Situated on the Garonne River and the Canal du Midi, Toulouse is France’s fourth city. It is the capital of Haute-Garonne and principal city of France’s largest region, the Midi-Pyrénées.
Toulouse originated as a Celtic village populated by the Volcae Tectosages tribe. It was occupied by the Romans in the second and third centuries when it was called Tolosa. In 418 Toulouse came under the control of the Visigoths, who made the city their capital from 419–507. Toulouse was then incorporated into the Merovingian kingdom. Following the repulsion of the Saracens in 778, Toulouse flourished as the principal town in the Kingdom of Aquitaine (781–848).
Toulouse expanded during the eleventh century when the St Sernin church was on the route of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. As Comte de Toulouse Raymond IV extended his territory as far as East Savoy. Raymond V successfully defended Toulouse from Henry II, who had acquired Aquitaine by his marriage to...