LAND+CITY+URBAN+SCAPE | 346 | TOULOUSE | FRANCE | BING MAPS
Toulouse (French pronunciation: [tuluz]; Occitan: Tolosa [tuˈluzɔ], medievalTholoza) is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. It lies on the banks of the River Garonne, half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, and 590 km (366 mi) away from Paris. With 1,202,889 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008, the Toulouse metropolitan area is the fourth-largest in France, after Paris (12.1 million), Lyon (2.1 million), and Marseille (1.7 million).
Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, Galileo positioning system, the SPOT satellite system, and CNES’s Toulouse Space Centre (CST), the largest space centre in Europe. Thales Alenia Space, and Astrium Satellites, EADS’s satellite system subsidiary, also have a significant presence in Toulouse. Its world renowned university is one of the oldest in Europe (founded in 1229) and, with more than 97,000 students, is with Lille the third-largest university campus of France after Paris andLyon.
Toulouse was the capital of the former province of Languedoc (provinces were abolished during the French Revolution). It is now the capital of the Midi-Pyrénées region, the largest region in metropolitan France. It is also the capital of the Haute-Garonne department.