Toulouse: Pink City
Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France and has slightly fewer than half a million inhabitants. It’s located in the southeast of the country, just 90 km from the Pyrenees. It was founded by the Romans, who named it Tolosa, sometime between 120 and 100 BC. It’s the capital of the department of the Haute-Garonne (Upper Garonne) and is known by its nickname ‘The Pink City’ due to the colour of the bricks of its older buildings. Toulouse is also world famous for its aerospace industry and is one of the European capitals where Airbus aircraft are assembled.
Mediterranean and oceanic climates converge in the city, which give it a temperate climate with mild temperatures in autumn and spring and hot dry summers. Minimum winter temperatures are around 5°C and August maximums reach 23°C.
This south-westerly facing pier is located in the Place de la Daurade. It is one of the local’s favourite places to drink coffee at the outdoor cafés around the square or to relax while lying on the grass along the Henri-Martin pathway.
Nowadays, it’s a hydraulic engineering museum, but in the eleventh century, the Bazacle mill -one of Toulouse’s wonders – could operate 24 millstones that ground more than 44,000 kilos of grain per day.
Canal de Brienne
It was opened in 1776 to supply water to the side canal of the Garonne. It extends more than a kilometre and a half through the heart of Toulouse until it flows into the Port de l’Embouchure, where it meets the Canal du Midi highlighted by the ‘Twin Bridges’. These ‘twins’ are actually triplets, because another canal later flowed into Port de l’Embouchure, but Toulouse residents continue calling it as they always have.
This is the most famous of all the bridges that cross the Garonne. It was erected between 1544-1632. It took nearly one hundred years to build because of flooding by the river and its high cost, but it’s the only one that has withstood every flood over the centuries.