Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


What we now know:-
  • Toulouse is a lovely city
  • Toulouse has a lot of history
  • Toulouse has a lot of secrets

Stuart and I took the two-hour train from Bordeaux to Toulouse yesterday with much excitement. Architecture, history, sausages, and students - we were expecting them all. And we weren’t disappointed. 

Bit of history first…

Toulouse has always been an important trading centre, communicating between the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coasts even before the Iron Age. Its name is from the Greek "Tolosa." The meaning is a bit of a mystery though. 🤷‍♂️

In 1096 Raymond IV, then Count of Toulouse, left to join the First Crusade. See ya! The fool! This move turned out to be a popular thing amongst those left behind. They took over the city! 😅

These so called ‘capitouls’ achieved significant autonomy and self-rule. Hurrah for them! 💪

But then Paris came knocking and Toulouse officially fell under the authority of the crown of France through an inheritance of Louis IX. Pah! Kings, eh! 🤴

And of course there would be many more King Louises to come. 🤴🤴🤴

But then there were riots too, then pogroms, then plagues, and then the Hundred Years War. Then a Revolution. Then Waterloo. Then trouble with Germany in 1870, more trouble with Germany in 1914, and again more trouble with Germany in 1939. ⚠️

Finally things started to settle down. 

They had their students. They had their sausages. And now they have their tourists! 😂. The invasions never stop. 

But these days France and Toulouse (the Queen of Occitane) are doing much better. The Treaty of Rome, EC, EEC, and EU saw to that. 🇫🇷🥳🍷🇪🇺

So through this heady mix of influences Stuart and I got to canter for just one day - visiting various sights that reflected all this change, this strife, this history. 

The huge Capitole building with its magnificent art gallery. The buzzing Rue Saint-Rome. The lovely Quai de La Daurade overlooking the famous Pont Neuf. The impressive Hotel d’Assezat, Toulouse Cathedral, Augustin’s Museum, and Basilica of Saint Sernin all had their own tales to tell. 

But we loved it. A bit overwhelming, sure - to try and take it all in, at once. So much to see. But we did love it. 

And I think it deserves another visit. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.