Toulouse is the capital city of the old Occitanie region. It lies on the banks of the River Garonne, and is the 4th largest city in France with 450,000 plus inhabitants. With around 1.29 million inhabitants the Toulouse metropolitan area is also the 4th largest in France, after Paris, Lyon and Marseille (1.7 million).
It is a city with very unique architecture made of terracotta bricks, which earned it the nickname la Ville Rose (the Pink City). Toulouse has 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Canal du Midi and the Basilica of St. Sernin, the largest remaining Romanesque building in Europe.It is well positioned, 150 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea and 230 km from the Atlantic Ocean, and 680 km from Paris.
During the early decades of the C20th, Toulouse witnessed the arrival of immigrants from northern France, Italy and Spain. New industries were developed in the city, including aircraft and chemical manufacturing. The Concorde aircraft was also constructed in Toulouse. The French airmail service was set up here as well. During the Second World War, Toulouse played a vital role in the Resistance movement. Today, Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, the Galileo positioning system to name a couple.