40 Facts About Toulouse


Toulouse is the prefecture of the French department of Haute-Garonne and of the larger region of Occitania.

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Toulouse is the central city of one of the 20 French Metropoles, with one of the three strongest demographic growth .

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Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, the SPOT satellite system, ATR and the Aerospace Valley.

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Toulouse is the home of prestigious higher education schools, notably in the field of aerospace engineering.

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Toulouse is in the south of France, north of the department of Haute-Garonne, on the axis of communication between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

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Around the year 250, Toulouse was marked by the martyrdom of Saturnin, the first bishop of Toulouse.

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From that time, Toulouse was the capital of Aquitaine within the Frankish realm.

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Frankish conquest of Septimania followed in the 750s, and a quasi-independent County of Toulouse emerged within the Carolingian sub-kingdom of Aquitaine by the late 8th century.

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In 1096, Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, left with his army at the call of the Pope Urban II to join the First Crusade, of which he was one of the main leaders.

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In 1152, the notables of Toulouse took advantage of a weakening of the county power to obtain for their city a great autonomy, they created a municipal body of consuls, called capitouls in Toulouse, to lead the city.

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The Bourg, which had only a quarter of the inhabitants of Toulouse, obtained as many capitouls as the rest of the city.

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At the beginning of the thirteenth century the County of Toulouse was caught up in another crusade that would last twenty years, of which it was the target this time.

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In 1323 the Consistori del Gay Saber was created in Toulouse to preserve the lyric art of the troubadours by organizing a poetry contest; and Toulouse became the centre of Occitan literary culture for the following centuries.

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Many law graduates from the University of Toulouse had brilliant careers in the Avignon curia, several became cardinals and three became popes: John XXII, Innocent VI and Urban V These powerful prelates financed the establishment of colleges in the university towns of southern France, not only Toulouse but Montpellier, Cahors and Avignon.

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Toulouse suffered several fires, but it was in 1463 that the Great Fire of Toulouse broke out, ravaging the city for fifteen days.

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In 1562 the French Wars of Religion began and Toulouse became an ultra-Catholic stronghold in a predominantly Protestant region, the era of economic prosperity came to an end.

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On 10 April 1814, four days after Napoleon's surrender of the French Empire to the nations of the Sixth Coalition, the Battle of Toulouse pitted the Hispanic-British troops of Field Marshal Wellington against the French troops of Napoleonic Marshal Soult, who, although they managed to resist, were forced to withdraw.

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Toulouse was thus the scene of the last Franco-British battle on French territory.

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In 1963, Toulouse was chosen to become one of the country's eight “balancing Metropolis”, regaining a position among the country's major cities that it had always had, but lost in the 19th century.

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Toulouse is the fourth most populated city in France, after Paris, Marseille and Lyon, and the fifth most populated metropolitan area after Paris, Lyon, Marseille, and Lille.

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Community of Agglomeration of Greater Toulouse was created in 2001 to better coordinate transport, infrastructure and economic policies between the city of Toulouse and its immediate independent suburbs.

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One of the major political figures in Toulouse was Dominique Baudis, the mayor of Toulouse between 1983 and 2001, member of the centrist UDF.

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The Occitan cross, flag of Languedoc and symbol of the counts of Toulouse, was chosen as the new flag of the city, instead of the traditional coat of arms of Toulouse .

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For example, monuments dating from the time of the counts of Toulouse were restored, the city's symphonic concert hall was refurbished, a city theater was built, a Museum of Modern Art was founded, the Bemberg Foundation was established, a huge pop music concert venue was built, the space museum and educational park Cite de l'Espace was founded, etc.

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Toulouse announced that he would not run for a fourth term in 2001.

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Romanesque architecture of Toulouse is largely dominated by the presence of the Basilica of Saint-Sernin, one of the most important churches of its time in Europe, and fortunate enough to keep its Romanesque character virtually intact.

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Under the impulse of the bishop of Toulouse, Foulques, an austere and militant architectural style was born with the reconstruction of the Cathedral of Toulouse: the Southern French Gothic.

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Several churches or convents in Toulouse belong to this architectural trend, but two of them are particularly symbolic and remarkable:.

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Toulouse has preserved about thirty Gothic stair towers, the remains of private mansions from the Middle Ages and the early 16th century.

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At a time when most of the houses in Toulouse were built in wood or cob, the brick construction of these towers and hotels testifies to their quality.

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The woad trade brought merchants of international stature to the city, and the Parliament of Toulouse made the city the judicial capital of a large part of the south of France.

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Toulouse has several theme parks, notably highlighting its aeronautical and space heritage:.

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Since 2003, Toulouse has been the French city with the fastest growing GDP per capita, a performance driven by growing high-tech industries.

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Indeed, Toulouse is home to the second largest research and education centre in France, it has a high quality of education, first class engineering schools, powerful industries supported by world leaders, such as Airbus or Thales Alenia for aeronautics and space.

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Two other stations located in Toulouse are served by line C Lardenne, formerly named "Gare des Capelles", changed its name in September 2003 when line C opened.

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In 2007, a citywide bicycle rental scheme called VeloToulouse was introduced, with bicycles available from automated stations for a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly subscription.

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Toulouse is the home of Bonhoure Radio Tower, a 61-metre high lattice tower used for FM and TV transmission.

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Le Chateau d'Eau, an old 19th-century water-tower, was converted as a gallery in 1974 by Jean Dieuzaide, a French photographer from Toulouse and is one of the oldest public places dedicated to photography in the world.

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Toulouse is the seat of the Academie des Jeux Floraux, the equivalent of the French Academy for the Occitan-speaking regions of southern France, making Toulouse the unofficial capital of Occitan culture.

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Musically, Toulouse is one of the two controversial, disputed birthplaces of Carlos Gardel, probably the most prominent figure in the history of the tango.

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