Toulouse Between Two Seas

FACING THE MEDITERRANEAN ON ONE SIDE AND THE ATLANTIC ON THE OTHER, TOULOUSE IS ONE OF EUROPE’S OLDEST SETTLEMENTS.

ART DAY AND NIGHT
Toulouse is among the most vibrant cities not just of France but of all Europe. And music makes itself felt almost everywhere in the city. The strains of jazz, classical and alternative music spill over into the streets from the city’s many charming cafes. A rich array of artistic events and festivals at almost every season of the year make Toulouse one of France’s biggest drawing points. If you’ve decided to explore and get to know France, then you must include Toulouse on your list. The streets of this city, where art and music never stop 24/7, will boggle your mind.

AN IMPRESSIVE CULTURAL FABRIC
The history of Toulouse goes back more than two thousand years, its foundations laid by Europe’s most mysterious people, the Celts. But the Romans, the Visigoths and Saint Sernin, who introduced Christianity to the city, all had a major influence on its deep-rooted past. The roof tiles and bricks unique to the region constitute the most striking feature of the local architecture. Built of these local bricks, the St. Sernin Basilica stands out in all its glory. And Le Capitol Square and the National Theater building are the concrete embodiments of the city’s cultural identity.

LA VILLE ROSE
The rising and setting sun create magnificent plays of light on the city’s brick texture, and the rainbow of reflections engendered by this interplay of nature and architecture has led to the city being dubbed ‘La Ville Rose’, the pink city.

THE GARONNE RIVER AND PONT NEUF
Toulouse’s finest views are to be seen along the banks of the Garonne River. The Pont Neuf, or ‘new’ bridge, that joins its two banks adorns the river like a necklace, literally begging visitors to photograph the rhythmic repetition of its arches in the water. The river bank is also ideal for a pleasant evening stroll. Old books, postcards and other memorabilia are sold in the the flea markets, secondhand shops and bookstalls that line the river on both sides and spill over into the side streets.

FLAVORS FROM SOUTHERN FRANCE
French food occupies a prominent place among the cuisines of the world. And Toulouse, the shining star of southern France with its cosmopolitan atmosphere, transforms a meal into a gastronomical extravaganza with its characteristic examples of French cooking. The local Cassoulet, a dish of organically raised duck cooked with beans, a wide array of tasty cheeses, goose liver, chicken-vegetable soup and authentic beverages are just a few Toulouse treats.