Clermont-Ferrand is a city and commune of France, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, with a population of 141,569. Its metropolitan area had 467,178 inhabitants at the 2011 census, it is the prefecture of the Puy-de-Dôme department. Olivier Bianchi is its current mayor. Clermont-Ferrand sits on the plain of Limagne in the Massif Central and is surrounded by a major industrial area; the city known for the chain of volcanoes, the Chaîne des Puys surrounding it, including the dormant volcano Puy de Dôme (10 kilometres, one of the highest, topped by communications towers, visible from the city. Clermont-Ferrand hosts the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, one of the world's leading international festivals for short films, it is home to the corporate headquarters of Michelin, the global tyre company founded there more than 100 years ago. Clermont-Ferrand's most famous public square is Place de Jaude, on which stands a grand statue of Vercingetorix sitting imperiously on a horse and holding a sword.
The inscription reads: J'ai pris les armes pour la liberté de tous. This statue was sculpted by Frédéric Bartholdi, who created the Statue of Liberty. Clermont-Ferrand's first name was Augusta Nemetum, it was born on the central knoll where the cathedral is situated today, known as Nemossos. It overlooked the capital of Gaulish Avernie; the fortified castle of Clarus Mons gave its name to the whole town in 848, to which the small episcopal town of Montferrand was attached in 1731, together taking the name of Clermont-Ferrand. The old part of Clermont is delimited by the route of the ramparts, as they existed at the end of the Middle Ages; the town of Clermont-Ferrand came about with the joining together of two separate towns and Montferrand, decreed by Louis XIII and confirmed by Louis XV. Clermont ranks among the oldest cities of France; the first known mention was by the Greek geographer Strabo, who called it the "metropolis of the Arverni". The city was at that time called Nemessos – a Gaulish word for a sacred forest, was situated on the mound where the cathedral of Clermont-Ferrand stands today.
Somewhere in the area around Nemossos the Arverni chieftain Vercingetorix was born around 72 BC. Nemossos was situated not far from the plateau of Gergovia, where Vercingetorix repulsed the Roman assault at the Battle of Gergovia in 52 BC. After the Roman conquest, the city became known as Augustonemetum sometime in the 1st century, a name which combined its original Gallic name with that of the Emperor Augustus, its population was estimated at 15,000–30,000 in the 2nd century, making it one of the largest cities of Roman Gaul. It became Arvernis in the 3rd century, taking its name, like other Gallic cities in this era, from the people who lived within its walls; the city became the seat of a bishop in the 5th century, at the time of the bishop Namatius or Saint Namace, who built a cathedral here described by Gregory of Tours. Clermont went through a dark period after the disappearance of the Roman Empire and during the whole High Middle Ages, marked by pillaging by the peoples who invaded Gaul.
Between 471 and 475, Auvergne was the target of Visigothic expansion, the city was besieged, including once by Euric. Although defended by Sidonius Apollinaris, at the head of the diocese from 468 to 486, the patrician Ecdicius, the city was ceded to the Visigoths by emperor Julius Nepos in 475 and became part of the Visigothic kingdom until 507. A generation it became part of the Kingdom of the Franks. On 8 November 535 the first Council of Clermont opened at Arvernis, with fifteen bishops participating, including Caesarius of Arles, Nizier of Lyons, Bishop of Trier, Saint Hilarius, Bishop of Mende; the Council issued 16 decrees. The second canon reiterythe principal that the granting of episcopal dignity must be according to the merits and not as a result of intrigues. In 570, Bishop Avitus ordered the Jews of the city, who numbered over 500, to accept Christian baptism or be expelled. In 848, the city was renamed Clairmont, after the castle Clarus Mons. During this era, it was an episcopal city ruled by its bishop.
Clermont was not spared by the Vikings at the time of the weakening of the Carolingian Empire: it was ravaged by the Normans under Hastein or Hastingen in 862 and 864 and, while its bishop Sigon carried out reconstruction work, again in 898. Bishop Étienne II built a new Romanesque cathedral, consecrated in 946, it was entirely replaced by the current Gothic cathedral, though the crypt survives and the towers were only replaced in the 19th century. Clermont was the starting point of the First Crusade, in which Christendom sought to free Jerusalem from Muslim domination. Pope Urban II preached the crusade at the Second Council of Clermont. In 1120, following repeated crises between the counts of Auvergne and the bishops of Clermont and in order to counteract the clergy’s power, the counts founded the rival city of Montferrand on a mound next to the fortifications of Clermont, on the model of the new cities of the Midi that appeared in the 12th and 13th centuries; until the early modern period, the two remained separate cities: an episcopal city.
Clermont became a royal city in 1551, in 1610, the inseparable property of the French Crown. On 15 April 1630 the Edict of Troyes joined the two cities of Montferrand. T
Rennes is a city in the east of Brittany in northwestern France at the confluence of the Ille and the Vilaine. Rennes is the capital of the region of Brittany, as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department. Rennes's history goes back more than 2,000 years, at a time when it was a small Gallic village named Condate. Together with Vannes and Nantes, it was one of the major cities of the ancient Duchy of Brittany. From the early sixteenth century until the French Revolution, Rennes was a parliamentary and garrison city of the historic province of Brittany of the Kingdom of France. Since the 1950s, Rennes has grown in importance through rural flight and its modern industrial development automotive; the city developed extensive building plans to accommodate upwards of 200,000 inhabitants. During the 1980s, Rennes became one of the main centres in telecommunication and high technology industry, it is now a significant digital innovation centre in France. In 2015, the city was the tenth largest in France, with a metropolitan area of about 720,000 inhabitants.
With more than 66,000 students in 2016, it is the eighth-largest university campus of France. The inhabitants of Rennes are called Rennais in French. In 2018, L'Express named Rennes as "the most liveable city in France". Since 2015, Rennes is divided into 6 cantons: Canton of Rennes-1 Canton of Rennes-2 Canton of Rennes-3, which includes parts of Rennes but the commune of Chantepie Canton of Rennes-4 Canton of Rennes-5, which includes parts of Rennes but the commune of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande Canton of Rennes-6, which includes parts of Rennes but the commune of Pacé Rennes is divided into 12 quarters: Le Centre Thabor/Saint Hélier Bourg l'Évêque-Moulin du Comte Saint-Martin Maurepas-Patton-Bellangerais Jeanne d'Arc-Longs-Champs-Beaulieu Francisco Ferrer-Landry-Poterie Sud Gare Cleunay-Arsenal-Redon Villejean-Beauregard Le Blosne Bréquigny The current mayor of Rennes is Nathalie Appéré. A member of the Socialist Party, she replaced retiring Socialist incumbent Daniel Delaveau, in office from 2008 to 2014.
Edmond Hervé, Socialist mayor from 1977 to 2008. Among previous well-known mayors are: Jean Janvier, from 1908 to 1923; the mairie is right in the centre of Rennes. The French Prison Service operates the Centre pénitentiaire de Rennes, the largest women's prison in France; the ancient centre of the town is built on a hill, with the north side being more elevated than the south side. It is at the confluence of two rivers: the Vilaine. Rennes is located on 50 km from the English Channel. Rennes has the distinction of having a significant Green Belt around its ring road; this Green Belt is the rest of its urban area. Rennes features an oceanic climate. Precipitation in Rennes is less abundant than in the western parts of Brittany, reaching only half of the levels of, e.g. the city of Quimper, which makes rainfall in Rennes comparable to the levels of larger parts of western Germany. Sunshine hours range between 1,700 and 1,850 annually, about the amount of sunshine received by the city of Lausanne. In 2018, the inner population of the city was of 221,272 inhabitants, the Rennes intercommunal structure connecting Rennes with 42 nearby suburbs counted 450,593 inhabitants and the metropolitan area counted over 720,000 inhabitants.
Rennes has the second fastest-growing metropolitan area in France after Toulouse and before Montpellier and Nantes. The inhabitants of Rennes are called Rennais in French. Rennes is classified as a city of history; the historic centre is located on the former plan of the ramparts. There is a difference between the northern city centre and the southern city centre due to the 1720 fire, which destroyed most of the timber framed houses in the northern part of the city; the rebuilding was done on a grid plan. The southern part, the poorest at this time, was not rebuilt. Due to the presence of the parlement de Bretagne, many "hôtels particuliers" were built in the northern part, the richest in the 18th century. Most of the monuments historiques can be found there. Colourful traditional half-timbered houses are situated along the roads of Saint-Sauveur, Saint-Georges, de Saint-Malo, Saint-Guillaume, des Dames, du Chapitre, Saint-Michel, de la Psallette and around the plazas of Champ-Jacquet, des Lices, Saint-Anne and Rallier-du-Baty.
The Parlement de Bretagne is the most famous 17th century building in Rennes. It was rebuilt after a terrible fire in 1994 that may have been caused by a flare fired by a protester during a demonstration, it houses the Rennes Court of Appeal. The plaza around is built on the classical architecture. On the west, the Place de la Mairie: City Hall OperaOn the east, at the end of the Rue Saint-Georges with traditional half-timbered houses: 1920s Saint George Municipal Pool, with mosaics Saint George Palace, its gardenOn the south-east: Saint-Germain square Saint-Germain Church Saint-Germai
Toulon is a city in southern France and a large military harbour on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department; the Commune of Toulon has a population of 165,514 people, making it the fifteenth-largest city in France. It is the centre of an urban area with the ninth largest in France. Toulon is the fourth-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast after Marseille and Montpellier. Toulon is an important centre for naval construction, wine making, the manufacture of aeronautical equipment, maps, tobacco, printing and electronic equipment; the military port of Toulon is the major naval centre on France's Mediterranean coast, home of the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and her battle group. The French Mediterranean Fleet is based in Toulon. Archaeological excavations, such as those at the Cosquer Cave near Marseille, show that the coast of Provence was inhabited since at least the Paleolithic era.
Greek colonists came from Phocaea, Asia Minor, in about the 7th century BC and established trading depots along the coast, including one, called Olbia, at Saint-Pierre de l'Almanarre south of Hyères, to the east of Toulon. The Ligurians settled in the area beginning in the 4th century BC. In the 2nd century BC, the residents of Massalia called upon the Romans to help them pacify the region; the Romans began to start their own colonies along the coast. A Roman settlement was founded at the present location of Toulon, with the name Telo Martius – Telo, either for the goddess of springs or from the Latin tol, the base of the hill – and Martius, for the god of war. Telo Martius became one of the two principal Roman dye manufacturing centres, producing the purple colour used in imperial robes, made from the local sea snail called murex, from the acorns of the oak trees. Toulon harbour became a shelter for trading ships, the name of the town changed from Telo to Tholon and Toulon. Toulon was Christianized in the 5th century, the first cathedral built.
Honoratus and Gratianus of Toulon, according to the Gallia Christiana, were the first bishops of Toulon, but Louis Duchesne gives Augustalis as the first historical bishop. He assisted at councils in 441 and 442 and signed in 449 and 450 the letters addressed to Pope Leo I from the province of Arles. A Saint Cyprian and biographer of St. Cæsarius of Arles, is mentioned as a Bishop of Toulon, his episcopate, begun in 524, had not come to an end in 541. In 1095, a new cathedral was built in the city by Count Gilbert of Provence; as barbarians invaded the region and Roman power crumbled, the town was attacked by pirates and the Saracens. In 1486 Provence became part of France. Soon afterwards, in 1494, Charles VIII of France, with the intention of making France a sea power on the Mediterranean, to support his military campaign in Italy, began constructing a military port at the harbor of Toulon, his Italian campaign failed, 1497, the rulers of Genoa, who controlled commerce on that part of the Mediterranean, blockaded the new port.
In 1524, as part of his longtime battle against Emperor Charles V and the Holy Roman Empire, King François I of France completed a powerful new fort, the Tour Royale, Toulon, at the entrance of the harbour. However, a few months the commander of the new fort sold it to the commander of an Army of the Holy Roman Empire, Toulon surrendered. In 1543, Francis I found a surprising new ally in his battle against the Holy Roman Empire, he invited the fleet of Ottoman Admiral Barbarossa to Toulon as part of the Franco-Ottoman alliance. The residents were forced to leave, the Ottoman sailors occupied the town for the winter. See Ottoman occupation of Toulon. In 1646, a fleet was gathered in Toulon for the major Battle of Orbetello known as the Battle of Isola del Giglio, commanded by France's first Grand Admiral, the young Grand Admiral Marquis of Brézé, Jean Armand de Maillé-Bréze of 36 galleons, 20 galleys, a large complement of minor vessels; this fleet carried aboard an army of 8,000 infantry and 800 cavalry and its baggage under Thomas of Savoy, shortly before a general in Spanish service.
King Louis XIV was determined to make France a major sea power. In 1660, his Minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert ordered Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban to build a new arsenal and to fortify the town. In 1707, during the War of the Spanish Succession, Toulon resisted a siege by the Imperial Army led by Duke Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia of Savoy and Prince Eugene. However, in 1720, the city was ravaged by the black plague. Thirteen thousand people, or half the population, died. In 1790, following the French Revolution, Toulon became the administrative centre of the département of the Var; the leaders of the city, were royalists, they welcomed the arrival of a British fleet. At the siege of Toulon, the British were expelled by a French force whose artillery was led by a young captain, Napoleon Bonaparte. To punish Toulon for its rebellion, the town lost its status as department capital and was renamed Port-de-la-Montagne. During the Napoleonic Wars, from 1803 until 1805 a British fleet led by Admiral Horatio Nelson blockaded Toulon.
In 1820, the statue which became known as the Venus de Milo was discovered on the Greek island of Milo and seen by a French naval officer, Emile Voutier. He persuaded t
Tours is a city in the centre-west of France. It is the administrative centre of the Indre-et-Loire department and the largest city in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. In 2012, the city of Tours had 134,978 inhabitants, the population of the whole metropolitan area was 483,744. Tours stands between Orléans and the Atlantic coast; the surrounding district, the traditional province of Touraine, is known for its wines, for the alleged perfection of its local spoken French, for the Battle of Tours. The historical center of Tours is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the city is the end-point of the annual Paris–Tours cycle race. In Gallic times the city was important as a crossing point of the Loire. Becoming part of the Roman Empire during the 1st century AD, the city was named "Caesarodunum"; the name evolved in the 4th century when the original Gallic name, became first "Civitas Turonum" "Tours". It was at this time that the amphitheatre of Tours, one of the five largest amphitheatres of the Empire, was built.
Tours became the metropolis of the Roman province of Lugdunum towards 380–388, dominating the Loire Valley and Brittany. One of the outstanding figures of the history of the city was Saint Martin, second bishop who shared his coat with a naked beggar in Amiens; this incident and the importance of Martin in the medieval Christian West made Tours, its position on the route of pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, a major centre during the Middle Ages. In the 6th century Gregory of Tours, author of the Ten Books of History, made his mark on the town by restoring the cathedral destroyed by a fire in 561. Saint Martin's monastery benefited from its inception, at the start of the 6th century from patronage and support from the Frankish king, which increased the influence of the saint, the abbey and the city in Gaul. In the 9th century, Tours was at the heart of the Carolingian Rebirth, in particular because of Alcuin abbot of Marmoutier. In 732 AD, Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi and a large army of Muslim horsemen from Al-Andalus advanced 500 kilometres deep into France, were stopped at Tours by Charles Martel and his infantry igniting the Battle of Tours.
The outcome was defeat for the Muslims, preventing France from Islamic conquest. In 845, Tours repulsed the first attack of the Viking chief Hasting. In 850, the Vikings settled at the mouths of the Loire. Still led by Hasting, they went up the Loire again in 852 and sacked Angers and the abbey of Marmoutier. During the Middle Ages, Tours consisted of competing centres; the "City" in the east, successor of the late Roman'castrum', was composed of the archiepiscopal establishment and of the castle of Tours, seat of the authority of the Counts of Tours and of the King of France. In the west, the "new city" structured around the Abbey of Saint Martin was freed from the control of the City during the 10th century and became "Châteauneuf"; this space, organized between Saint Martin and the Loire, became the economic centre of Tours. Between these two centres remained Varennes and fields, little occupied except for the Abbaye Saint-Julien established on the banks of the Loire; the two centres were linked during the 14th century.
Tours became the capital of the county of Tours or Touraine, territory bitterly disputed between the counts of Blois and Anjou – the latter were victorious in the 11th century. It was the capital of France at the time of Louis XI, who had settled in the castle of Montils and Touraine remained until the 16th century a permanent residence of the kings and court; the rebirth gave Tours and Touraine many private mansions and castles, joined together to some extent under the generic name of the Châteaux of the Loire. It is at the time of Louis XI that the silk industry was introduced – despite difficulties, the industry still survives to this day. Charles IX passed through the city at the time of his royal tour of France between 1564 and 1566, accompanied by the Court and various noblemen: his brother the Duke of Anjou, Henri de Navarre, the cardinals of Bourbon and Lorraine. At this time, the Catholics returned to power in Angers: the intendant assumed the right to nominate the aldermen; the Massacre of Saint-Barthelemy was not repeated at Tours.
The Protestants were imprisoned by the aldermen -- a measure. The permanent return of the Court to Paris and Versailles marked the beginning of a slow but permanent decline. Guillaume the Metayer, known as Rochambeau, the well known counter-revolutionary chief of Mayenne, was shot there on Thermidor 8, year VI. However, it was the arrival of the railway in the 19th century which saved the city by making it an important nodal point; the main railway station is known as Tours-Saint-Pierre-des-Corps. At that time, Tours was expanding towards the south into a district known as the Prébendes; the importance of the city as a centre of communications contributed to its revival and, as the 20th century progressed, Tours became a dynamic conurbation, economically oriented towards the service sector. The city was affected by the First World War. A force of 25,000 American soldiers arrived in 1917, setting up textile factories for the manufacture of uniforms, repair shops for military equipment, munitions dumps, an army post office and an Americ
Avignon is a commune in south-eastern France in the department of Vaucluse on the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 90,194 inhabitants of the city, about 12,000 live in the ancient town centre enclosed by its medieval ramparts. Between 1309 and 1377, during the Avignon Papacy, seven successive popes resided in Avignon and in 1348 Pope Clement VI bought the town from Joanna I of Naples. Papal control persisted until 1791; the town is now the capital of the Vaucluse department and one of the few French cities to have preserved its ramparts. The historic centre, which includes the Palais des Papes, the cathedral, the Pont d'Avignon, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995; the medieval monuments and the annual Festival d'Avignon have helped to make the town a major centre for tourism. The earliest forms of the name were reported by the Greeks: Аὐενιὼν = Auenion Άουεννίων = Aouennion; the Roman name Avennĭo Cavarum, i.e. "Avignon of Cavares" shows that Avignon was one of the three cities of the Celtic-Ligurian tribe of Cavares, along with Cavaillon and Orange.
The current name dates to a pre-Indo-European or pre-Latin theme ab-ên with the suffix -i-ōn This theme would be a hydronym – i.e. a name linked to the river, but also an oronym of terrain. The Auenion of the 1st century BC was Latinized to Avennĭo, -ōnis in the 1st century and was written Avinhon in classic Occitan spelling or Avignoun in Mistralian spelling The inhabitants of the commune are called avinhonencs or avignounen in both Occitan and Provençal dialect. Avignon is on the left bank of the Rhône river, a few kilometres above its confluence with the Durance, about 580 km south-east of Paris, 229 km south of Lyon and 85 km north-north-west of Marseille. On the west it shares a border with the department of Gard and the communes of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and Les Angles and to the south it borders the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and the communes of Barbentane, Rognonas, Châteaurenard, Noves; the city is in the vicinity of Orange, Nîmes, Arles, Salon-de-Provence, Marseille. Directly contiguous to the east and north are the communes of Caumont-sur-Durance, Morières-lès-Avignon, Le Pontet, Sorgues.
The region around Avignon is rich in limestone, used for building material. For example, the current ramparts, measuring 4,330 metres long, were built with the soft limestone abundant in the region called mollasse burdigalienne. Enclosed by the ramparts, the Rocher des Doms is a limestone elevation of urgonian type, 35 metres high and is the original core of the city. Several limestone massifs are present around the commune and they are the result of the oceanisation of the Ligurian-Provençal basin following the migration of the Sardo-Corsican block; the other significant elevation in the commune is the Montfavet Hill – a wooded hill in the east of the commune. The Rhone Valley is an old alluvial zone: loose deposits cover much of the ground, it consists of sandy alluvium more or less coloured with pebbles consisting of siliceous rocks. The islands in the Rhone, such as the Île de la Barthelasse, were created by the accumulation of alluvial deposits and by the work of man; the relief is quite low despite the creation of mounds allowing local protection from flooding.
In the land around the city there are clay, silt and limestone present. The Rhone passes the western edge of the city but is divided into two branches: the Petit Rhône, or "dead arm", for the part that passes next to Avignon and the Grand Rhône, or "live arm", for the western channel which passes Villeneuve-lès-Avignon in the Gard department; the two branches are separated by the Île de la Barthelasse. The southernmost tip of the Île de la Barthelasse once formed of a separated island, the L'Île de Piot; the banks of the Rhone and the Île de la Barthelasse are subject to flooding during autumn and March. The publication Floods in France since the 6th century until today – research and documentation by Maurice Champion tells about a number of them, they have never stopped as shown by the floods in 1943–1944 and again on 23 January 1955 and remain important today – such as the floods of 2 December 2003. As a result, a new risk mapping has been developed; the Durance flows along the southern boundary of the commune into the Rhone and marks the departmental boundary with Bouches-du-Rhône.
It is a river, considered "capricious" and once feared for its floods (it was once called the "3rd scourge of Provence" as well as for its low water: the Durance has both Alpine and Mediterranean morphology, unusual. There are many natural and artificial water lakes in the commune such as the Lake of Saint-Chamand east of the city. There have been many diversions throughout the course of history, such as feeding the moat surrounding Avignon or irrigating crops. In the 10th century part of the waters from the Sorgue d'Entraigues were diverted and today pass under the ramparts to enter the city.. This watercourse is called the Vaucluse Canal but Avignon people still call it the Sorgue or Sorguette, it is visible in the city in the famous Rue des teinturiers. It fed the moat around the first ramparts fed the moat on the newer east
Nice is the seventh most populous urban area in France and the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes département. The metropolitan area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits, with a population of about 1 million on an area of 721 km2. Located in the French Riviera, on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of the Alps, Nice is the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast and the second-largest city in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region after Marseille. Nice is 13 kilometres from the principality of Monaco and 30 kilometres from the French-Italian border. Nice's airport serves as a gateway to the region; the city is nicknamed Nice la Belle, which means Nice the Beautiful, the title of the unofficial anthem of Nice, written by Menica Rondelly in 1912. The area of today's Nice contains Terra Amata, an archaeological site which displays evidence of a early use of fire. Around 350 BC, Greeks of Marseille founded a permanent settlement and called it Nikaia, after Nike, the goddess of victory.
Through the ages, the town has changed hands many times. Its strategic location and port contributed to its maritime strength. For centuries it was a dominion of Savoy, was part of France between 1792 and 1815, when it was returned to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia until its re-annexation by France in 1860; the natural environment of the Nice area and its mild Mediterranean climate came to the attention of the English upper classes in the second half of the 18th century, when an increasing number of aristocratic families took to spending their winters there. The city's main seaside promenade, the Promenade des Anglais owes its name to visitors to the resort; the clear air and soft light have appealed to notable painters, such as Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Niki de Saint Phalle and Arman. Their work is commemorated in many of the city's museums, including Musée Marc Chagall, Musée Matisse and Musée des Beaux-Arts. Nice has the second largest hotel capacity in the country and it is one of its most visited cities, receiving 4 million tourists every year.
It has the third busiest airport in France, after the two main Parisian ones. It is the historical capital city of the County of Nice; the first known hominid settlements in the Nice area date back about 400,000 years. Nice was founded around 350 BC by the Greeks Phoceans of Massalia, was given the name of Nikaia in honour of a victory over the neighbouring Ligurians; the city soon became one of the busiest trading ports on the Ligurian coast. The ruins of Cemenelum are in Cimiez, now a district of Nice. In the 7th century, Nice joined. In 729 the city repulsed the Saracens. During the Middle Ages, Nice participated in the wars and history of Italy; as an ally of Pisa it was the enemy of Genoa, both the King of France and the Holy Roman Emperor endeavoured to subjugate it. During the 13th and 14th centuries the city fell more than once into the hands of the Counts of Provence, but it regained its independence though related to Genoa; the medieval city walls surrounded the Old Town. The landward side was protected by the River Paillon, covered over and is now the tram route towards the Acropolis.
The east side of the town was protected by fortifications on Castle Hill. Another river flowed into the port on the east side of Castle Hill. Engravings suggest that the port area was defended by walls. Under Monoprix in Place de Garibaldi are excavated remains of a well-defended city gate on the main road from Turin. In 1388 the commune placed itself under the protection of the Counts of Savoy. Nice participated – directly or indirectly – in the history of Savoy until 1860; the maritime strength of Nice now increased until it was able to cope with the Barbary pirates. In 1561 Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy abolished the use of Latin as an administrative language and established the Italian language as the official language of government affairs in Nice. During the struggle between Francis I and Charles V great damage was caused by the passage of the armies invading Provence. In 1538, in the nearby town of Villeneuve-Loubet, through the mediation of Pope Paul III, the two monarchs concluded a ten years' truce.
In 1543, Nice was attacked by the united Franco-Ottoman forces of Francis I and Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, in the Siege of Nice. Pestilence appeared again in 1550 and 1580. In 1600, Nice was taken by the Duke of Guise. By opening the ports of the county to all nations, proclaiming full freedom of trade, the commerce of the city was given great stimulu
Toulouse is the capital of the French department of Haute-Garonne and of the region of Occitanie. The city is on the banks of the River Garonne, 150 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, 230 km from the Atlantic Ocean and 680 km from Paris, it is the fourth-largest city in France, with 466,297 inhabitants as of January 2014. In France, Toulouse is called the "Pink City"; the Toulouse Metro area, with 1,312,304 inhabitants as of 2014, is France's fourth-largest metropolitan area, after Paris and Marseille, ahead of Lille and Bordeaux. Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, the Galileo positioning system, the SPOT satellite system, ATR and the Aerospace Valley, it hosts the European headquarters of Intel and CNES's Toulouse Space Centre, the largest space centre in Europe. Thales Alenia Space, ATR, SAFRAN, Liebherr-Aerospace and Astrium Satellites have a significant presence in Toulouse; the University of Toulouse is one of the oldest in Europe and, with more than 103,000 students, it is the fourth-largest university campus in France, after the universities of Paris and Lille.
The air route between Toulouse–Blagnac and Paris Orly is the busiest in Europe, transporting 2.4 million passengers in 2014. According to the rankings of L'Express and Challenges, Toulouse is the most dynamic French city; the city was the capital of the Visigothic Kingdom in the 5th century and the capital of the province of Languedoc in the Late Middle Ages and early modern period, making it the unofficial capital of the cultural region of Occitania. It is now the capital of the second largest region in Metropolitan France. A city with unique architecture made of pinkish terracotta bricks, which earned it the nickname la Ville Rose, Toulouse counts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Canal du Midi, the Basilica of St. Sernin, the largest remaining Romanesque building in Europe, designated in 1998 because of its significance to the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route. Toulouse is in the south of France, north of the department of Haute-Garonne, on the axis of communication between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The city is traversed by the Canal de Brienne, the Canal du Midi and the rivers Garonne and Hers-Mort. Toulouse has a humid subtropical climate, with too much precipitation in the summer months preventing the city from being classified as a Mediterranean climate zone; the Garonne Valley was a central point for trade between the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic since at least the Iron Age. The historical name of the city, Tolosa, it is of unknown meaning or origin from Aquitanian, or from Iberian, but has been connected to the name of the Gaulish Volcae Tectosages. Tolosa enters the historical period in the 2nd century BC. After the conquest of Gaul, it was developed as a Roman city of Gallia Narbonensis. In the 5th century, Tolosa fell to the Visigothic kingdom and became one of its major cities, in the early 6th century serving as its capital, before it fell to the Franks under Clovis in 507. From this time, Toulouse was the capital of Aquitaine within the Frankish realm. In 721, Duke Odo of Aquitaine defeated an invading Umayyad Muslim army at the Battle of Toulouse.
Odo's victory was a small obstacle to Muslim expansion into Christian Europe, Muslims occupied a large territory including Poitiers. Charles Martel, a decade won the Battle of Tours called the Battle of Poitiers; the Frankish conquest of Septimania followed in the 750s, a quasi-independent County of Toulouse emerged within the Carolingian sub-kingdom of Aquitaine by the late 8th century. The Battle of Toulouse of 844, pitting Charles the Bald against Pepin II of Aquitaine, was key in the Carolingian Civil War. During the Carolingian era, the town rose in status. In the 12th century, consuls took over the running of the town and these proved to be difficult years. In particular, it was a time of religious turmoil. In Toulouse, the Cathars tried to set up a community here, but were routed by Simon de Montfort's troops; the Dominican Order was founded in Toulouse in 1215 by Saint Dominic in this context of struggle against the Cathar heresy. The subsequent arrival of the Inquisition led to a period of religious fervour during which time the Dominican Couvent des Jacobins was founded.
Governed by Raimond II and a group of city nobles, Toulouse's urban boundaries stretched beyond its walls to the north and as far south as Saint Michel. In the Treaty of Paris of 1229, Toulouse formally submitted to the crown of France; the county's sole heiress Joan was engaged to Alphonse, Count of Poitiers, a younger brother of Louis IX of France. The marriage became legal in 1241, but it remained childless so that after Joan's death the county fell to the crown of France by inheritance. In 1229, University of Toulouse was established after the Parisian model, intended as a means to dissolve the heretic movement. Various monastic orders, like the congregation of the order of frères prêcheurs, were started, they found home in Les Jacobins. In parallel, a long period of inquisition began inside the Toulouse walls; the fear of repression obliged the notabilities to convert themselves. The inquisition lasted nearly 4