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Toulouse : pink, violets, red and black

Regions and cities Midi-Pyrenees Toulouse

Toulouse in the Midi-Pyrénnées region, called the “pink city” and the “city of violets”, is also a city of water, along the Garonne and the canal du Midi. Its historical monuments, its pilgrimage sites and its river banks are all contribute to its richness.

Things to know

City of the air

In the 4th century BC, a Celtic people came to the last ford of the Garonne River before the ocean and founded a city. It was called Tolosa by the Romans, and in the 5th century it became the capital of the Visigoth kingdom. It extended its commercial and political influence to the whole south of France before becoming the capital of aeronautics after the industrial revolution.

Sites and Monuments

The canal du Midi

The ambition was enormous: opening up a waterway between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Designed by Riquet in 1662, the canal starts from the Thau Pond and ends in the Garonne. The idea was complex, the work Herculean. It is a Unesco world heritage site and the oldest canal of Europe that is still in operation. 



Toulouse has been the land of rugby for more than a century and has become the French capital. Its team, the “red and black”, have won more titles than any other in France and the after-match parties are legendary. This important moment of life in Toulouse is savoured in all of the festive and gastronomic areas of the city. 

Events and festivals

The Capitole

The Capitole, formerly the seat of the municipal authority, was the place of assembly of the capitouls (municipal magistrates) who decided to build it in 1190. It now houses the City Hall and the Capitole Theatre. In this historic building, the national orchestra of Toulouse and the opera offer world renowned programs throughout the year.


Aeronautics and aerospace

Toulouse and its region are home to many high-tech aeronautics and aerospace industries. Prestigious schools specializing in this sector are one of the attractive features of this major university cluster which also includes prestigious engineering schools and scientific institutes.