10 largest cities in France




Toulouse is a town in the southwest of France. Capital in the 5th century of the Visigoth kingdom, one of the capitals (from the 7th to the 9th century) of the kingdom of Aquitaine, capital of the county of Toulouse founded in 852 by Raimond I and historical capital of Languedoc, it is today the capital of the Occitanie region, of the Haute-Garonne department, and the headquarters of Toulouse Métropole. It was also the capital of the former Midi-Pyrénées region until its disappearance on January 1, 2016.

With 479,553 inhabitants on January 1, 2017, Toulouse is the fourth most populous municipality in France after Paris, Marseille and Lyon, having gained 101,000 inhabitants over the last 47 years (1968-2015). Its inhabitants are Toulousains and Toulousaines. The urban area of ​​Toulouse had 1,360,829 inhabitants in 2017, which also made it the fourth in the country. With 968,638 inhabitants in 2017, the agglomeration is the fifth, behind that of Lille and ahead of those of Nice and Bordeaux. It is also the center of a metropolis of 771,132 inhabitants in 2017.

City with the characteristic architecture of the cities of the South of France, Toulouse is nicknamed the “pink city” because of the color of the local traditional building material, the terracotta brick. The development of Toulouse's violet culture in the nineteenth century made it an emblem of the city and earned it the nickname "city of violets". It is also, much more rarely, nicknamed the "Mondine city" (Ciutat Mondina in Occitan), in reference to the dynasty of the city's counts, often named Raymond.

Linking Toulouse to Sète, the Canal du Midi has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. The Saint-Sernin basilica, the largest Romanesque building in Europe, has also been listed there since 1998 as part of the Saint-Jacques de Compostela.

Toulouse is the European capital of the aeronautics and space industry with the sites of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and its parent company Airbus (group). It has more than 100,000 students and according to L'Express, it was the most dynamic city in France in 2009. The economic magazine Challenges renews this title in 2012 and 2015.

The emblematic sport of Toulouse is rugby union, its Stade Toulouse club holding the richest record on the national level as on the continental level, with twenty titles of champion of France and four titles of European champion.

Cassoulet, sausage and violet are the emblematic specialties of Toulouse gastronomy.