Motto: Per Tolosa totjorn mai.
|Montage of Toulouse, Top:Pont Saint Pierre and Garonne River, Middle of left:Place du Capitole, Middle of right:Pont-Neuf Bridge, Bottom of left:Capitole de Toulouse, Bottom of center:Ariane 5 at the Cité de l'espace, Bottom of right:Mediatheque Jose Cabanis|
|Mayor||Pierre Cohen (PS)
|Land area1||118.3 km2 (45.7 sq mi)|
|- Ranking||4th in France|
|- Density||3,798 /km2 (9,840 /sq mi)|
|Urban area||811.6 km2 (313.4 sq mi) (2008)|
|- Population||864,936 (1 January 2008)|
|Metro area||5,381 km2 (2,078 sq mi) (2008)|
|- Population||1,202,889 (1 January 2008)|
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
|2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.|
Toulouse (French pronunciation: [tu.luz] ( listen), locally: [tuˈluzə] ( listen); Occitan: Tolosa [tuˈluzɔ], Latin: Tolosa, medieval Tholoza) is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. It lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 150 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea and 300 from the Atlantic Ocean, and 590 km (366 mi) away from Paris. With 1,202,889 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008, the Toulouse metropolitan area is the fourth-largest in France, after Paris (12.1 million), Lyon (2.1 million), and Marseille (1.7 million).
Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, Galileo positioning system, the SPOT satellite system, ATR (aircraft manufacturer) and the Aerospace Valley, considered as a global cluster.
The city also hosts l'Oncopole de Toulouse, the largest cancer research centre in Europe, the European headquarters of Intel and CNES's Toulouse Space Centre (CST), the largest space centre in Europe. Thales Alenia Space, and 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 119,000 students, is the third-largest university campus of France after Paris and Lyon.
Toulouse was the capital of the former province of Languedoc (provinces were abolished during the French Revolution), the former Visigothic Kingdom and was the capital of the historical region of Occitania (Southern France). It is now the capital of the Midi-Pyrénées region, the largest region in metropolitan France. It is also the capital of the Haute-Garonne department.
A city with a typical architecture of Southern France, Toulouse has two historic sites added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canal Du Midi (shared with other cities), since 1996, and the Basilica of St. Sernin under the description: World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France, since 1998.
Culturally, Toulouse is home to the Galerie du Château d'eau, one of the oldest places dedicated to photography in the world, the Académie des Jeux floraux, the oldest literary society of the Western World and, according to many historians, was one of the places where capitalism was invented.
Toulouse has a temperate climate that is usually classified as a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) classification. Toulouse is located at the junction with the Mediterranean climate zone, but uniform precipitation prevents it from being classified this way.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
|Climate data for Toulouse|
|Average high °C (°F)||9.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||6.2
|Average low °C (°F)||2.6
|Precipitation mm (inches)||51
|Avg. precipitation days||9.6||9||9.5||10.2||10.2||7.6||5.3||5.8||6.7||8||8.7||8.5||99.1|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||104||119||182||184||217||228||253||238||204||149||96||84||2,058|
|Source #1: Météo France|
|Source #2: World Meteorological Organisation|
|Urban Area [clarification needed]||Metropolitan
The population of the city proper (French: commune) was 440,204 at the 1 Jan 2009 census, with 1,218,166 inhabitants in the metropolitan area (French: aire urbaine) (within the 2009 borders of the metropolitan area), up from 964,797 at the March 1999 census (within the 1999 borders of the metropolitan area). Within its 2009 borders, the metropolitan area population has grown at the record rate of +1.87% per year between 1999 and 2009.
Fueled by booming aerospace and high-tech industries, population growth of 1.49% a year in the metropolitan area in the 1990s (compared with 0.37% for metropolitan France), and a record 1.87% a year in the 2000s (0.68% for metropolitan France), which is the highest population growth of any French metropolitan area larger than 500,000 inhabitants, means the Toulouse metropolitan area has overtaken Lille as the fourth-largest metropolitan area of France in 2009.
A local Jewish group estimates there are about 2,500 Jewish families in Toulouse. A Muslim association has estimated there are some 35,000 Muslims in town.
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. Since 2009, the Community of agglomeration has become an urban community (in French: communauté urbaine).
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2009)|
One of the major political figures in Toulouse was Dominique Baudis, the mayor of Toulouse between 1983 and 2001, member of the centrist 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[weasel words] 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.
|Mayor||Term start||Term end||Party|
|Raymond Badiou||1944||September 1958||SFIO|
|G. Carrère||September 1958||October 16, 1958||SFIO|
|Louis Bazerque||October 16, 1958||1971||SFIO|
|Pierre Baudis||March 1971||March 1983||UDF|
|Dominique Baudis||March 1983||January 23, 2001||UDF|
|Guy Hersant||January 23, 2001||March 23, 2001||UDF|
|Philippe Douste-Blazy||March 23, 2001||April 30, 2004||UDF|
|Françoise de Veyrinas||April 30, 2004||May 6, 2004||UMP|
|Jean-Luc Moudenc||May 6, 2004||March 17, 2008||UMP|
|Pierre Cohen||March 17, 2008||incumbent||PS|
- Capitole de Toulouse (mainly 18th century), housing the Hôtel de Ville, the Théâtre du Capitole (opera house), and the Donjon du Capitole (16th century), located on the Place du Capitole.
- Banks of the Garonne (mainly 18th century)
- Jardin des Plantes, Grand-Rond, Jardin Royal
- Pont Neuf (16th century)
- Hôpital de la Grave, featuring a copper dome of the 18th century
- Hôpital Saint-Raymond, 16th-century hospital
- Hôtel-Dieu Saint Jacques, former 16th and 17th-century hospital on the banks of the Garonne
- Galerie du Château d'eau (19th century)
- Canal du Midi
- Many Hôtels particuliers (palaces), notably of the 16th century like the Hôtel d'Assézat, the Hôtel du Vieux-Raisin, the Hôtel de Bernuy and the Hôtel de Bagis.
- Saint-Pierre bridge, 19th-century iron bridge
- Wilson Square
- Halle aux Grains (19th century)
- Gare de Toulouse Matabiau, railroad station
- Médiathèque José Cabanis
- Musée des Augustins, the fine arts museum of the city housed in a former gothic convent.
- Les Abattoirs, museum of modern and contemporary art.
- Fondation Bemberg, art museum housed in the 16th-century Hôtel d'Assézat.
- Musée Saint-Raymond, a museum devoted to Antiquity housed in the former 16th-century Saint-Raymond hospital.
- Musée Paul-Dupuy, houses a collection of decorative and graphic arts
- Le Château d'Eau, a gallery dedicated to contemporary photography.
- Musée Georges Labit, displaying Asiatic and far-eastern art.
- Musée du Vieux Toulouse, a museum presenting the history of the city.
- Cité de l'espace (City of Space), a theme park of space exploration.
- Muséum de Toulouse (Museum of Toulouse), a natural history museum.
- 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 place 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 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 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. Airbus has its head office in Blagnac, near Toulouse. Airbus's France division has its main office in Toulouse.
Colleges and universities
Toulouse has the third-largest student population in France after Lyon and Paris with 119,000 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 of reconciling Greek philosophy and Christian theology.In 2012, a group of students decided to move on with this idea and created a major event “Live your dreams”. For the first year, they invited to the event the French Neil Armstrong, Philippe PERRIN, to create a new era of inspiration.
- Université Toulouse I, Toulouse School of Economics and Institut d'études politiques de Toulouse
- University of Toulouse II – Le Mirail
- Université Paul Sabatier (Toulouse III)
Toulouse is also the home of Toulouse Business School (ESC Toulouse), the Institut supérieur européen de gestion group (ISEG Group), the Institut supérieur européen de formation par l'action (ISEFAC) and several engineering schools:
- ICAM Toulouse (Institut catholique d'arts et métiers)
- INSA Toulouse
- ISAE SUPAERO (École Nationale Supérieure de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace)
- ISAE ENSICA (École nationale supérieure d'ingénieurs de constructions aéronautiques)
- ENAC (École Nationale de l'Aviation Civile)
- INP ENSEEIHT (École Nationale Supérieure d'Électronique, d'Électrotechnique, d'Informatique, d'Hydraulique et des Télécommunications)
- INP ENSIACET (École nationale supérieure d'ingénieurs en art chimique et technologique)
- INP ENSAT ('École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse)
- EPITECH (École pour l'informatique et les nouvelles technologies or European Institute of Information Technology)
- IPSA (Institut Polytechnique des Sciences Avancées)
- EIPurpan (École d'ingénieurs de Purpan)
According to the French newspaper "L'Etudiant", Toulouse is the best city in France to study, and according to the British company QS (Quacquarelli Symonds), Toulouse is the 46th best student city in the world.
The most well known high schools in Toulouse are Lycée Pierre-de-Fermat (fr), Lycée Saint-Joseph and Lycée Saint-Sernin. In 2012 a Jewish school was struck by an attack in which a rabbi, his two sons and the daughter of the school's director were murdered by Mohammed Merah.
In addition to an extensive bus system, the Toulouse Metro 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 in the north-east to Basso Cambo in the south-west. Line B, which opened in June 2007, serves 20 stations north to south and intersects line A at Jean Jaurès. Line C has existed since line A was completed. It is not VAL but an urban railway line operated by SNCF. It connects to line A at Arènes. Similarly, Line D runs south from Toulouse Matabiau to Muret. The tramway line T1 (operating since December 2010), runs from Beauzelle to Toulouse passing through Blagnac. All urban bus, metro and tram services are operated by Tisséo.
In 2007, a city-wide bicycle rental scheme called VélôToulouse was introduced, with bicycles available from automated stations for a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly subscription.
The main railway station, with regional and national services, is Toulouse-Matabiau.
Toulouse is the home of Bonhoure Radio Tower, a 61-metre high lattice tower used for FM and TV transmission. In 2001 a large (100 km) optical fiber (symmetric 360Gbit/s) network named Infrastructure Métropolitaine de Télécommunications was deployed around the city and suburbs.
The Théâtre du Capitole is the home of opera and ballet; there has been a theatre on the site since 1736. The Orchestre National du Capitole, long associated with Michel Plasson, plays at the Halle aux Grains.
Le Château d'Eau gallery, an old nineteenth century water-tower was converted as a gallery in 1974 by Jean Dieuzaide, a French photographer from Toulouse and is now one of the oldest public places dedicated to photography in the world.
Toulouse 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 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.
Toulouse is represented by Stade Toulousain, a rugby union club competing in the Top 14 competition. Stade Toulousain is considered[by whom?] the finest rugby union club in all of Europe, having been crowned the Heineken Cup champions four times since 1996, year of creation of the European cup.
Fenix Toulouse Handball who play in Division 1, the highest level of Handball in France.
Spacers Toulouse volleyball who play in Division 1, the highest level of Volleyball in France.
- Christine Albanel, politician
- Marie-Ange Casalta, journalist, television presenter
- Gael Clichy, footballer
- Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, one of the first members of the First Crusade
- Jean de Coras (1515–1572), judge and humanist
- Antoine Crozat, first governor of Louisiana, and his brother Pierre Crozat.
- Jean-Louis Debré, politician
- Marine Delterme, actress
- Dilemn, DJ
- Jean-Étienne Dominique Esquirol, psychiatrist, father of the French psychiatric school.
- Pierre de Fermat, lawyer and mathematician
- Carlos Gardel, singer, composer
- Solène Jambaqué, alpine skier with hemiplegia, multi-medal winner at the Winter Paralympic Games
- Félix de Lapersonne (1853–1937), ophthalmologist
- Maxime Médard, rugby union player.
- Mady Mesplé, opera singer.
- Philippe Mexès, footballer
- Frédéric Michalak, rugby player
- Graffiti artists such as Miss Van, Fafi, Dran, Tilt and Mademoiselle Kat.
- Claude Nougaro, parolier, writer and singer, passionate about jazz and language
- Fabien Pelous, rugby player
- Marcus Antonius Primus, Roman general and member of senate
- Lucas Puig, professional skateboarder
- Antony Rea, mixed martial artist
- Jean-Luc Reichmann, television presenter
- Henry Russell (explorer) (1834–1909), explorer, Pyreneiste, author and founder member of Societe Ramond
- Pierre Seel, persecuted homosexual during the Holocaust
- David Skrela, rugby union player
- Bernard Werber, writer
- Laurent Wolf, DJ
- Jean-Baptiste de Villèle, 19th-century French prime minister
- Pierre Gamarra, writer
Twin towns and sister cities
Toulouse is twinned with:
Toulouse also has accords of cooperation with the following towns:
In addition, Toulouse has an adoption city:
- Câmpia Turzii, Romania
- Stade Toulousain (rugby)
- Toulouse School of Economics (Ecole d'économie de Toulouse)
- 138 Tolosa, an asteroid
- Communes of the Haute-Garonne department
- Institut d'études politiques de Toulouse
- List of bishops of Toulouse
- Toulouse Geese
- Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec—famous artist born of nobility in Midi-Pyrénées région, but not born in the city of Toulouse
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Toulouse|
- (French) INSEE. "Commune : Toulouse (31555)". Retrieved 27 August 2012.
- (French) INSEE. "Unité urbaine 2010 : Toulouse (31701)". Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- (French) INSEE. "Aire urbaine 2010 : Toulouse (004)". Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- (French) INSEE. "Tableau complémentaire 2 : Évolution de la population des grandes aires urbaines". Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- (French) CNES. "Ademe.fr" (PDF). Retrieved 30 May 2007.
- Atlas 2005–2006 de l'éducation nationale, [pdf] Consulté le 11/09/2007
- "Prévisions météo de Météo-France – Climat en France". Météo France. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
- "World Weather Information Service – Toulouse". Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- (French) INSEE. "Toulouse (005-Aire urbaine 99) - E_DEMO - Évolutions démographiques 1982-1999". Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- Killings sour good life for high-flying Toulouse
- http://www.bonjourlafrance.com/france-city/toulouse-france/toulouse-politics.htm - Toulouse polotics information
- "Airbus to base A320 production in Hamburg, 350s and 380s in Toulouse – report[dead link]." Forbes. 15 January 2007.
- "Airbus A380 lands after making aviation history." USA Today. 27 April 2005. Updated 28 April 2005. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
- "Contacts." Airbus. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
- The Ten Most Dynamic Cities – Newsweek[dead link]
- Bonhoure Transmission Tower at Structurae
- "Garonne-networks.com". Garonne-networks.com. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- "L’univers du Théâtre". Theatre-du-capitole.fr. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- "Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse". Onct.mairie-toulouse.fr. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- Le Château d'Eau Official website
- Le Stang, Anne (2006). Histoire de Toulouse illustrée. leperegrinateurediteur.com. ISBN 2-910352-44-7. (French)
- Kerrison, Helen & Jeremy (2008). The Practical Guide to Toulouse. leperegrinateurediteur.com. ISBN 2-910352-46-3.
- (French) ToulouseCity.com
- (English) Toulouse : pink, violets, red and black - Official French website
- (French) Official site
- (French) Greater Toulouse Council
- Virtual Tour in Toulouse, with 360° full-screen panoramas
- Toulouse Tourist Office
- Les Abattoirs Modern Arts
- Website of the Bemberg Foundation
- Website of the Saint Raymond Museum
- Toulouse-Blagnac International Airport
- Toulouse travel guide from Wikivoyage
- (French) Wikitoulouse.fr Haisoft.fr, comprehensive wiki devoted to Toulouse.
- (French) Culture in Toulouse
- Rainbow Toulouse
- English In Toulouse—Meeting for native speakers
- Americans-In-Toulouse International Club
- Chinese In Toulouse—Meeting for native speakers