Postcard from Toulouse, France: How to fall in love, one quirky detail at a time

Above: 19th-century molded terracotta caryatids

Walk and walk. And, even at the risk of stumbling, always look up. The rewards are rich, and you will be smitten.

An architectural embellishment I’ve never noticed elsewhere is the frequent usage of lacy, “picado” metalwork at the top of windows in Toulouse. Hoping someone will provide a proper term for this or know of other places it is found. Sometimes the wrought-iron designs on balconies echo those patterns, and often elaborate wrought-iron railings meticulously match the carved or molded work adorning the buildings. And the contrasting patterns of brick and stone are striking and distinctively Toulouse.

These architectural details range about six centuries or so in age, but this randomness represents how they are encountered around the city.

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