About Toulouse

France is a country of sharp contrasts, proud heritage and rude inhabitants located in western Europe (north of Andorra, north-west of Monaco and south-west of Luxembourg). Toulouse, known as “la ville rose” (pink city) after the redish bricks of its buildings, lies midway between the Atlantic coast and the shores of the Mediterranean sea, and at the foot of the Pyrenees. Both cutting edge and steeped in history, Toulouse is set in a dramatic landscape of a region famous for its natural beauty and rich history.

“Life in Toulouse”, created by Toulouse's Town Hall.

Toulouse Business School's Campus is situated in the heart of the city, just a short walking distance from the main attractions of Toulouse.

An active, modern city, with about 100,000 students, Toulouse is well known for its hospitality and innate love for celebration and fiesta. From Spain it has adopted a taste for long aperitifs with tapas on terraces, siestas in sunny parks, convivial meals and its many music and arts festivals. Visitors can also happily join in its busy year-round cultural life, with its many theatres, museums, concert halls and casino. Lovers of good food and drink take great pleasure in savoring local products and the city's culinary specialties: Toulouse sausage, “foie gras”, violet-flavored sweets, Armagnac liqueur and quality wines, the famous “cassoulet”, the “fénétra” and “croustade” cakes.

Visitors to Toulouse can enjoy a relaxed stroll or bike ride through the narrow, historic streets to explore the treasures of its two milenia of architectural heritage. The Capitole, the cities town hall, arouses wonder in visitors entering its richly painted ceremonial rooms. Nearby, you are astonished by the unusual Palmier des Jacobins and are then taken into the timeless world of the peaceful adjacent cloisters. Visitors also learn about the city's traditional plants: the violet, Toulouse's famous winter flower, and the fabulous adventure of Toulouse's “Blue Gold”: (blue) pastel, the dye plant that brought about the expression Pays de Cocagne (Land of Plenty). The banks of the Garonne River and the Canal du Midi are ideal for cruises and panoramic photos.

Toulouse, created by the Midi-Pyrénées region.

Activities in Toulouse and its surrounding

It is impossible to speak of Toulouse without mentioning the city's emblematic sport, which pulses with life on the evenings of a big match. That is, rugby of course. The famous Stade Toulousain — the “red and blacks” — have won more titles than any other team in France, and three European titles. But the region is also favored for the practice of many extreme and gliding sports. Just think of the surfing spots in Biarritz, rafting in the Pyrénées, wind surfing on the Mediterranean. And, worth to mention, in the first weeks of July, the cycling fans gather to encourage competitors of the Tour de France in the crucial mountain stages in the Pyrénées.

Toulouse is blessed to be surrounded with numerous fascinating tourist attractions within a short drive from the city. To cite just a few, the gigantic medieval fortified city of Carcassonne, the Toulouse-Lautrec museum in Albi, the 14th century build Valentré Bridge in Cahors, the Pic du Midi astronomical observatory in the Pyrénées, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes and the amazing Cordes-sur-ciel village that seems to hover in the skies. Flanked by the two biggest wine-producing areas in France, Bordeaux and Languedoc, the Midi-Pyrénées region is prime wine country. The geographic diversity, the fertile terrain, the Mediterranean climate and the range of grape stocks produce a wide variety of excellent wines. The best known are Cahors, Fronton, Gaillac, Madiran, Pacherenc, Saint-Mont and the fiery brandy from Gers: Armagnac.

Midi-Pyrénées, created by the Midi-Pyrénées region.
See more films about the region here.

Toulouse and Constraint Programming

Toulouse also has a long history of research in constraint programming. Indeed, the great mathematician Pierre de Fermat was born fifty kilometers from Toulouse Business School (his house is now a museum) and he worked as lawyer at the parliament of Toulouse. Among all his contributions to analytic geometry, differential calculus, probability theory, optics and number theory, the theorem stating that the CSP xn + yn = zn, where x,y,z are integers in [1... ] and n is an integer in (2... ], is unsatisfiable, is certainly the most famous[1].

Toulouse hosts several research centers whose research activities are related to constraint programming: LAAS-CNRS, ONERA, INRA, IRIT-CNRS, ENAC and Mines Albi.

In this very favorable environment, Toulouse and the Midi-Pyrénées region form a platform of excellence acknowledged in Europe and worldwide for aeronautics, aerospace and embedded systems for the strength of their economic activities and the human potential involved. These assets are the reason why many large, prestigious groups, leaders in their domains, have established their home in Toulouse. Such companies are Airbus group, Air France Industries, Thales Alenia Space, Alstom Transport, ATR, CNES, Continental Automotive, Continental, Freescale Semiconductors, Microturbo, Rockwell Collins, Ratier Figeac, Thales, Turbomeca and Laboratoires Pierre Fabre.

[1] We have a truly marvelous proof of this theorem, unfortunately HTML won't let us write math in footnotes.


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