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Place Saint-Sernin - 31000 Toulouse. Ouvert du mardi au dimanche, de 10 h à 18 h (fermeture à 16 h les 24 et 31 décembre). Tél. 05 61 22 31 44

Visigoths. Kings of Toulouse

The 1,600th anniversary of the arrival of the Visigoths in Toulouse is a great opportunity for the Musée Saint-Raymond, Toulouse’s Museum of Archaeology, to present to the public a part of its history that is often overlooked. This exhibition focuses on the 5th-century capital of Tolosa and its territory.

In line with the literature, some of the most recent archaeological findings are included in the visit, some of which have never before been exhibited. The visit covers the origin of the Visigoths and the relationships they maintained with the Romans, the material culture synonymous with these people as well as the specific customs we know about mainly thanks to artefacts found in graves.

In 419 CE, the Visigoths arrived in south-west Gaul via the Western Roman Empire, to territory granted by Emperor Honorius. As events unfolded and the Goths gained independence, Toulouse, their royal residence, became the capital of a kingdom often referred to by historians as the Kingdom of Toulouse.

In little under a century, the Visigothic kings had established a dynasty and their authority extended form the Loire to the south of Spain thereby setting up one of the first Western Barbarian Kingdoms which, in south-west Gaul, came to an end at the beginning of the 6th century following the death of Alaric II in 507 CE. Even though all of these events are fairly well known thanks to contemporary Latin authors, physical traces of a Germanic presence in our region are often considered lacking. However, recent discoveries in the south-west France contradict this.

Over 250 objects are included in the exhibition, of which nearly 200 are on loan from 35 French and European (Ukraine, Poland, Austria, Romania, Moldovia, etc.) institutions.
Videos and digital and interactive tools also enhance the visitor experience.

To find out more about this exhibition, follow this link

You can also discover the exhibition thanks to a virtual visit carried out by  IMA Solutions  as part of a skills sponsorship programme.  
Go to the tour  

Download the texts of the panels translated into English

Laure Barthet
Heritage curator and director of the Musée Saint-Raymond

Claudine Jacquet
Assistant Heritage curator at the Musée Saint-Raymond

Emmanuelle Boube
Lecturer at the University of Toulouse II Jean-Jaurès, TRACES laboratory

Jean-Luc Boudartchouk
Deputy technological and scientific director, Midi-Mediterranean inter-regional management of the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap)

Laure Barthet
Claudine Jacquet
Musée Saint-Raymond team

Emmanuelle Sapet, Direction de la Communication - Toulouse Métropole

Teddy Bélier Design


The Service régional de l’Archéologie et de la Connaissance d’Occitanie (Regional department for archaeology and knowledge of Occitanie) is the regional point of contact for all questions related to archaeology. Its missions, most of which are described in book V of the Code du patrimoine (French heritage code), are arranged into three parts, each section of which is based on an expert scientific approach: know and study, safeguard, protect and preserve, inform, enhance and promote.

The French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap) is a public institution under the administrative supervision of the Ministries of Culture and Research. It is responsible for detecting and undertaking studies of the archaeological heritage prior to any development work, and carries out some 1,800 archaeological diagnoses and over 200 excavations each year on behalf of private and public developers, in mainland France and the overseas territories. Its missions extend to the scientific analysis and interpretation of the data obtained through excavations, as well as the wider publication of archaeological knowledge. Its 2,200 agents, assigned to 8 regional and inter-regional departments, 42 research centres and one head office in Paris, make it the largest archaeological research operator in Europe.

TRACES (an acronym that stands for Travaux et Recherches Archéologiques sur les Cultures, les Espaces et les Sociétés / Archaeological work and research into cultures, areas and societies) is a mixed research unit of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) (UMR 5608), under the administrative supervision of both the CNRS, the University of Toulouse II Jean-Jaurès and the Ministry of Culture. The laboratory also has contracts with the EHESS, Inrap and the Archaeology Department of Toulouse Métropole.

Founded in 1994, HADÈS is the oldest office for archaeological studies created in France. Authorised by the Ministry of Culture to carry out preventive archaeology, HADÈS researchers perform expert investigations, studies, protective and promotional work and excavations on archaeological sites, monuments and objects dating from pre-history to the present day, in mainland France and the overseas territories.
HADÈS became a Société Coopérative et Participative (a worker cooperative, or SCOP) in 2018 with 33 associates – both scientists and administrative personnel. This choice was prompted by our commitment to the values that define the cooperative movement: putting people first, democracy and solidarity. Since 2012, HADÈS has been the only preventive archaeology organisation to be ISO 9001-certified for its quality management system.

The Association Toulouse wisigothique (Toulouse Visigothic Association) came into being in autumn 2017 with the goal of helping to preserve and promote Toulouse’s Visigothic heritage by organising and publicising events to celebrate the 1,600th anniversary of the Visigothic Kingdom of Toulouse (418-507 CE). Its remit includes organising Public conference days designed to make the women and men of Toulouse more aware of this little-known yet prestigious century which is an integral part of the city’s history, supporting the Musée Saint-Raymond as it puts together an exhibition devoted to the Visigothic Kingdom of Toulouse, and making various proposals intended to remind people of the major role played by the Visigothic kings of Toulouse in 5th-century Europe, for example by naming public areas after certain
historical figures, affixing commemorative plaques and holding cultural events such as the performance of the opera by Verdi, Attila.

Visigoths. Kings of Toulouse

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