Photographer's Note

Winter on the north side of the globe has passed, but I keep hearing about the cold weather and late snowfalls in France and other European countries. Here is a photo from the previous winter or very late Autumn, taken just a couple of weeks before Christmas in 2011. Looking to the west across the Garonne River in Toulouse, from the Place Saint-Pierre, close by the bridge of the same name, we see the copper dome of the Hpital de La Grave, situated in the Saint-Cyprien district. In earlier times named after Saint-Joseph de la Grave, the hospital or hospice was set up to treat victims of the plague epidemics in the 15th century, but converted to a general hospital in 1647, when the many victims of the plague had all died. Below the dome, the circular chapel of La Grave was commenced in 1758 and completed in 1845. After a collapse into the soft alluvial soils beside the river, the foundations were rebuilt in concrete and the dome was constructed of copper over wood to keep the weight low.

Today, the hospital is still of major importance to public health in Toulouse, having been used mostly as a maternal care centre during the 20th century.

Incidentally, the name 'Grave' was given to both the saint and the hospital after the sandy bank - or 'grve' in French - beside the very shallow Garonne.

Kofman, snunney, Royaldevon, SnapRJW, Kielia, abmdsudi, jhm, adramad, manrezaei, PiotrF, fotka has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Andrew McRae (macondo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2978 W: 101 N: 5253] (20449)
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