Toulouse, or as French people call it 'La ville rose' (the pink city), is rich of an historical, scientifical and cultural heritage. Ubiquitous terra-cotta bricks give to its architecture a very unique style from which it got its nickname. In the heart of the Occitanie region, come discover the pleasures of the South of France in summertime.
A dynamic metropolis :
As the 4th biggest city in France and the capital of European aerospace industry, Toulouse is considered as a major hub. Indeed, it is located in an ideal position between the Mediterranean sea, the Pyrenees and the Atlantic Ocean and can be reached by plane, train, car or boat; making it a very strategic place.
The city is known as the hometown for Airbus and as a major aerospace research center; but Toulouse is also a major hub for Health research. Public or private, health initiatives in Toulouse are multiplying in fields as diverse as the fight against cancer, diabetes and obesity with strong synergies between the aeronautics and medical sectors. Dermatology, cosmetics, gerontology, heart surgery, anti-biotic resistance microbio can be quoted as some of its main skills domains.
What to visit in Toulouse :
Not only about industry and research, Toulouse also bears an important legacy and is home for dozens of historical buildings, three of which are listed as UNESCO World heritage :
||The Square of the Capitole : probably the most famous building in the city; pink all the more. This magnificient 18th-century construction houses the Townhall as well as the Capitole theatre.
||The 'Canal du midi' : the digging of this canal started under Louis the 14th's reign and was finalized in the 19th century. It rallies Toulouse with the Mediterranean Sea. It is possible to cruise on it but you can also enjoy a stroll or a bike ride on the banks.
||The Basilica Saint-Sernin : this 11th century basilica is one of the largest romanesque buildings in the West. It used to welcome a lot of pilgrims, as it was originally a stop on the way to Santiago de Compostela.
Appart from UNESCO, here are some places that are also worth a detour :
What to visit in the Occitanie Region :
The 'Couvent des Jacobins' : this 13th century convent is a gothic-style medieval gem that houses the relics of St Thomas Aquinas underneath its giant palm tree vault.
||The 'Cité de l'espace' : for a touch of science, you can visit this museum where you can enjoy exhibitions and conferences on spaces matters, as well as visit real-size space modules and rockets.
The South of France is known for its hospitality, friendliness, beautiful landscapes and gastronomy. While being in Toulouse, we higly recommand a little getaround to enjoy it !
A nature gataway :
- The Fronton Vineyard : only 30 kms away from Toulouse (40 minutes drive) you can discover a world unique variety of grape - the "négrette"- and taste its wine.
- The Sources of the 'Canal du midi' : 50 kms/1 hour drive away from Toulouse, in the heart of the black mountain, come visit where the architects of the canal found its water source; the 'Prise d'Alzeau' (680m high)
A city getaway :
||Albi : this episcopal city can be reached with just an hour drive from Toulouse (75 kms) . There, you can visit the old city, as well as its UNESCO World Heritage Cathedral Sainte-Cécile.
||Carcassone : 1h10 away from Toulouse (95 kms) stands France's most famous fortified city. This unique medieval construction is also part of UNESCO World Heritage.
A castle getaway :
- The 'Château de Merville' : 22 kms away from Toulouse (30 minutes drive) you can find this 18th century castle and its boxwood maze -which is the biggest in Europe !
- The 'Château de Foix' : located on a hill with a fantastic view over the Cathar country, this renovated castle is bearing a major part of Occitanie's history.
What to taste in Toulouse :
Toulouse does not break the French gastronomy rule; it does have its specialties that you should definitely taste during your stay :
- The Toulouse Sausage : this very tasty pure porc sausage is large and usually very long. It can be eaten with lentils or mashed potatoes for example.
- The 'Cassoulet' : It is a regional dish of Languedoc, made with dried beans, usually white, and sausages and duck meat.
And for desert ...
- The 'Fenetra' : It is a traditional pastry from the Toulouse region, made with almonds, candied lemon and apricot, which is eaten cold. In Antiquity, it was eaten for the feast of the dead.
- The Toulouse violets : They are sweets made from fresh violet flowers crystallized in sugar created by Candiflor in 1818.