Toulouse

 Toulouse is the capital city of the department of Haute-Garonne, and the region of Midi-Pyrénées, in southwestern France. It lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 150 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, 230 km from the Atlantic Ocean, and 580 km from Paris. With 1,202,889 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008, the Toulouse metropolitan area is the fourth-largest in France, after Paris, Lyon, and Marseille.

Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, Galileo positioning system, the SPOT satellite system, the Airbus Group, ATR and the Aerospace Valley, considered as a global cluster.

The city also hosts l'Oncopole de Toulouse, the largest cancer research centre in Europe, the European headquarters of Intel and CNES's Toulouse Space Centre, the largest space centre in Europe. Thales Alenia Space, and Astrium Satellites, Airbus Group's satellite system subsidiary, also have a significant presence in Toulouse. Its world renowned university is one of the oldest in Europe and, with more than 119,000 students, is the third-largest university campus of France after Paris and Lyon.

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