Saturday, June 11, 2022

l'Eglise des Jacobins

Part of a convent complex in central Toulouse, the Jacobian Church is one of the jewels of southern French gothic architecture. The church was constructed mostly of red brick in the 13th and 14th centuries. My photo was an attempt to capture what they call the palmier (palm tree), a column and rib-vaulted structure above the choir. I didn't do a very good job. Can I get a do-over?

Le palmier, église des Jacobins, Toulouse. Digitized color slide, 1989.

I read on Wikipedia that the palmier is considered an architectural masterpiece and that the church itself represents the "pinnacle" of the southern French gothic style. I don't think I knew any of this at the time I visited; I just thought it was pretty. I probably read something about it in our guide book, and probably after the fact, but I don't remember. And to think I had just received my undergraduate degree in architecture. Oh, the shame.


  1. Actually, I think you've captured the structure beautifully, including its unusual and moody reds. This "palm tree" style reminds me of the dramatic twisting columns in Saint-Severin in Paris. Perhaps they are of the same era?

  2. That is spectacular. You’ve captured it, but if you want a do-over, you should have a do-over.

  3. Definitely worth a revisit. It reminds me of mosques that I've seen.

  4. Yes, you've captured it beautifully... you have a real eye for framing, that's for sure :)
    Plus, I love this palmier...I am not familiar with this church at all.

  5. You’re too modest or too perfectionist. This is excellent. I saw that in person and I can assure you this rendering is perfect. I do like this photo.

  6. anon, (chm?) sounds like a good research project!

    mitch, thanks. I'll add it to the list!

    evelyn, I can see that, now that you mention it.

    judy, so many churches to see! Although I find they start looking alike after a while.

    chm, :)

    1. Oops! Those responses are from me. I forgot to sign in before posting them, so they came in as Anonymous.

  7. Do you know France still has convents and monasteries?


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