer painter, then added four new scenes mostly ignored before by the local hagiographers.


CABAU Patrice, Historical Documents Relevant to the Reconstruction (XIth - XIIth cent.) of St-Sernin, the Tolosan Basilica : a New Critical Approach

    The history of the St-Sernin romanic church erection was worked out during modern times, essentially during XVIIth and XIXth centuries, on the grounds of a few documents issued from various sources of different kinds. These documents, quoted at the end of the present report, have been reevaluated with a critical eye leading to question the historical value of the information drawn from St Raymond Gérard "Vita", composed during XVIth century. As a whole, the reliable information on St-Sernin construction undertaken during XIth century could be summarized as follows : between the years 1010 and 1035, the Toulouse bishop Pierre-Roger took the decision to erect a new basilica and he subsidized his project with the product of the congregation gifts. In 1083 at the latest, a new church was being erected or it was at the start ; the work was so advanced in 1096 that it could be dedicated.


NAPOLÉONE Anne-Laure, City Planning and Dwellings of Figeac (Lot) during XIIth, XIIIth and XIVth Centuries

    The oldest texts only mention the settlement of the Lunan monks on the Figeac (Lot) site shortly before 838. However the parcelling structures reveal that the city was built up around two cores, the Abbey and the Notre-Dame-du-Puy church, this last center likely issued from an even older settlement. The steps of the town growth till the end of XIVth century are more precisely underlined by the study of the dense mediaeval house remnants. The dwellings may be listed into three groups. The oldest group is dated from XIIth or XIIIth centuries, dominated by simple and small structures, mostly made of mixed building parts, stone and timber framing : the dwelling located Nr 4 Pce Champollion, the oldest known, is illustrating this group. For the second group, the "Maison de la Monnaie" shows how the housing structures evolved after the middle XIIIth century. A last group of large dwellings built up during XIVth century intown are examplified by the Balène Palace, showing the increased wealth and the housing confort progress during this period.


NAPOLÉONE Anne-Laure & ROUSSET Valérie, The "Rue des Lazaristes" Ancient House (XIVth cent.) in Figeac (Lot)

    This wide house is one of the XIVth century dwellings found in Figeac (Lot). Benefiting by the opportunity of works on the site, it has been possible to investigate thoroughly the building canvass and stoneworks. The structure analysis has unravelled the shape of a house composed of two wings separated by a courtyard. The south wing, erected along the main street, housed shops and a large room on the main floor. The back building wing sheltered the kitchen, sided by a large room equipped with a monumental chimney on the ground floor. On the main floor, two living-rooms equipped with latrines and a chimney opened on the north side. The central coutyard was leading to all living-room and up to the attic through a staircase extended by covered walks ; at one end the courtyard also contained a drain column where sinks and latrines could empty. The lower stoneworks show some underpinnings which indicate remnants of older structures. The site is thereby keeping a record of three building campaigns : a first clay-bound wall, a stable stonework dated from XIIth-XIIIth centuries and the final building erected in the middle of XIVth century.


BACCARABÈRE Georges, Tolosan Ceramics of the XVth Century in St-Georges Area

    Digging work undertaken in 1973 led to the discovery of a water-well containing, amongst others, oxidizing-paste ceramics : trunconical or spherical jugs, spinning-top-shaped ware and "pegau" – derived material together with a high-footed jug. Samples of various ware fragments were found : pieces of some bowls, plates, a large dish and the bottom of a glass beaker. Metalware included a number of tools, house-hardware and ironware elements. Finally, a slate-shale carved seal might have been forged from an authentic seal. This material was dated from the XVth century.


CATALO Jean, GAUDIN Emmanuel, RODET-BELARBI Isabelle et GENEVIÈVE Vincent, Archaeological Remnants and Fresco Paintings of the XVth Century Consular Hall inside the "Donjon du Capitole" in Toulouse

    The present "Donjon du Capitole" in Toulouse is the ancient "Small Consistory" building of the City Consular Hall. A saving excavation was carried out inside the present building erected in 1525. It discovered the presence of a previous XVth century structure. In connection with archive documents, the site was identified as one of the ceremonial and meetting rooms of the Town Hall by its shape and the associated archaeological furniture. This site also provided fresco-painted fragments of high quality. Evidence lead us to consider this material as the only remnants of the "Capitoul" portrait gallery adorning the walls of the Great Consistory Room in the Consultar Hall.


HENG Michèle, The "History of David" : A Tapestry Set in Urtubie Castle (Pyrénées-Atlantiques)

    The unreported tapestries of the History of David kept since XVIIth century in Urtubie Castel are raising a number of questions. From the figure and the style study of these seven pieces, we suggest a Brussels origin where they were eventually spinned during the third quarter of XVIth century, from Michel coxcie’s sketches. A comparison with other known Brussels historiated tapestries indicates them as productions of Franz Geubel’s workshop : he was a member of the most illustrious tapestry weaver families of the City. Since Urtubie Castel is located between St-Jean-de-Luz and Hendaye, it is not unlikely that this high-price tapestry sequence with gallant topics should be related to the "Pyrénées" Peace and to Louis the XIVth and Marie-Thérèse of Spain imposing wedding which was celebrated in St-Jean-de-Luz on June 9th 1660.


PUJALTE Marie-Luce, Was Guillaume Cammas the Architect of the Puivert Mansion ?

    According to tradition, the Puivert Mansion was the work of the Architect Labat de Savignac. Newly uncovered documents suggest a new assignment ; Guillaume Cammas the official City painter and the Capitol architect might well be the blueprint author. The Puivert Mansion, an exceptional building, is providing us with a testimony of the success of local traditional architecture integrated into the new XVIIIth century conceptual designs.


NAYROLLES Jean, St-Paul Church in Nîmes and the Neo-Mediaeval Architecture Origins from French Eclecticism

    Charles-Auguste Questel (1807-1888) was the first conceptor in France of a large religious building inspired by mediaeval designs when he won the competition for the erection of the new St-Paul Church in Nîmes. This choice of a neo-romanic project by the architect as well as by the Nîmes City aediles might have been aimed to reconcile in a merry consensus the classical tradition supporters faithful to the graeco-roman orthodoxy and the new generation of young romantics dreaming only of gothic cathedrals. Considering the history of XIXth century architecture, the main topic at stakes in this event is of a different kind. In order to account for the criticism emitted by the Civil Building Council, Questel was requested to modify the original church bleuprint two years after its conception : these two versions, differing by their inspiration rather more than by their designs, initiated two divergent paths along which the architectural eclecticism used to find its ways during the next decades.


COPPOLANI Jean, Town-Planning of Toulouse in the XXth Century

    In enforcement of the relevant laws of 1919, 1924 and 1943, the Toulouse City stepwise elaborated several development plans through which the proper concept of town-planning has evolved. It changed from a practically clotted street-web map to a new adaptive development plan integrating a comprehensive approach of a street map, transportation web, economical activities, housing projects, public service design and environment in a broad sense. From these stepwise plans : the private plan of the Cultural Society of the "Toulouse Tolosans" in 1920, the Jaussely plan in 1928, The Nicod plan in 1947 revised in 1956, the street-map of 1965 called the "Badani Scheme", each one of them left some trace. Some projects were realized together with the five-year-plans or individually ordered by public authorities. Other projects are still to be started or remain detained in the next plan. This "Schéma Directeur d’Aménagement et d’Urbanisme", approved in 1982, included, besides the Toulouse City, sixty-two surrounding suburban boroughs, this community now housing nearly as many people as the City itself does. The realization of the last plan was the source of a revision translated into the 1995 Urban Area Plan, itself a preview of a new plan ! the historical review of these nearly eighty-year-old urbanistic conceptual plan records is providing a knowledge of the evolution of the general city-planning policy and furthermore is allowing to estimate the particular views of the four last Toulouse City Mayors. It may be concluded that Urbanistic Development is primarily a political issue.


Translated by Claude Péaud-Lenoël