Stage town for the second time
Sub-prefecture of Haute-Garonne (31)

Population: 27,000 (Muretains, Muretainnes), and 90,000 in the Muretain agglomeration community
Personalities: Clément Ader (aviator), Vincent Auriol (President of the Republic), Adolphe Niel (Marshal of the Empire), Nicolas Dalatrac (composer), Bernard Maris (economist, victim of the attack on Charlie Hebdo), Christian Jeanpierre (sports journalist).
Economy: Aeronautics, Etienne Lacroix group (pyrotechnics), Laboratoires Pierre Fabre, Éditions Hubert (gastronomy).
Festivals: Country 31 (June), Printemps fait son jazz (April), Afriqu'à Muret (June), Hermanamiento (Spanish music, June), Festival des bords de Louge (writing, theatre, etc., July), Les Occitanes (medieval festivals, September), La Bohême (Balkan music, October)
Label : " Ville à Vélo du Tour de France " 1 bike / flowered city
Websites / FB / G+ : www.mairie-muret.fr / www.facebook.com/pages/Office-de-Tourisme-de-Muret/ / plus.google.com/+cauterets/

Allées Niel © Ville de Muret
Vue aérienne de Muret © Ville de Muret
Place Republique à Muret © Ville de Muret
Statue Niel © Ville de Muret

MURET, THE STORY

 

Opened in 1930, five years after the death of the aviation pioneer, the Clément Ader park not only pays tribute to one of the country's most famous children, it is now an authentic open-air sculpture museum. Listed as a historical monument and distinguished by the Ministry of Culture as a 20th century heritage site, this vast Art Deco space, designed by the town planner Léon Jaussely and inaugurated by the future President of the Republic Vincnet Auriol, then mayor of the town, has suffered the ravages of time. Muret has undertaken to give the works in the park a new lease of life.
The most emblematic of all, the one that overlooks the whole, is L'Envolée d'Icare (The Flight of Icarus), a monumental statue imagined by one of the greatest sculptors of his time, Paul Landowski. It represents Clément Ader, pencil in hand, contemplating Icarus in full flight. Mainly known for his statue of the Christ of Corcovado which dominates the bay of Rio, this former War Cross of the 1914-18 War, Prix de Rome in 1900, also directed the Villa Médicis and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was also responsible for the statue of Saint Genevieve on the bridge of la Tournelle in Paris and for many monuments to the dead of the Great War.
The Clément Ader Park was unveiled to the public on 21 September 1930 in the presence of another aviation hero, Louis Blériot. Léon Jaussely designed the park in the shape of an aeroplane. In addition to Landowski's fourteen-metre high statue, numerous stone steles pay tribute to the pioneers of aviation at the foot of the Toulouse brick steps leading to the park. They are the work of local artists: André Abbal, Sylvestre Clerc, Gilbert Privat, Yvonne Bedouce, and Paul Manaut.

Musée des arts et métiers, Aéroplane de Clément Ader © Creative Commons 2.0/Oric1

MURET AND CYCLING

 

In 2015, the 13th stage of the Tour de France started from Muret towards Rodez, where Greg Van Avermaet won a Tour stage at long last. He did it again the following year in Le Lioran before wearing the Yellow Jersey for three days, then eight in 2018. A few Muretans have taken part in the Grande Boucle throughout its history. Jean "Henri" Gauban even took part in the first edition in 1903 and persisted on four further occasions, without ever finishing the race. In 1906, he was disqualified for having taken the train between Nancy and Dijon with some friends. This pioneer of cycling died in 1958. Other Muret riders, the Van Schendel brothers, did better than appear in the race. Dutch by birth and living near Toulouse, where their parents had a farm, Antoon and Albert both took part in four Tours de France at the end of the 30s. Antoon even won two stages in 1938 in Narbonne and the following year in Annecy. He was the second Dutchman after Theo Middelkamp to have won a stage in the Grande Boucle. His brother Albert finished 15th in the race on two occasions. Both died in 1990 in Muret.

Greg Van Avermaet vainqueur de l'étape Muret/Rodez du Tour de France 2015 © Presse Sports/Bernard Papon

SIGHTS

 

Clément Ader and Great Men Museum
The museum, installed in the former property of Vincent Auriol, retraces the history of the town (an archaeology room and a room dedicated to the battle of Muret in 1213) and pays tribute to the great men who have marked the history of Muret: Clément Ader, Vincent Auriol, Marshal Niel, Nicolas Dalayrac.

Clément Ader Park
Created on the initiative of Vincent Auriol, then mayor of Muret in 1925, the park is a tribute to Clément Ader, Muret-born pioneer of aviation and inventor of the first flying machine, the Eole. It is a testimony to aviation, whether national or international, as evidenced by the commemorative steles that adorn the park. It has been listed as a Historical Monument since 1999.
The Envolée d'Icare statue (see above) dominates the Clément Ader park. In this park there are also other sculpted works:
The stele of peace, Crossing the Atlantic and Crossing the Mediterranean... These aerosteles were built in honour of Louis Blériot, who crossed the English Channel, Roland Garros who flew over the Mediterranean, Nungesser, Coli and Lindbergh who attempted, with or without success, to cross the Atlantic Ocean....

Muret Art Platform
This municipal structure encourages contemporary art and holds four exhibitions per year.

Saint-Jacques Church
The church of St Jacques was originally built in Romanesque style. Its bell tower is in the Languedoc Gothic style (14th century). It has been listed as a Historical Monument since 2005. It contains many treasures: paintings (Despax, Gamelin, etc.), works of art and a crypt where other wonders of the Muret heritage are hidden.
In view of its remarkable renovation, this splendid nine-century-old building is a token of pride in the Muret region's heritage.
Inside is the Romanesque chapel of the Rosary which recalls the battle of Muret in 1213. Its organ is listed as a Historical Monument.

The ruins of the old bridge
This bridge, built in 1203, was "free of leudy and tolls" and was used to promote trade. This bridge facilitated the invasion of Muret by Simon de Montfort, twice in the 13th century.

Musée Clément Ader © Ville de Muret
Parc Clément Ader de Muret © Ville de Muret
Église Saint-Jacques de Muret © Creative Commons 1.0/Patrice Bon

TO EAT:

 

Violets and violettines
Known as Toulouse violet, the violet candy is a purplish coloured sweet made from fresh violet flowers crystallised in sugar. Some are eaten, others are used to decorate desserts (cakes, ice cream). After collection (from October to March), the violet flowers are successively stemmed and soaked in a syrup, sprinkled with sugar and dried, steamed (around 60°C, for 24 hours) to dehydrate them. Some of these dehydrated flowers will be re-soaked in a coloured and flavoured sugar syrup, heated to over 100 °C. Drained and cooled, the violets are finally dried.
A chocolate maker in Muret offers "violettines", chocolates inspired by the famous violets of the neighbouring town.

Bonbons à la violette © Getty/tamara_kulikova

Follow us

Receive exclusive news about the Tour