Toulouse has been selected by Roberto Amati in relation to the real history of european integration, then enlisted in the CITY OR CIVITAS category, accompanied by own fact SHEET useful to the comprehension, completed of historical MAPS AND IMAGES or with a direct linking to the related Blog contents dedicated to the entire history of european integration and the future of Europe.

Toulouse civitas

Toulouse is one of the most ancient cities of the history of European integration, signed in great part by Christianity. The Civitas Toulouse was inhabited centuries BC by the Celts Aquitanian who gave the greek name of Τολῶσσα because at the centre of the trading routes from Mediterranen sea and Atlantic Ocean. In 130 BC Toulouse was conquered by Romans and founded as castra where the river Garonne flows towards the Mediterranean sea creating a natural internal port (named Palladia Tolosa cause of its greek origins) and immediately connected to the roman Aquitania way starting in Narbonne and passing through the civitas of Bordeaux and Tours, Paris and Reims before to end in Cologne. Within the reform of Augustus (see Roman Empire), Toulouse was included in the Gallia Narbonensis province and obtained the building of an amphitheatre and the first step of the Midi canal still useful today. With the reform of Constantine I (see Christian Empire), Toulouse became part of the Septem Provinciae Diocesi and seat of an imperial bishopric starting the evangelization of Gaul, Aquitania and Hispania.

At the falling of Western Roman Empire, the city became the capital of the Visigoths Reign and accused to keep for the Arian eresy, then persecuted by the Catholics Church of Rome and restored to ortodoxy with the help of Franks that conquered the city making the capital of the Aquitania reign ruled by the Merovingian dinasty. When the Carolingian Pepin "the Short" conquered Toulouse in 751 AD created the County of Toulouse, assigned to the Gellone dinasty that ruled for centuries: they mantained in southern France the Latin culture and followed written Roman law, so that the nobles were highly educated and the poets troubadours could wrote their poetry in Occitan language (called "Provençal" at the time), one of the most sophisticated languages in Europe still used! The counts of Toulouse participated to the first Crusade and obtained the County of Tripoli, developing more their trading activities and independence from the French Kingdom until the XIII century AD. Time before the city left its Roman limits to a new district developed around the church of Saint-Sernin ("the Bourg"), famous and revered for its many relics and the chapter of its canons, a separate part of the city where in 1152 AD the notables of Toulouse obtained a great autonomy, by creating a municipal body of consuls, called capitouls. But all finished with the Crusade againts Catharism that handed the feudum to Capetingian dinasty. So Touolouse was provided of the university created on the Paris model and open to the teachers of the Dominican Order monks (founded in the city in 1215 AD by the spanish Dominic de Guzman), that leaded the Council of Toulouse seat of the Inquisition against Catharism in that area.

Toulouse could enjoy of its particular status during all Middle Age and Reinassance epoque, preserving the lyric art of the troubadours by organizing a poetry contest so to become the centre of Occitan literary culture for the following centuries and managing "The Consistori del Gay Saber", considered the oldest literary society in Europe at the origin of one of the most sophisticated treatise on grammar and rhetoric of the Middle Ages, transformed into the Royal Académie des Jeux Floraux in 1694 AD and still active! From the city university came out the best graduates working for the Catholic Church during the Avignon Papacy curia, financing the establishment of new universities in south of France (Montpellier, Cahors and Avignon). Never conquered by English during the Hundred Years' War, Toulouse was awarded by the kings with a Parliament seat reinforcing its administrative and judicial center, so the city grew richer thanks to the agricultural and textiles trading reaching the golden age in XVI century AD when the Canal du Midi was enlarged to promote the export of cereals and the import of olive oil, wine and other goods from the Mediterranean regions.

Toulouse began its decline with the Napoleon I epoch, especially when the city was invaded by the English troups after a long siege concluded with a destructive final battle. Then Toulouse remained out of the Industrial Revolution and suffered a great flood of the Garonne river in 1875 AD that destroyed all bridegs and portual infratructures. The First World War brought to Toulouse the chemical industries as well as aviation workshops (Latécoère, Dewoitine), which started the city's aeronautical construction tradition and gave birth after the war to the famous Aéropostale, so the French state then encouraged the city's specialisation in aeronautics and space activities: today Toulouse is the heart of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, the SPOT satellite system, ATR and the Aerospace Valley, where lots of French and European aerospatial companies have a significant presence.

Toulouse is famous for its pinkish terracotta achitecture that gave the name La Ville rose and for the "Catholic" University of theology, canon law, civil law and grammar founded in 1229 AD, while the Basilica of Saint Sernin and the hospital Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Jacques because of their significance to the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route together with the Canal du Midi are enlisted in the UNESCO Wordl Heritage. Nowadays, Toulouse is a today is a main universitarian city in Europe and one of the biggest city of France, sited in the south-west of country within the Occitania region, whose patron is Saint Saturnin first bishop of the town sent to evangelize Gauls.

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