1 Place Laganne
Phone: +33 5 61 77 09 40
Fax: +33 5 61 42 02 70

Le Chateau D'Eau

We owe the Chateau d’Eau to Capitoul Charles Laganne, who, fearing for the well-being of his fellow citizens, gave 50,000 gold pieces to the city so that "pure, clean, and potable" water would be distributed to the people of Toulouse. It would however be nearly half a century before the responsible municipality granted this promise. The project was presented in 1817, and architect Jean-Antoine Raynaud conceived of the building and the hydraulic machine was revealed by Jean Abadie in 1822.

The Chateau d'Eau in Toulouse, with its "solid appearance that pleases the eye and the spirit" is from now on considered a model of ingenuity and good taste. The accomplishment of French industry during this time period changed the life of the inhabitants.

The water of the Garonne, purified by filters installed in a meadow now known as the «filter meadow», is propelled to the top of the tower by 8 pumps. After passing through the flow regulation on the third floor, the water goes back down and fuels 90 fountains (of which 15 are monuments). Four thousand cubic metres of water are thus regularly distributed to the 60,000 people living in Toulouse.

At the top of the tower, one can get a beautiful perspective on the courtyard of the Hotel Dieu St Jaques and further, the tile roofs of the city. The tower shelters three floors that one accesses by a wooden spiral staircase that developed around a bent tree trunk. The ornate exterior boasts sandstone gargoyles, wall molding, elegant architecture, and a fully circular arched vault that is an admirable work of art. Around 1870, the Chateau d'Eau was abandoned due to insufficient capacity. In April... [ Read all ]

 Permanent Collection Highlights (3)

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Permanent Collection

The Chateau d'Eau is the oldest public institution devoted to photography in France. It has presented more than 400 monographic or thematic exhibitions. Its program strives to present photography under all of its facets and thus it comprises the biggest artists' names from the history of photography: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï, Edward Weston, William Klein, Walker Evans, Chema Madoz, Marcos Lopez, Clara Gutsche, Charles Fréger ou Gilbert Fastenaekens.

It is also a resource centre, open to all, boasting thousands of works and hundreds of artists' folders. Conscious of its educational role in guiding culture, its policy of mediation aligns with that of the academic world.


Full price: 2.50 €
Concessions (students, seniors over 60): 1.50 €
Schools and children under 18: free
Groups of at least 10: 1.50 €

Museum internal and external photos (2)

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Guided tours are available for groups with reservations only for 18 €


Year pass: Admission to all exhibitions and to the library
Full price: 15 €
Student price: 9 €
One year subscription to the monographs with association membership: 50 €