Toulouse is a city in southwestern France, near the Pyrenees, capital of Haute-Garonne in the Midi-Pyrenees region, half way between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France, after Paris, Marseille and Lyon, and it is known as the capital of French rugby and for violets, which are used to make bonbons and liqueurs there.
Toulouse has become a center of aviation and spaceflight in the past 20 years. More than 35,000 of the inner city's 400,000 citizens work in the civil aviation or space industries; Airbus / EADS is the largest employer in the region. The city has remained relatively unchanged despite the economic boom.
Toulouse is also heavily involved in research and education, being home to over 100,000 students. The University of Toulouse is one of the oldest in the world, founded in 1229.
The city at the Garonne river is on the site of an ancient Roman settlement; even today many of the smaller streets follow their Roman counterparts and many of the red brick buildings are of a pseudo-Roman style. These buildings are also what gives Toulouse its nickname La ville rose (The pink city).
In the Middle Ages, Toulouse was one of the richest cities of France due to the sale of blue coloring (pastel) extracted from woad plants. This monopoly was only broken when the Portuguese began to import Indigo to Europe. Over 50 hotels, mansions, remain witness to the past wealth.
The Toulouse Tourist Office is in the back of the Capitolium.