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TOULOUSE

Toulouse is a city in southwestern France, and capital of Haute-Garonne in the Midi-Pyrenees region. It stands just north of the Pyrenees on the River Garonne, halfway between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France, after Paris, Marseille and Lyon. It's known for its rugby, its aerospace industry and for violets, which are used to make bonbons and liqueurs here.


The city was a Roman settlement, "Tolosa", and the smaller inner streets still follow the ancient layout. In the Middle Ages, Toulouse ruled an independent county, but it joined the Kingdom of France in 1271. In the fourteenth century, it was devastated by pogroms, the Black Death, famine, and war. Then, in the fifteenth century, it became wealthy from its monopoly on "pastel," a blue pigment extracted from woad plants, only to slump again when the monopoly was broken by indigo imports from India.


The old centre of Toulouse is east of the River Garonne: it's compact and most places of interest can easily be visited on foot. It's bounded to the east & north by Bvd Lazare Carnot / Bvd de Strasbourg, and to the south by the cathedral, rue Metz and Pont Neuf. The quays will become a good strolling spot but in early 2018 are being refurbished.


- Wikivoyage

Image by Mesut Kaya

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