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Travel Guide 2   >   Europe   >   France   >   Towns and Cities   >   Toulouse

   
 

Toulouse


Toulouse is a city in southwestern France. The city is located on the Garonne River, and lies almost half way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean, and fairly close to the border with Spain. As of 2005, Toulouse had an estimated population of 435,000.


Key Facts about Toulouse


Here are some facts about Toulouse:
  1. Toulouse is a city in southwestern France.

  2. Toulouse is located on the Garonne River, and lies almost half way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean. The city is also fairly close to the border with Spain.

  3. As of 2005, Toulouse had an estimated population of 435,000.

  4. Archaeological evidence dates the earliest settlement in the area of Toulouse to the 8th century BCE. A city, known as Tolosa, was eventually established in the area, although to the South of the present day city of Toulouse.

  5. When the Romans conquered southern Gaul in the 2nd century BCE, a Roman military garrison was established close to Tolosa, although the old city of Tolosa also remained inhabited.

  6. During the Roman conquest of the rest of Gaul in the 1st century BCE, Julius Caesar established his camp in Tolosa in 52 BCE.

  7. After the Roman conquest of the whole of Gaul, Tolosa was no longer near the frontier, so stopped being a garrison town. Nevertheless the city continued to grow, thanks to its convenient location for trade between the Mediterranean and Atlantic.

  8. In the 1st century AD, a decision was made to relocate the entire city a few miles to the North. The old city was abandoned (the population was forced to relocate), and a new city built a few miles to the North. The new city became known as Palladia Tolosa, and rapidly grew to become a major Roman city.

  9. In the 5th century AD, the Roman Empire began to collapse, facing multiple barbarian invasions. In 407, Toulouse was besieged by Vandals, but managed to resist. In 413, the city was captured by Visigoths, who then withdrew, but who were then given control over the city by the Emperor Honorius in 418.

  10. From 418 to 508, Toulouse was part of the Visigothic kingdom. It was then conquered by the Franks, became part of the Merovingian, and later Carolingan Empires.

  11. In 721, during the Merovingian period, Duke Odo of Aquitaine defeated an invading Umayyad Muslim which had come Spain, in the Battle of Toulouse. This was a prelude to the better known Battle of Tours (also known as the Battle of Poiters) which occurred in 732.

  12. After suffering from the Black Death, famine, floods, and the Hundred Years' War in the 14th century, Toulouse experienced something of a "golden age" in the 15th century. A large part of this new found prosperity was based on a plant-based blue dye, "pastel", that was exported throughout Europe.

  13. In the 16th century however, a new blue dye from America, "indigo", wiped out the city's prosperity. Moreover religious conflict broke out between Calvinists and Catholics, only beginning to die out during the late 18th century.

  14. Since the 18th and 19th century, Toulouse gradually modernized.

  15. In the 1960s, Toulouse experienced rapid growth, because of the arrival of immigrants from Algeria.



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