Toulouse: Wikis


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Coordinates: 43°36′16″N 1°26′38″E / 43.604503°N 1.444026°E / 43.604503; 1.444026

Ville de Toulouse
Flag of Toulouse
Coat of arms of Toulouse
New city flag
(Occitan cross)
Traditional coat of arms

Motto: Per Tolosa totjorn mai.
(Occitan for "For Toulouse, always more")

Montage Toulouse 2.jpg
Toulouse is located in France
Time zone CET (GMT +1)
Country France
Region Midi-Pyrénées
Department Haute-Garonne (31)
Arrondissement Toulouse
Canton chief town of 15 cantons
Intercommunality Urban community of Greater Toulouse
Mayor Pierre Cohen (PS)
(since 2008)
Land area1 118.3 km2 (45.7 sq mi)
Population2 437,715  (1 January 2006[1])
 - Ranking 4th in France
 - Density 3,700 /km2 (9,600 /sq mi)
Urban spread
Urban area 808 km2 (312 sq mi) (1999)
 - Population 850,873[1] (1 January 2006)
Metro area 4,015 km2 (1,550 sq mi) (1999)
 - Population 1,102,882[1] (1 January 2006)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Toulouse (pronounced Fr-Toulouse.ogg [tuluz] in standard French, and Fr-Toulouse-Accent.ogg [tuˈluzə] locally with Toulouse accent) (in Occitan: Tolosa, pronounced [tuˈluzɔ], primarily Tholoza) is a city in southwest France on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. With 1,102,882 inhabitants as of Jan. 1, 2006,[1] the Toulouse metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in France.

Toulouse is the home base of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, Galileo positioning system, the SPOT satellite system, and CNES's Toulouse Space Centre (CST), the largest space centre in Europe.[2] Thales Alenia Space, Europe's largest satellite manufacturer, and EADS Astrium Satellites, EADS's satellite system subsidiary, also have a significant presence in Toulouse. Its world renowned university is one of the oldest in Europe (founded in 1229) and, with more than 97,000 students, is with Lille the third-largest university campus of France after Paris and Lyon[3].

Toulouse was the capital of the former province of Languedoc (provinces were abolished during the French Revolution). It is now the main city of the Midi-Pyrénées region, the largest region in metropolitan France. It is also the main city of the Haute-Garonne department.



Toulouse is an old and ornate city in France with a long and rich history.

Historical Population
Urban Area Metropolitan
1695 43,000
1750 48,000
1790 52,863
1801 50,171
1831 59,630
1851 95,277
1872 126,936
1911 149,000
1936 213,220
1946 264,411
1954 268,865
1962 329,044
1968 439,764 474,000
1975 509,939 585,000
1982 541,271 645,000
1990 650,336 797,373
1999 761,090 964,797
2006 850,873 1,102,882


  • figures provided by French national statistics office INSEE
  • figures up to and including 1954 can be compared with each other, as the limits of the urban area did not change until 1954, being only the city of Toulouse; after 1954 the urban area starts to include suburban communes, and the limits vary year after year
  • INSEE started calculating metropolitan area data only in 1990, a metropolitan area being different from an urban area in that it also includes satellite towns and the agricultural land in between, thus better reflecting the modern-day phenomenon of commutes and hubs; metropolitan area data before 1990 are only estimates


The population of the city proper (French: commune) was 437,715 at the Jan. 1, 2006 census, with 1,102,882 inhabitants in the metropolitan area (French: aire urbaine) at the Jan. 1, 2006 census, up from 964,797 at the March 1999 census, which means a record 1.98% population growth per year between 1999 and 2006 for the metropolitan area.[1]

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

Fueled by booming aerospace and high-tech industries, population growth of 1.5% a year in the metropolitan area in the 1990s (compared with 0.37% for metropolitan France), and a record 1.98% a year in the 2000s (0.69% for metropolitan France), means the Toulouse metropolitan area hit the 1,000,000 inhabitants mark in 2000 or 2001. Boasting the highest population growth of any French metropolitan area larger than 500,000 inhabitants, Toulouse is on its way to overtake Lille as the fourth-largest metropolitan area of France (if the Belgian part of the Lille metropolitan area is not included).




Toulouse has a temperate climate, usually classified as oceanic (Cfb) under the Köppen climate classification. Toulouse is located at the junction with the Mediterranean climate, but uniform precipitation prevents it from being classified this way. A plausible argument can be made that under the Köppen climate classification, Toulouse has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa).

Weather data for Toulouse
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.2
Average high °C (°F) 9.4
Average low °C (°F) 2.2
Record low °C (°F) -18.6
Precipitation mm (inches) 52
Source: Météo France 2009-10-2


The town is traversed by the Canal de Garonne, the Canal du Midi and the rivers Garonne, Touch.

Government and politics

Community of the Agglomeration of Greater Toulouse

The Community of Agglomeration of Greater Toulouse (Communauté d'agglomération du Grand Toulouse) was created in 2001 to better coordinate transport, infrastructure and economic policies between the city of Toulouse and its immediate independent suburbs. It succeeds a previous district which had been created in 1992 with less powers than the current council. It combines the city of Toulouse and 24 independent communes, covering an area of 380 km² (147 sq. miles), totaling a population of 583,229 inhabitants (as of 1999 census), 67% of whom live in the city of Toulouse proper. As of February 2004 estimate, the total population of the Community of Agglomeration of Greater Toulouse was 651,209 inhabitants, 65.5% of whom live in the city of Toulouse. Due to local political feuds, the Community of Agglomeration only hosts 61% of the population of the metropolitan area, the other independent suburbs having refused to join in.

Local politics

Wilson Square
Augustins cloister
The Capitol (Town hall) by night

One of the major political figures in Toulouse was Dominique Baudis, the mayor of Toulouse between 1983 and 2001, member of center-right UDF. First known as a journalist famous for his coverage of the war in Lebanon, 36 year-old Dominique Baudis succeeded his father Pierre Baudis in 1983 as mayor of Toulouse. (Pierre Baudis was mayor from 1971 to 1983.) The Baudis dynasty succeeded in turning Toulouse into a center-right stronghold, whereas historically the city had been left-leaning since the 19th century. Dominique Baudis is also known as a writer who wrote historical novels about the ancient counts of Toulouse, their crusade in the Middle East, and the Albigensian Crusade.

During his time as mayor, Toulouse's economy and population boomed. He tried to strengthen the international role of Toulouse (such as its Airbus operations), as well as revive the cultural heritage of the city. 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 (which included the fleur de lis of the French monarchy). Many cultural institutions were created, in order to attract foreign expatriates and emphasise the city's past. For example, monuments dating from the time of the counts of Toulouse were restored, the city's symphonic concert hall (Halle aux Grains) was refurbished, a city theater was built, a Museum of Modern Art was founded, the Bemberg Foundation (European paintings and bronzes from the Renaissance to the 20th century) was established, a huge pop music concert venue (Zénith, the largest in France outside Paris) was built, the space museum and educational park Cité de l'Espace was founded, etc.

To deal with growth, major housing and transportation projects were launched. Perhaps the one for which Baudis is most famous is the Toulouse Metro: line A of the underground was opened in 1993, and Baudis succeeded in having work started on line B (which opened in 2007), despite strong local opposition to the anticipated costs. The creation of a system of underground car parking structures in Toulouse city centre was sharply criticised by the Green Party.

Despite all these massive undertakings, the city's economy proved so strong that Dominique Baudis was able to announce, in 1999, that the city had finished repaying its debt, making it the only large city in France ever to achieve solvency. In Europe, typical per capita city debt for a city the size of Toulouse is around 1,200 euros. Achieving solvency was a long-standing goal for Baudis, who had said that he would extinguish city debt before leaving office. Local opposition, however, has criticised this achievement, saying that the task of governments is not to run zero-deficit, but to ensure the well-being of citizens, through social benefits, housing programs for poor people, etc.

In 2000, Dominique Baudis was at the zenith of his popularity, with approval rates of 85%. He announced that he would not run for a fourth (6-year) term in 2001. He explained that with 3 terms he was already the longest-serving mayor of Toulouse since the French Revolution; he felt that change would be good for the city, and that the number of terms should be limited. He endorsed Philippe Douste-Blazy, then UDF mayor of Lourdes as his successor. Baudis has since been appointed president of the CSA (Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel) in Paris, the French equivalent of the American FCC.

Philippe Douste-Blazy narrowly won in the 2001 elections, which saw the left making its best showing in decades. Douste-Blazy had to deal with a reinvigorated political opposition, as well as with the dramatic explosion of the AZF plant in late 2001.

In March 2004 he entered the national government, and left Toulouse in the hands of his second-in-command Jean-Luc Moudenc, elected mayor by the municipal council. In March 2008, Moudenc was defeated by the Socialist Party's candidate Pierre Cohen.


Hôtel Bagis, also called Hôtel de Pierre
The romanesque Saint-Sernin Basilica and its tower.
Notre-Dame de la Dalbade church (15th-16th century)


Religious buildings

  • Saint-Sernin Basilica (the largest romanesque church in Europe) which contains what is widely considered the most beautiful pipe organ in France.
  • Notre-Dame du Taur church, 14th century
  • Church of the Jacobins and its cloister (burial of Saint Thomas Aquinas)
  • Saint-Étienne cathedral, 13th to 16th century
  • Daurade basilica, 18th-19th century
  • Ursulines tower
  • Saint Nicolas church, gothic church
  • Notre-Dame de de la Dalbade church, 15th-16th century
  • Saint-Pierre des Cuisines church, 11th and 12th century with a 4th century crypt.
  • Carmelite chapel, chapel with 17th and 18th century frescoes.
  • former Augustine Convent and its gothic cloister, which now houses the Musée des Augustins.


The main Airbus factory in Toulouse lies just next to Toulouse Airport

The main industries are aeronautics, space, electronics, information technology and biotechnology. Toulouse hosts the Airbus headquarters and assembly-lines of Airbus A320, A330, A340, and A380, the others (A318, A319, A321 and A380 interior furnishing) being in Hamburg, Germany. Airbus intends to relocate Toulouse A320 final assembly activity to Hamburg, with A350 and A380 production going in the opposite direction as part of its Power8 organization plan begun under ex-CEO Christian Streiff.[4]

According to Newsweek Toulouse ranked as the fifth most dynamic city in the world in 2006.[5]

Colleges and Universities

Toulouse has the third-largest student population in France after Lyon and Paris with 97,000 students.

The University of Toulouse (Université de Toulouse), established in 1229, is located here (now split into three separate universities). Like the universities in Oxford and Paris, the University of Toulouse was established at a time when Europeans were starting to translate the writings of Arabs of Andalus and Greek philosophers. These writings challenged European ideology - inspiring scientific discoveries and advances in the arts - as society began seeing itself in a new way. These colleges were supported by the Church in hopes to reconcile Greek Philosophy and Christian Theology.

and its engineering schools :

The most well known high schools in Toulouse are Lycée Pierre de Fermat and Lycée Saint-Sernin.


In addition to an extensive bus system, the Toulouse Metro system is a VAL (Véhicule Automatique Léger) metro system made up of driverless (automatic) rubber-tired trains. Line A runs for 12.5 km from Balma-Gramont to Basso Cambo. Line B, which opened in June 2007, adds 20 stations and intersects line A at Jean Jaurès. Line E (tramway) is going to be finished in 2009, and will roll from Beauzelle to Toulouse passing through Blagnac. Line C has existed since line A was completed. It is not VAL but a classical railway line with SNCF trains; it connects to line A at Arènes. Another oft-used commuter train line (D) runs to the city of Muret.

Airports include:

Railway stations include:


Toulouse is the home of Bonhoure Radio Tower, a 61-metre high lattice tower used for FM and TV transmission[6]. In 2001 a large (100 km) optical fiber (symmetric 360Gb/s) network named Infrastructure Métropolitaine de Télécommunications has been deployed around the city and suburbs [7].


A typical "Pink City" street at sunset
16th century Hôtel Dahus

Toulouse, known as the Ville Rose ("Pink City") for its distinctive brick architecture, is host to a rich and diverse culture. It has a thriving scene of unusually beautiful graffiti, with the painter Miss Van at its forefront.

It is the seat of the Académie 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. The traditional Occitan cross was adopted as the symbol of both the City of Toulouse and the newly-founded Midi-Pyrénées région.

The city's gastronomic specialties include Saucisses de Toulouse, a type of herb sausage, cassoulet Toulousain, a bean and pork stew, and garbure, a cabbage soup with poultry. Also, foie gras, the liver of an overfed duck or goose, is a delicacy mainly made in the Midi-Pyrénées.


In sports, it boasts a highly respected rugby union team, Stade Toulousain, which has been a five-time finalist, three-time winner in Europe's top club competition in the sport, the Heineken Cup and 17 times French champions. Toulouse hosted games at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The city also has a professional football team Toulouse FC who play in ligue 1, the top level of football in France. Toulouse Olympique represents the city in rugby league's Co-operative Championship.

The city also hosted games during the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the EuroBasket 1999.

Notable births and deaths in Toulouse

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Toulouse is twinned with:

United States Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Italy Bologna, Italy
England Bristol, England, United Kingdom
People's Republic of China Chongqing, China
Spain Elche, Spain
Ukraine Kiev, Ukraine
Israel Tel Aviv, Israel
Argentina Rosario, Argentina

Toulouse also has accords of cooperation with the following towns:

Poland Bydgoszcz, Poland
Germany Düsseldorf, Germany
Vietnam Hanoi, Vietnam
Chad N'Djamena, Chad
Senegal Ses, Senegal
Brazil São José dos Campos, Brazil
Spain Zaragoza, Spain

In addition, Toulouse has an adoption city:

Romania Câmpia Turzii, Romania

See also



  • Le Stang, Anne (2006), Histoire de Toulouse illustrée, Le périgrinateur, ISBN 2-910352-44-7   (French)

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Toulouse [1] is a city in southwestern France, near the Pyrenees, in the Midi-Pyrenees region, half way between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

Capitole, Toulouse, France
Capitole, Toulouse, France
Hotel Dieu Saint-Jacques on Garonne in Toulouse
Hotel Dieu Saint-Jacques on Garonne in Toulouse

Toulouse has become a center of aviation and spaceflight in the past 20 years. More than 35,000 of the city's 400,000 citizens work in the civil aviation or space industries; Airbus / EADS is the largest employer in the region. The city has remained relatively unchanged despite the economic boom.

The city at the Garonne river is on the site of an ancient Roman settlement; even today many of the smaller streets follow their Roman counterparts and many of the red brick buildings are of a pseudo-Roman style. These buildings are also what gives Toulouse its nickname La ville rose (The pink city).

In the middle ages, Toulouse was one of the richest cities of France due to the sale of blue coloring (pastel) extracted from woad plants. This monopoly was only broken when the Portuguese began to import Indigo to Europe. Over 50 hotels, mansions, remain witness to the past wealth.

Get in

By plane

Regular scheduled domestic and international flights arrive at Blagnac airport [2], about 20 minutes from the city. It serves connections from Paris about every hour. There are many other flights as well, for example to London, Munich and Frankfurt.

To get to the city from the airport, you can use a bus shuttle [3] for about 4.00 €. Going by taxi will cost about 20 €.

  • French railways [4] :

Paris : 5h (by TGV) to 7h30 (common train). Bordeaux : 2h30. Marseille : 4h00. The train station is almost in the heart of the city. Cheap tickets can be found via iDTGV [5] which offers TGV tickets from Paris starting from about 18 euro.

By car

Major highways towards Paris, Bordeaux, Marseille, Barcelona

By bus

Bus terminal at the railway station.

Get around

Toulouse is not a very big city, so you can walk to most destinations in the inner city quite comfortably. This is definitely the best way to explore the city. For getting in and out of the centre, Toulouse has a network of bus and metro lines. The bus services tend to be not very reliable and miss the timetable. The metro is relatively small, there are two lines, one going east-west (line A), and the other going north-south (B).

Public transport company web site:

  • Tisseo [6] (French only)

Page with the network map, and specific maps and schedules for all the bus and metro lines: [7] This page features an online travel planner ("recherche d'itinéraires" tab) that will indicate the route and times to get from one place to another at a given time.

By car

You should avoid going downtown with a car, as parking space is seriously limited. One good option is to drive to a metro station out of the center and park there, then head downtown by metro.


Toulouse is a small city, and you can reach most interesting places in the downtown area comfortably on foot.

  • Basilique Saint Sernin - a church from the 11th Century, partly restored by the famous french architect Viollet-le-Duc.
  • Hôtel d'Assézat - one of the most appealing of the many old mansions of the city
  • Capitole - the imposing and palatial townhall and theatre, its beautiful facade facing onto the grand Place du Capitole
  • Pont-Neuf - despite its name(like the Parisian bridge of the same name, it's title is most probably derived from the French for 'New', not 'Nine'.), the only old bridge across the Garonne river; built between 1544 and 1626
  • Les Jacobins monastery church, contains Thomas Aquinas' relics.
  • City park at the Grand Rond, a bit south-east to the center of the city
  • Les Augustins Used to be a monastery church, and is today an art museum
  • Les Abattoirs Modern Arts museum, and there is also a nice garden with a nice view on the Garonne
  • Georges Labit Museum Asian arts and Egyptian antiquities museum in an exotic and mediterranean garden built in 1893, 17 rue du Japon
  • Canal du Midi. The Canal du Midi or Canal des Deux Mers is a 240 km long canal in the south of France, le Midi. The canal connects the Garonne River to the Étang de Thau on the Mediterranean. The Canal du Midi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site  edit


The tourism information office, Toulouse Tourism Office [8], is in the back side of the Capitolium organizes guided tours of the city. Some of these are in English. Check ahead for their schedule.

If you would like some local knowledge on Toulouse before you arrive, the website [9] is worth visiting. It is an english language website for visitors to the city. They do not provide tours, but you will get all the information you need to get to know the city and what is happening every week.

There is another possibility if you want to have a private guide for a personnalized tour, visit the website called Toulouse A La Carte [10].

If you are a group, the service Toulouse Visit [11] provides tour in English and Spanish or French.

If you are an individual you can also take daily excursions departing from Toulouse and that head towards all the major sights of the region: Small villages of the region, Albi, Carcassonne, Lourdes, Canal du Midi... The excursions take place on board 8 seater fully equipped minivans and are taken care of by professional driver guides. Languages include English and German. Visit the website Ophorus [12] Tel: +33 561 575 139. The company also specialises in Pyrenees ski transfers as well as Canal du Midi transfers departing from Toulouse and heading towards all major resorts.

Another company called Toursud [13] proposes private tours of Toulouse and trips in the region (Carcassonne, Albi, Lourdes, the Lot...) with a specialized driver-guide. Toursud also provides transfers from or to the airport of Toulouse-Blagnac and from the departement of Tarn-et-Garonne (Montauban). Maximum 7 passengers by minivan. The services are provided in French, English and Spanish.

Taxiway [14] is the company which offers Airbus factory tours (see below) also offers tours of the La Dépêche du Midi regional newspaper and for the more adventurous the water treatment facility!

A few websites you can check:

--> the Regional Commitee for Tourism [15] --> the City Hall Website (French Only) [16]


Airbus offers tours of their facilities; the tour takes about 60 minutes and includes a guide who will tell you some background about the company; the screening of a promotional / historical video, and a look at the A380 production line. Photography is strictly forbidden, and you need to bring a piece of photo identification. Book ahead. Those who have done the tour before 2006 should note that tours now set off from a new purpose built structure shaped like a cross-section of the A380. The building can be difficult to find so check the website in advance.

Visit the website of Airbus Visit [17], the unique company authorized by Airbus to provide tours of the A340, A380 and Concorde.

Cité de l'Espace

The "space city" [18] is another of Toulouse's "aviation" attractions. However you must be aware that it is not exactly a museum but a sort of scientific theme park without rides. There are some replicas of spacecraft and other exhibits, many of the latter interactive in some minor way. There's also a small planetarium. The park is suited well to 5-14 year old children, everybody else should probably spare themselves the trip. It's situated fairly outside the city but there's a bus service starting outside the Jolimont metro station.

  • By Public Transport (Bus):

Take bus route no. 37 from the Jolimont metro station going to La Plaine. Ask for the Cité de l'espace bus stop.

  • Admission Fees: For Adults : €18.5, for Children: €12.
  • Take a walk through the city and along the Canal du Midi
  • Have a walk along the Garonne river from St Pierre bridge and Pont-neuf during the evening.
  • Party at St Pierre Place: very popular among Toulouse's students
  • For cultural events, have a look at this website, Toulouseweb [19] (in French)
  • For diverse type of events (inc. free concerts of local bands in bars, theater plays of the month in the various theaters, regional festivals, etc.), have a look at this website: [20] (in French)
  • Rent a bike from Tisseo for €1 per day
  • See a Rugby Match. If you are fortunate enough to be in Toulouse on match day, follow the crowds and the excitement to the stadium and soak up the atmosphere while watching of one of Europe's top Rugby Union teams Stade Toulousain. If you prefer league than Toulouse's very own Toulouse Olympique plays in both the french league and the Challenge Cup.
  • Toulouse is one of the most alternative French cities - maybe due to its huge student population and its historical past with half a million Spanish republican/communist/anarchists 'rebels' that settled in the region after they failed to rebel against Franco and escaped through the Pyrenees during the 'Retirada' in 1939. So even though the city is trying to get rid of them, it still offers a large number of squats, some of them hosting artistic movements. MixArt Myrys [21] is one of the oldest and most active squat of artists within the city.
  • Les Motivées [22] is an association that is very active on the political and social scene in Toulouse, and that organises or takes part in many free events, strikes, concerts, etc. throughout the year. They founded a political party a few years ago that is pretty active locally and holds a few positions with the City Hall Council. Check also the Tactikollectif [23] their fellow co-working association on events like festivals, etc. that has its origin in the Northern quarters of Toulouse, which are the ones with social housing and lower quality of life.
  • La Grainerie [24] is more particularly dedicated to circus and was first created and settled on derelict brown land ; it hosts various collectives of artists every year.
  • L'Usine [25] is another residence for artists and collectives, located in the close suburb (Tournefeuille, 12kms from the City centre of Toulouse]
  • le Collectif d'Urgence Acteurs Culturels - Emergency Collective for Cultural Actors [26] defends the local associative and alternative cultural world, whereas the Toulouse Réseau Unitaire Citoyen - Civil Unitarian Network of Toulouse [27] aims at stirring local, social and political debates.


There are a lot of universities in Toulouse. It has the second largest student population in France: 120,000. In Toulouse there are major universities and lots of engineering or management schools :


  • Universite de Paul Sabatier [28](sciences)
  • Universite du Mirail (litterature and languages)
  • Universite de l´Arsenal (Ecomony/Law/Business)

Engineer Schools

  • INSA [29] offering various departments
  • Supaero [30] specialised in aeronautics
  • ENAC [31] (you can switch to English in the bottom right-hand corner of the page) specialised in aeronautics plus training plane pilots, flight attendants and aircraft mecanicians
  • ENSICA [32] specialised in aeronautics
  • Ensiacet [33] specialised in chemistry
  • Enseeiht [34] specialised in hydraulics, electronics, telecommunications, computing
  • ICAM [35] specialised in mecanics

Other Schools

  • ESAP (Agronomy)
  • Pharma
  • ESCT [36] (Business School)
  • ENVP (Veterinary School)
  • L'ecole Nationale Superieure d'Architecture de Toulouse (Architecture)


Anglophone travellers might find employment in the Aviation industry; however even here French is commonly used. Also, with the current heightened security concerns, extensive screening is required for new employees, so these jobs are not suited for short-term work.

  • Toulouse has its own TV channel, which is only broadcast within the city and its close surroundings. It is still very well known to locals and is named TLT [37] which stands for Télévision Locale Toulouse (Toulouse Local TV) - in French only
  • Intramuros [38], a weekly local newspaper with local news, the latest movies/theater plays/shows/concerts and local events of every kind, etc. - for free and available in various places e.g. alternative cinemas, etc.
  • A localised edition of the La Dépêche du Midi newspaper is also widely available.


Like all of France, you will not be disappointed with the food Toulouse offers. Duck is a regional specialty, and thus many restaurants will offer duck for dinner.

Also, go during lunch time to the first floor of the Victor Hugo market, you'll find many good restaurants at a very good price. Market atmosphere, and better be patient to wait for seats as no reservations are possible, but it is worth it if you want to feel a typical local atmosphere.

Cassoulet is the most famous regional dish, a stew made with white beans, various kinds of meat, and pork skin. Try it.

  • Ze Plegraounde (The Playground), 20 place Occitane, 31 000 Toulouse (downtown), 05 62 30 11 80, [39]. If you are traveling with young kids (0-10 years old), you'll definitely want to check out this place ! It is a family restaurant, it is a beautiful indoor playground, it is a daycare ... Many possibilities are offered, so just drop buy and check it out ! The kids will have a blast, and the grown-ups will get some rest, enjoying the setting, the complimentary newspapers and magazines and wifi access. Valerie speaks English.  edit


Opening hours in Toulouse are generally Mon-Sat 9AM-1PM and 3PM-7PM, but there are numerous exceptions.

  • As Toulouse is a city of aviation and spaceflight, check Airbus and the Cité de l'Espace for souvenirs
  • There's a flea market every Sunday morning near the Basilique Saint Sernin. While it does not offer anything too special as flea markets go it's a great way to mingle with a local crowd. Another flea market is held every first weekend of the month at the Grand Rond
  • Also a very nice market around the St Aubin Basilic every Sunday morning, selling producer's vegetables and fruits. Very relaxed atmosphere.
  • Every weekday there is a vegetable market before noon along the Boulevard de Strasbourg - this is actually the cheapest of all the vegetable and fruit markets of the city
  • There are excellent 2nd hand shops or "friperie", especially on Rue Gambetta and in the whole quarter behind the 'Ecole des Beaux Arts', around the 'place de la Bourse' which is the historical textile production quarter of Toulouse
  • If you are on a budget, the supermarkets where most students use to go are the brands 'Lidl' and 'Leader Price'. Those are to be found more on the 'edges' of the city (though some are accessible with the underground). In the centre, you'd rather go for Champion or Géant Casino.
  • Hotel Le Grand Balcon [40]: A mythical hotel from the 1930s,charming 4 stars in the heart of Toulouse near place du Capitole, home to pioneer pilot St Exupery and Mermoz, this luxury hotel has been completely renovated and reopened lately 2008 with Exceptional and thoughtful touches, stylish design for travelers.

LE GRAND BALCON 8 & 10 rue Romiguières 31000 TOULOUSE - FRANCE Tél +33 (0)5 34 25 44 09 Fax +33 (0)5 61 23 50 33 [41]

  • PV-Holidays Adagio Toulouse Airport [42] +33 1 58 21 55 84, Located 8 minutes from Blagnac airport and 9 km from the centre of Toulouse. Its location in the middle of a wooded park and its 244 fully-equipped apartments, from studio to 2 bedroom flats, make it an ideal place to stay for business trips or a relaxing weekend. The Aparthotel has both covered and open car parks, a driving range and putting green, a bar as well as an outdoor pool.
  • Planetair rental furnished apartment [43] +33 (0)66 44 88 562, Located at the center of the city (close to place Wilson), this nice two rooms flat, with typical local style stonewall, of 47 sqm. may receive up to 4 persons : 1 large double bed in the room and 1 futon in the living room. It includes a fully equipped kitchen, a washing machine.
  • Gitounet (, Avenue Camille Pujol, [44]. A self-catering studio apartment suitable for 1 or 2 people (large double bed), with a total floor space of 18 sqm. Includes a fully equipped kitchen, en suite shower and toilet. Bed linen and towels provided. The apartment is situated to the east of the city centre, only 15 minutes walk from the Place du Capitol, with a frequent bus service. It is on the ground floor of a family house overlooking the garden. 45 E/night.  edit
  • Cap de Castel..., (email: [45]),[46].

On the Pastel road, a few miles from Albi, Toulouse, Lautrec, Carcassonne, Castelnaudary... The Cap de Castel Hotel is a small charming hotel set within a typical medieval Mediterranean village, dominating the Lauragais hills and valleys, renowned as "Little Tuscany", in the rural south of France. The hotel is named after the 13th century Castel (in Occitan patois), outbuildings and ramparts forming the property overlooking south the Pyrenees and Black Mountain chains. The breathtaking view is an invitation either to discover the surrounding gem-like villages, vineyards or simply relax on the shaded terrace nearby the pool. Rooms, Suites from 60Eur to 165Eur.

  • Holiday Inn Le Capoul, 15 Place Wilson, ph: +33 56110 7070 (fax: +33 56121 9670). Rooms are up to 155 €/night (without any discounts you may get), plus 13€ for breakfast. The location is quite good; there are many decent restaurants of various styles in the immediate neighbourhood and many stores and interesting sights are within comfortable walking distance.
  • Novotel Airport is about 15 minutes from the airport, a shuttle bus exists. Has decent, standard Novotel rooms. Staff speaks little to no english however, except those at the reception.
  • Accor hotels in Toulouse [47]. The hotels Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, Formule 1 and Etaphotel in Toulouse.
  • hotels in Toulouse [48].
  • Hotel le Clocher de Rodez, (email: [49]),[50]. The two stars Le Clocher de Rodez Hotel is an 18th Century building. As one of Toulouses historic hotels, the building has sheltered numerous artists and musicians. Rooms from 50 to 100 €.
  • Hotel le Moulin de Moissac, (email:[51]), [52]. This three star hotel is the oldest in the area - it's five centuries old! Located just 37 miles from the airport. Rooms from 46 to 100 €.
Résidence Les Princes, a "Toulousaine" style
Résidence Les Princes, a "Toulousaine" style
  • Résidence les Princes, (email: [53]),[54]. Two charming, comfortable and well equipped apartments (30 and 45 m2) in a small flat building with an oven-cooked red-brick front which is typical of "Toulouse" style. Documentation about equipment is in french and in english. More than sixty european or american TV channels can be received. Each apartment is equipped with an individual air-conditioning. Very quiet and very close to the "canal du midi" and the center of the city, they give a view on an exotic garden with palm and banana trees. It's just like a "sanctuary in the city"!
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

TOULOUSE, a city of south-western France, capital of the department of Haute-Garonne, 443 m. S. by W. of Paris by the Orleans railway, and 159 m. S.E. of Bordeaux by the Southern railway. Pop. (1906), town, 125,856; commune, 149,438.149,438. Toulouse is situated on the right bank of the Garonne, which here changes a north-easterly for a north-westerly direction, describing a curve round which the city extends in the form of a crescent. On the left bank is the suburb of St Cyprien, which is exposed to the inundations of the river owing to its low situation. The river is spanned by three bridges - that of St Pierre to the north, that of St Michel to the south, and the Pont Neuf in the centre; the last, a fine structure of seven arches was begun in 1543 by Nicolas Bachelier, the sculptor, whose work is to be seen in many of the churches and mansions of the city. East and north of the city runs the Canal du Midi, which here joins the lateral canal of the Garonne. Between the Canal du Midi and the city proper extends a long line of boulevards leading southwards by the Allee St Etienne to the Grand Rond, a promenade whence a series of allees branch out in all directions. South-west the Allee St Michel leads towards the Garonne, and south the Grande Allee towards the Faubourg St Michel. These boulevards take the place of the old city walls. Between them and the canal lie the more modern faubourgs of St Pierre, Arnaud-Bernard, Matabiau, &c. The Place du Capitole, to which streets converge from every side, occupies the centre of the city. Two broad straight thoroughfares of modern construction, the Rue de Metz and the Rue d'Alsace-Lorraine, intersect one another to the south of this point, the first running east from the Pont Neuf, the other running north and south. The other streets are for the most part narrow and irregular.

The most interesting building in Toulouse is the church of St Sernin or Saturnin, whom legend represents as the first preacher of the gospel in Toulouse, where he was perhaps martyred about the middle of the 3rd century. The choir, the oldest part of the present building, was consecrated by Urban II. in 1096. The church is the largest Romanesque basilica in existence, being 375 ft. from east to west and 210 ft. in extreme breadth. The nave (12th and 13th centuries) has double aisles. Four pillars, supporting the central tower, are surrounded by heavy masonry, which somewhat spoils the general harmony of the interior. In the southern transept is the "portail des comtes," so named because near it lie the tombs of William Taillefer, Pons, and other early counts of Toulouse. The little chapel in which these tombs (ascribed to the 11th century) are found was restored by the capitols of Toulouse in 1648. Another chapel contains a Byzantine Christ of late 11th-century workmanship. The choir (11th and 12th centuries) ends in an apse, or rather chevet, surrounded by a range of columns, marking off an aisle, which in its turn opens into five chapels. The stalls are of 16th-century work and grotesquely carved. Against the northern wall is an ancient table d'autel, which an 11th-century inscription declares to have belonged to St Sernin. In the crypts are many relics, which, however, were robbed of their gold and silver shrines during the Revolution. On the south there is a fine outer porch in the Renaissance style; it is surmounted by a representation of the Ascension in Byzantine style. The central tower (13th century) consists of five storeys, of which the two highest are of later date, but harmonize with the three lower ones. A restoration of St Sernin was carried out in the 19th century by Viollet-le-Duc.

The cathedral, dedicated to St Stephen, dates from three different epochs. The walls of the nave belong to a Romanesque cathedral of the 11th century, but its roof dates from the first half of the 13th century. The choir was begun by Bishop Bertrand de l'Ile (c. 1272), who wished to build another church in place of the old one. This wish was unfulfilled and the original nave, the axis of which is to the south of that of the choir, remains. The choir was burned in 1690 but restored soon after. It is surrounded by seventeen chapels, finished by the cardinal d'Orleans, nephew of Louis XI., about the beginning of the 16th century, and adorned with glass dating from the 15th to the 17th century. The western gate, flanked by a huge square tower, was constructed by Peter du Moulin, archbishop of Toulouse, from 1439 to 1451. It has been greatly battered, and presents but a poor approximation to its ancient beauty. Over this gate, which was once ornamented with the statues of St Sernin, St Exuperius and the twelve apostles, as well as those of the two brother archbishops of Toulouse, Denis (1423-1439) and Peter du Moulin, there is a beautiful 13th-century rose-window, whose centre, however, is not in a perpendicular line with the point of the Gothic arch below.

Among other remarkable churches may be noticed Notre-Dame de la Daurade, near the Pont Neuf, built on the site of a 9th-century Benedictine abbey and reconstructed towards the end of the 18th century; and Notre-Dame de la Dalbade; perhaps existing in the 11th, but in its present form dating from the 16th century, with a fine Renaissance portal. The church of the Jacobins, held by Viollet-le-Duc to be "one of the most beautiful brick churches constructed in the middle ages," was built towards the end of the 13th century, and consists of a nave divided into two aisles by a range of columns. The chief exterior feature is a beautiful octagonal belfry. The church belonged to a Dominican monastery, of which part of the cloister, the refectory, the chapter-hall and the chapel also remain and are utilized by the lycee. Of the other secular buildings the most noteworthy are the capitole and the museum. The capitole has a long Ionic facade built from 1750 to 1760. The theatre is situated in the left wing. Running along almost the whole length of the first floor is the salle des illustres adorned with modern paintings and sculptures relating to the history of the town. The museum (opened in 1795) occupies, besides a large modern building, the church, cloisters and other buildings of an old Augustinian convent. It contains pictures and a splendid collection of antiquities, notably a series of statues and busts of Roman emperors and others and much Romanesque sculpture. There is an auxiliary museum in the old college of St Raymond. The natural history museum is in the Jardin des Plantes. The law courts stand on the site of the old Château Narbonais, once the residence of the counts of Toulouse and later the seat of the parlement of Toulouse. Near by is a statue of the jurist Jacques Cujas, born at Toulouse.

Toulouse is singularly rich in mansions of the 16th and 17th centuries. Among these may be mentioned the Hotel Bernuy, a fine Renaissance building now used by the lycee and the Hotel d'Assezat of the same period, now the property of the Academie des Jeux Floraux (see below), and of the learned societies of the city. In the court of the latter there is a statue of Clemence Isaure, a lady of Toulouse, traditionally supposed to have enriched the Academie by a bequest in the 15th century. The Maison de Pierre has an elaborate stone facade of 1612.

Toulouse is the seat of an archbishopric, of a court of appeal, a court of assizes and of a prefect. It is also the headquarters of the XVII. army corps and centre of an educational circumscription (academie). There are tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a board of trade-arbitration, a chamber of commerce and a branch of the Bank of France. The educational institutions include faculties of law, medicine and pharmacy, science and letters, a Catholic institute with faculties of theology and letters„ higher and lower ecclesiastical seminaries, lycees and training colleges for both sexes, and schools of veterinary science, fine arts and industrial sciences and music.

Toulouse, the principal commercial and industrial centre of Languedoc, has important markets for horses, wine, grain, flowers, leather, oil and farm produce. Its pastry and other delicacies. are highly esteemed. Its industrial establishments include the national tobacco factory, flour-mills, saw-mills, engineering workshops and factories for farming implements, bicycles, vehicles,. artificial manures, paper, boots and shoes, and flour pastes.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


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Proper noun


  1. A city in the Midi-Pyrénées, France


Simple English

Coordinates: {{{lat long}}}

Ville de Toulouse
File:Flag of Midi-Pyréné
[[Image:|90px|Coat of arms of Toulouse]]
{{{flag legend}}} {{{coat of arms legend}}}
File:Toulouse toits depuis
Time zone CET (GMT +1)
Region Midi-Pyrénées
Intercommunality Community of Agglomeration
of Greater Toulouse
Mayor Pierre Cohen (PS)
(since 2008)
City Statistics
Land area1 118.3 km2 (45.7 sq mi)
Population1 435,000  
 - Ranking 4th in France
 - Density 3,677 /km2 (9,520 /sq mi)
Urban spread
Urban area 808 km2 (312 sq mi) (1999)
 - Population 880,000 estimate (2007)
Metro area 4,015.2 km2 (1,550.3 sq mi) (1999)
 - Population 1,117, 000 (2007)
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Toulouse is a city in the south of France. About 380,000 people live there.


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