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Toulouse History, France

The first thoughts that spring to mind when hearing about Toulouse are all related to technology: airbus, space centers, satellites and others. While these things can be a sufficient motivation to visit Toulouse, there are more facets to this amazing city. The capital of Haute-Garonne, and of the former Languedoc province, Toulouse is a metropolitan city filled not only with hi-tech, modern architecture and shopping centers, but also historical quarters, old buildings, parks and cultural venues. The Pink City, as it is called thanks to the rosy brick buildings lining its old streets, is a perfect holiday spots for tourists who are interested in anything and everything, from science to culture and entertainment. This Toulouse History Guide will tell you more about the history of this fascinating city.

Toulouse History - Foundation and Early History

Like its larger brethren, Paris and Bordeaux, Toulouse was a settlement long before the arrival of the Romans on the territory of France. Archaeologists found signs of human settlement dating back to the 8th century BC. Tolosa, as it was named back then, was founded by Aquitainians, but over the time, it went through the hands of Iberians and finally Celts.

Caesar describes Tolosa as one of the largest and richest cities in Gaul. Under Roman rule, Tolosa didn’t have much military significance; however, it played a key part in trade within the Roman Empire. During the Dark Ages, Toulouse was besieged by hordes of Vandals and Visigoths, and it remained in the possession of the former for about a century. In the 6th century, as part of the Frankish Kingdom, Toulouse did not fare too well. By the 10th century, Toulouse had an independent government. The 12th though 18th centuries were eventful for Toulouse, as the city was the stage for a few heretic movements, plagues, uprisings but it also became a university town and a cultural centre of the country.

Toulouse History - Modern History and Present

Toulouse was an important political player during the revolution, but even after the abolishment of the Ancien Regime, the city did not enjoy much peace. British and Spanish forces attacked the city in 1799, and then 1814. The Second Battle of Toulouse was the event that prompted the restoration of King Louis XVIII. After World War I, Toulouse witnessed an industrial boom and many factories and plants were opened. In World War II, one of the headquarters of the French Resistance was in Toulouse. Ever since, Toulouse has been in a continual development from every possible point of view, and keeping a careful eye on its historical heritage in the meantime.

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