is most famous is the Toulouse Metro: line A of the subway 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 downtown Toulouse was sharply criticized by the Green Party, although it certainly fulfilled the demands of downtown Toulouse store and shop owners, and makes life easier for people who cannot use public transportation to go downtown.

Colleges and universities

Toulouse has the third-largest student population in France after Paris and Lyon.

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 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 to reconcile Greek Philosophy and Christian Theology. Today, Toulouse is the third largest university campus of France after Paris and Lyon, with more than 97,000 students attending its three universities (Université Toulouse I, Université de Toulouse - Le Mirail (Toulouse II), Université Paul Sabatier (Toulouse III)) and its engineering schools (ICAM Toulouse, INSA Toulouse, SUPAERO, ENSICA, ENAC, ENSEEIHT, ENSIACET, EPITECH, IPSA, INPT).

Toulouse also hosts the Industrial Economics Institute (Institut D'Economie Industrielle, IDEI) that is become one of the best European research centres in economics as well as its associated graduate school (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics) that recruits the ablest students from all countries in the European Union and further afield, as well as the Toulouse Business School (ESCT), one of France's leading integrated management schools.

The most well known high schools in Toulouse are Lycée Pierre de Fermat and Lycée Saint-Sernin.


In addition to an extensive bus system, the Toulouse Metro system is a VAL (Véhicule Automatique Léger) metro system made up of driverless (automatic) rubber-tired trains. Line A runs for 12.5km from Balma-Gramont to Basso Cambo. Line B, which opened in June 2007, adds 20 stations and intersects line A at Jean Jaurès. Line E (tramway) is going to be finished in 2009, and will roll from Beauzelle to Toulouse passing through Blagnac. Line C has existed since line A was completed. It is not VAL but a classical railway line with SNCF trains; it connects to line A at Arènes. Another oft-used commuter train line (D) runs to the city of Muret.

Airports include:
* Toulouse Blagnac, the principal local airport
* Toulouse LasbordesRailway stations include:
* Toulouse-Matabiau


Toulouse is home to Bonhoure Radio Tower, a 61-metre high lattice tower used for FM and TV transmission. [Structurae|id=s0014245|title=Bonhoure Transmission Tower]


Toulouse, known as the "Ville Rose" ("Pink City") for its distinctive brick architecture Fact|date=March 2008, is host to a rich and diverse culture. It has a thriving scene of unusually beautiful graffiti, with the painter Miss Van at its forefront.

Toulouse was the home of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944), most famous for his book "Le Petit Prince" (The Little Prince). There is a permanent gallery with numerous photos, and some of his works, located in the "Hotel du Grand Balcon" - just off the "Place du Capitole" - where he stayed. (The Bohemian painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec lived in Paris and was born in nearby Albi).

It 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 herb 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.


In sports, it boasts a highly respected rugby union team, Stade Toulousain, which has been a four-time finalist, three-time winner in Europe's top club competition in the sport, the Heineken Cup and 17 times French champions. Toulouse is considered a centre for rugby union,Fact|date=July 2008 and the city hosted games at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The city also has a football (soccer) team in Toulouse FC and a rugby league team, Toulouse Olympique, who has won the French championship on four occasions. The city also hosted games during the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and the EuroBasket 1999.

Notable births and deaths in Toulouse

* Gaël Clichy, footballer
* Pierre de Fermat, lawyer and mathematician
* Carlos Gardel, (not confirmed) composer
* Philippe Mexès, footballer
* David Skrela, French rugby union player.
* Fabien Pelous, rugby player
* Frédéric Michalak, rugby player
* Anne Munaretto, lacrosse player
* Claude Nougaro, "parolier", writer and singer, passionate of jazz and language.
* Solène Jambaqué, hemiplegic skier, multi-medal winner at the 2006 Winter Paralympic Games in Turin.
* Magyd Cherfi, singer of the band Zebda
* Pierre Seel, persecuted homosexual during the holocaust. []
* Patrice Alègre serial killer*
* Marine Delterme, actress
* Laetitia Barlerin, veterinary

See also

* 138 Tolosa, an asteroid
* Institut d'études politiques de Toulouse
* Toulouse Geese
* List of bishops of Toulouse
* Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - famous artist born of nobility in Midi-Pyrénées région, but not born in the city of Toulouse



External links

* [ Official Website of the City Hall of Toulouse] (in French)
* [ Official Website of the Greater Toulouse Council] (in French)
* [ Virtual Tour in Toulouse] , with 360 °Fullscreen panoramas
* [ Toulouse Tourist Office] (in English)
* [ Website of the Bemberg Foundation] (in English)
* [ Toulouse-Blagnac International Airport] (in English)
* [ a comprehensive wiki devoted to Toulouse] (in French)

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