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{{about||the rugby club|RC Toulonnais|other uses}}

Prefectures of France>Prefecture and commune|image = Montage Toulon.JPG|image size = 270px|caption = Top left: Toulon Opera House, Top right: Mayol Stadium (Le Stade du Mayol), 2nd: Panoramic view of downtown Toulon and its port, 3rd left: Place de la Liberté, 3rd right: The beaches of Mourillon, Bottom left: The cable car to Mount Faron, Bottom right: Fort Saint-Louis |image flag = Flag of Toulon.png|image coat of arms = Armoiries ville fr Toulon (83).svg|arrondissement = ToulonCanton of Toulon-1>Toulon-1, Canton of Toulon-2, Canton of Toulon-3>3 and 4|INSEE = 83137|postal code = 83000|demonym = Toulonnais|mayor = Hubert Falco|term = since 2001|intercommunality = Métropole Toulon Provence Méditerranée43330550display=inline,title}}|elevation m = 1|elevation min m = 0|elevation max m = 589|area km2 = 42.84 population_total}}population_as_of}}population_footnotes}}}}Toulon ({{IPAc-en|UK|ˈ|t|uː|l|ɒ̃}}, {{IPAc-en|US|t|uː|ˈ|l|oʊ|n|,_|-|ˈ|l|ɔː|n|,_|-|ˈ|l|ɒ|n}},AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY, Toulon, 27 April 2019, WEB,weblink Toulon, Collins English Dictionary, HarperCollins, 27 April 2019, "Toulon" (US) and OXFORD DICTIONARIES, Toulon, 27 April 2019, MERRIAM-WEBSTER, Toulon, 27 April 2019, {{IPA-fr|tulɔ̃|lang}}; {{small|(classical norm)}}, Touloun {{small|(Mistralian norm)}}, {{IPA-oc|tuˈlun|pron}}) is a city in southern France and a large port 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 (2009), making it France's 15th-largest city. It is the centre of an urban area with 559,421 inhabitants (2008), the ninth largest in France.Insee - Résultats du recensement de la population de 2008 - Unité urbaine de Toulon {{Webarchive|url= |date=5 February 2013 }}, Retrieved 22 October 2011 Toulon is the fourth-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast after Marseille, Nice and Montpellier.Toulon is an important centre for naval construction, fishing, wine making, and the manufacture of aeronautical equipment, armaments, maps, paper, tobacco, printing, shoes, 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.


{{see also|Timeline of Toulon}}

Prehistory to the Roman era

(File:Toulon Cathedral Exterior.jpg|thumb|upright|left|Toulon Cathedral (11th to 18th centuries))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.Aldo Bastié, Historie de la Provence, Éditions Ouest-France, 2001.In the 2nd century BC, the residents of Massalia (present-day Marseille) called upon the Romans to help them pacify the region. The Romans defeated the Ligurians and 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, and from the acorns of the oak trees. Toulon harbour became a shelter for trading ships, and the name of the town gradually changed from Telo to Tholon, Tolon, and Toulon.

Arrival of Christianity and the Counts of Provence

{{expand-section|date=July 2019}}Toulon was Christianized in the 5th century, and the first cathedral built. Honoratus and Gratianus of Toulon (Gratien), 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, disciple and biographer of St. Cæsarius of Arles, is also mentioned as a Bishop of Toulon. His episcopate, begun in 524, had not come to an end in 541; he converted to Catholicism two Visigothic chiefs, Mandrier and Flavian, who became anchorites and martyrs on the peninsula of Mandrier.A legend which states that a certain Cleon accompanied St. Lazarus to Gaul and was the founder of the Church of Toulon, is based on a 14th-century forgery that was ascribed to a 6th-century bishop named Didier. As barbarians invaded the region and Roman power crumbled, the town was frequently attacked by pirates and the Saracens. In 1095, a new cathedral was built in the city by Count Gilbert of Provence.

Royal Port (15th–18th centuries)

(File:Tour royale.jpg|thumb|The Tour Royale (16th century)) File:Barbarossa fleet wintering in Toulon 1543.jpg|thumb|Barbarossa's Ottoman fleet, of the Regency of Algiers, wintering in the harbour of Toulon in 1543, with the Tour Royale (bottom right).]](File:Opéra-Toulon.jpg|thumb|The Toulon Opera House (1862))(File:Université de Toulon batiment R.JPG|thumb|A view of the University campus)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, and to support his military campaign in Italy, began constructing a military port at the harbor of Toulon. His Italian campaign failed, and 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 later the commander of the new fort sold it to the commander of an Army of the Holy Roman Empire, and 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, and 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, also 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, and 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 successfully 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, coming from Marseille. 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, however, were largely royalists, and 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 briefly renamed Port-de-la-Montagne.

19th century

(File:Toulon 1850.jpg|thumb|View in 1850)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 the French Ambassador to Turkey to buy it, and brought it to Toulon on his ship, the Estafette. From Toulon it was taken to the Louvre.Cyrille Roumagnac, L'Arsenal de Toulon et la Royale. pg. 43In 1820 Toulon became the base for the conquest of France's colonies in North Africa. In 1820 a French fleet with an army departed from Toulon for the conquest of Algeria.1849, during the brief Second French Republic, Baron Haussmann was named Prefect of the Var. During his year as prefect, he began a major reconstruction of the city, similar to what he would later do in Paris. He tore down large parts of the old fortifications and built new boulevards and squares. The new Toulon Opera House, the second-largest in France, opened in 1862.In 1867, on the orders of Napoleon III General François Achille Bazaine arrived in Toulon without an official welcome after abandoning the Mexican military campaign and Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico.

20th century

During World War II, after the Allied landings in North Africa (Operation Torch) the German Army occupied southern France (Case Anton), leading French naval officers to scuttle the French Fleet based at Toulon on 27 November 1942. The city was bombed by the Allies in November of the following year, with much of the port destroyed and five hundred residents killed. Toulon was liberated by the Free French Forces of General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny on 28 August 1944 in the Battle of Toulon.In 1974 Toulon became again the préfecture, or administrative centre, of the Var. Five years later the University of Toulon opened. Toulon was one of four French cities where the extreme-right Front National won the local elections in 1995. The Front National was voted out of power in 2001.

Main sights

The Old Town

The old town of Toulon, the historic centre between the port, the Boulevard de Strasbourg and the Cours Lafayette, is a pedestrian area with narrow streets, small squares and many fountains. Toulon Cathedral is there. The area is also home of the celebrated Provençal market, which takes place every morning on the Cours Lafayette and features local products. The old town decayed in the 1980s and 1990s, but recently many of the fountains and squares have been restored and many new shops have opened.for the history of the Old Town, see Michel Vergé-Franceschi, Toulon – Port Royal (1481–1789). Tallandier: Paris, 2002.

The Fountains of Old Toulon

File:Toulon Fountains 2.jpg|Fontaine du Dauphin, Place Paul Comte. The fountain, on the wall of the Bishop's residence, appears in the drawings of Toulon made for Louis XIV in 1668.File:Toulon Place Puget Fountain.jpg|Fontaine des Trois Dauphins, Place Puget (1782)File:Toulon Fountains 1.jpg|Fontaine de l'Intendance, Place Amiral Sénès, (1821)File:Toulon Fountains 4.jpg|The Fontaine-Lavoir de Saint-Vincent, Place Saint-Vincent (1832), replaced the original fountain built in 1615. It had a fountain for drinking water and two basins, for washing clothes, one for washing and one for rinsing.File:Toulon Faron3 P1440701-P1440708.jpg|View of downtown Toulon and Mediterranean Sea from Mount FaronThe Old Town of Toulon is known for its fountains, found in many of the small squares, each with a different character. The original system of fountains was built in the late 17th century; most were rebuilt in the 18th or early 19th century and have recently been restored.André-Jean Tardy, Fontaines Toulonnaises, Les Editions de la Nerthe, Toulon, 2001.

The Upper Town of Baron Haussmann

(File:Toulon place de la liberté-fontaine.jpg|thumb|left|Place de la liberté.)The upper town, between the Boulevard de Strasbourg and the railway station, was built in the mid-19th century under Louis Napoleon. The project was begun by Baron Haussmann, who was prefect of the Var in 1849. Improvements to the neighbourhood included the Toulon Opera, the Place de la Liberté, the Grand Hôtel, the Gardens of Alexander I, the Chalucet Hospital, the Palais de Justice, the train station, and the building now occupied by Galeries Lafayette, among others. Haussmann went on to use the same style on a much grander scale in the rebuilding of central Paris.Haussmann was only prefect of the Var for one year, but the prototypes for boulevards, apartment buildings and parks he built in Paris were copied in many large French cities.

The Harbour and Arsenal

(File:Toulon Rade and Arsenal.jpg|thumb|View of Toulon, the Arsenal and Mount Faron from the Harbour.)Toulon harbour is one of the best natural anchorages on the Mediterranean and one of the largest harbours in Europe. A naval arsenal and shipyard was built in 1599, and a small sheltered harbour, the Veille Darse, was built in 1604–1610 to protect ships from the wind and sea. The shipyard was greatly enlarged by Cardinal Richelieu, who wished to make France a Mediterranean naval power. Further additions were made by Jean-Baptiste Colbert and Vauban.

Le Mourillon

Le Mourillon is a small seaside neighbourhood to the east of Toulon, near the entrance of the harbour. It was once a fishing village, and then became the home of many of the officers of the French fleet. Mourillon has a small fishing port, next to a 16th-century fort, Fort Saint Louis, which was reconstructed by Vauban.Michel Vergé-Franceschi, Toulon – Port Royal (1481–1789. Tallandier: Paris, 2002. In the 1970s the city of Toulon built a series of sheltered sandy beaches in Mourillon, which today are very popular with the Toulonais and naval families. The Museum of Asian Art is in a house on the waterfront near Fort St. Louis.

Mount Faron

Mount Faron ({{convert|584|m|ft|abbr=off}}) dominates the city of Toulon. The top can be reached by cable car from Toulon or by a narrow, terrifying road that ascends from the west side and descends on the east side. The road is one of the most challenging stages of the annual Paris–Nice and Tour Méditerranéen bicycle races.At the top of Mount Faron is a memorial dedicated to the 1944 Allied landings in Provence (Operation Dragoon), and to the liberation of Toulon.

Vauban's fortifications

(File:Wikipedia-porte-italie.jpg|thumb|upright=2.0|left|The Porte d'Italie, built by Vauban. Napoleon departed from this gate in 1796 on his Italian campaign.)Beginning in 1678, Vauban constructed an elaborate system of fortifications around Toulon. Some parts, such as the section that once ran along the present-day Boulevard de Strasbourg, were removed in the mid-19th century so the city could be enlarged, but other parts remain.Michel Vergé-Franceschi, Toulon – Port Royal (1481–1789). Tallandier: Paris, 2002. One part that can be visited is the Porte d'Italie, one of the old city gates. Napoleon Bonaparte departed on his triumphant Italian campaign from this gate in 1796.


(File:Toulon Rade Sunset.jpg|thumb|The Harbour at Sunset)Toulon has a Mediterranean climate, characterised by abundant and strong sunshine, dry summers, and rain which is rare but sometimes torrential; and by hot summers and mild winters. Because of its proximity to the sea, the temperature is relatively moderate.The average temperature in January, the coldest month, is {{convert|9.3|°C|0|abbr=on}}, the warmest of any city in metropolitan France. In January the maximum average temperature is {{convert|12.7|°C|0|abbr=on}}. and the average minimum temperature is {{convert|5.8|°C|0|abbr=on}}.The average temperature in July, the warmest month, is {{convert|23.9|°C|0|abbr=on}}., with an average maximum of {{convert|29.1|°C|0|abbr=on}}. and an average minimal temperature of {{convert|18.8|°C|0|abbr=on}}.According to data collected by Météo-France, Toulon is the city in metropolitan France with the most sunshine per year: an average of 2,856 hours a year from 1999 to 2008, compared with 2,695 hours a year for Nice and 2,472 hours for comparative climate statistics for cities of France. See also:weblink This is due to the wall of mountains that largely protects Toulon from the weather coming from north. With an yearly average temperature of {{convert|16.2|°C|0|abbr=on}}, it is also one of the warmest cities in metropolitan France.Average rainfall is 665 millimetres per year. The driest month is July with {{convert|6.6|mm|2|abbr=on}}., and the wettest is October, with {{convert|93.9|mm|2|abbr=on}}. It rains on less than 60 days per year (an average of 59.7 days) and the amount of precipitation is very unequal in the different seasons. In February, the month with the most rain, it rains 7.1 days, but with only {{convert|88.3|mm|2|abbr=off}} of rain, while in October there are 5.9 days of rain. July, with 1.3 days of rain, is usually the driest month, but the driest month can fall anywhere between May and September. Autumn is characterized by torrential but brief rains; in winter there is more precipitation, spread out over longer periods.Because of the proximity to the sea, freezing temperatures are rare; an average of 2.9 days a year, and lasting frosts (when the maximum temperature remains less or equal to zero) are non-existent. Snow is also very rare (barely 1.5 days per year on average) and it is even more rare for the snow to last during the day (0.3 days a year on average).One distinctive feature of the Toulon climate is the wind, with 115 days a year of strong winds; usually either the cold and dry Mistral or the Tramontane from the north, the wet Marin; or the Sirocco sometimes bearing reddish sand from Africa; or the wet and stormy Levant from the east. (See Winds of Provence.) The windiest month is January, with an average of 12.5 days of strong winds. The least windy month is September, with 7 days of strong winds. In winter, the Mistral can make the air feel extremely cold, even though the temperature is mild.The climate is dry and the humidity in Toulon is usually low. The average humidity is 56 percent, with little variation throughout the year; the driest months are July and August with 50 percent, and the most humid months are November and December with 60 percent.{{Weather box|location = Toulon (1981–2010)|metric first = yes|single line = yes|Jan record high C = 23.0|Feb record high C = 22.5|Mar record high C = 25.9|Apr record high C = 28.1|May record high C = 31.6|Jun record high C = 34.9|Jul record high C = 40.1|Aug record high C = 37.0|Sep record high C = 34.7|Oct record high C = 29.3|Nov record high C = 24.2|Dec record high C = 21.9|year record high C = 40.1|Jan high C = 12.9|Feb high C = 13.5|Mar high C = 15.8|Apr high C = 18.0|May high C = 22.0|Jun high C = 26.1|Jul high C = 29.4|Aug high C = 29.3|Sep high C = 25.7|Oct high C = 21.3|Nov high C = 16.5|Dec high C = 13.6|year high C = 20.4|Jan mean C = 9.3|Feb mean C = 9.5|Mar mean C = 11.7|Apr mean C = 13.9|May mean C = 17.7|Jun mean C = 21.4|Jul mean C = 24.3|Aug mean C = 24.3|Sep mean C = 21.1|Oct mean C = 17.5|Nov mean C = 13.0|Dec mean C = 10.2|year mean C = 16.2|Jan low C = 5.6|Feb low C = 5.6|Mar low C = 7.5|Apr low C = 9.7|May low C = 13.3|Jun low C = 16.6|Jul low C = 19.3|Aug low C = 19.3|Sep low C = 16.5|Oct low C = 13.6|Nov low C = 9.4|Dec low C = 6.8|year low C = 12.0|Jan record low C = −7.2|Feb record low C = −9.0|Mar record low C = −4.3|Apr record low C = 1.1|May record low C = 4.6|Jun record low C = 9.0|Jul record low C = 10.9|Aug record low C = 10.8|Sep record low C = 7.3|Oct record low C = 3.0|Nov record low C = -2.0|Dec record low C = −2.8|year record low C = −9.0|precipitation colour = green|Jan precipitation mm = 74.4|Feb precipitation mm = 47.6|Mar precipitation mm = 36.3|Apr precipitation mm = 56.0|May precipitation mm = 35.8|Jun precipitation mm = 28.6|Jul precipitation mm = 5.5|Aug precipitation mm = 21.2|Sep precipitation mm = 53.4|Oct precipitation mm = 99.3|Nov precipitation mm = 71.7|Dec precipitation mm = 66.9|year precipitation mm = 596.8|unit precipitation days = 1.0 mm|Jan precipitation days = 6.03|Feb precipitation days = 5.04|Mar precipitation days = 4.27|Apr precipitation days = 6.03|May precipitation days = 4.37|Jun precipitation days = 2.83|Jul precipitation days = 1.03|Aug precipitation days = 1.83|Sep precipitation days = 4.33|Oct precipitation days = 6.23|Nov precipitation days = 6.90|Dec precipitation days = 6.83|year precipitation days = 55.74|Jan snow days = 0.6|Feb snow days = 0.3|Mar snow days = 0.2|Apr snow days = 0.0|May snow days = 0.0|Jun snow days = 0.0|Jul snow days = 0.0|Aug snow days = 0.0|Sep snow days = 0.0|Oct snow days = 0.0|Nov snow days = 0.0|Dec snow days = 0.4|year snow days = 1.5|Jan humidity = 59|Feb humidity = 58|Mar humidity = 55|Apr humidity = 55|May humidity = 56|Jun humidity = 53|Jul humidity = 50|Aug humidity = 50|Sep humidity = 56|Oct humidity = 59|Nov humidity = 60|Dec humidity = 60|year humidity = 55.9|Jan sun = 155.8|Feb sun = 171.5|Mar sun = 227.8|Apr sun = 244.8|May sun = 286.9|Jun sun = 328.6|Jul sun = 367.3|Aug sun = 334.3|Sep sun = 261.2|Oct sun = 191.6|Nov sun = 149.7|Dec sun = 134.6|year sun = 2854.1|source 1 = Meteo climatWEB,weblink Moyennes 1981/2010: Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Météoclimat, French, 19 December 2014, WEB,weblink STATION Toulon, Météoclimat, French, 19 December 2014, |source 2 = (humidity and snowy days 1961–1990)WEB,weblink Normes et records 1961-1990: Toulon - La Mitre (83) - altitude 24m, French, Infoclimat, 19 December 2014, |date=August 2010}}


Toulon has a number of museums.The Museum of the French Navy (Musée national de la marine) is located on Place Monsenergue, next on the west side of the old port, a short distance from the Hotel de Ville. The museum was founded in 1814, during the reign of the Emperor Napoleon. It is located today behind what was formerly the monumental gate to the Arsenal of Toulon, built in 1738. The museum building, along with the clock tower next to it, is one of the few buildings of the port and arsenal which survived Allied bombardments during World War II. It contains displays tracing the history of Toulon as a port of the French Navy. Highlights include large 18th-century ship models used to teach seamanship and models of the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle.The Museum of Old Toulon and its Region (Musée du vieux Toulon et de sa région). The Museum was founded in 1912, and contains a collection of maps, paintings, drawings, models and other artifacts showing the history of the city.The Museum of Asian Arts (Musée des arts asiatiques), in Mourillon. Located in a house with garden which once belonged to the son and later the grandson of author Jules Verne, the museum contains a small but interesting collection of art objects, many donated by naval officers from the time of the French colonization of Southeast Asia. It includes objects and paintings from India, China, Southeast Asia, Tibet and Japan.The Museum of Art (Musée d'art) was created in 1888, and contains collections of modern and contemporary art, as well as paintings of Provence from the 17th century to the beginning of the 20th century. It owns works by landscape artists of Provence from the late 19th century (Paul Guigou, Auguste Aiguier, Vincent Courdouan, Félix Ziem), and the Fauves of Provence (Charles Camoin, Auguste Chabaud, Louis Mathieu Verdilhan). The contemporary collections contain works from 1960 to today representing the New Realism Movement (Arman, César, Christo, Klein, Raysse); Minimalist Art (Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd); Support Surface (Cane, Viallat côtoient Arnal, Buren, Chacallis) and an important collection of photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dieuzaide, Edouard Boubat, Willy Ronis and André Kertész).See the page about the Museum on the official site of the Museums of the Var {{Webarchive|url= |date=5 December 2008 }} (in French)The Memorial Museum to the Landings in Provence (Mémorial du débarquement de Provence) is located on the summit of Mount Faron, this small museum, opened in 1964 by President Charles De Gaulle, commemorates the Allied landing in Provence in August 1944 with photos, weapons and models.The Museum of Natural History of Toulon and the Var (Musée d'histoire naturelle de Toulon et du Var) was founded in 1888, has a large collection of displays about dinosaurs, birds, mammals, and minerals, mostly from the region.The Hôtel des arts was opened in 1998, presents five exhibits a year of works by well-known contemporary artists. Featured artists have included Sean Scully, Jannis Kounellis, Claude Viallat, Per Kirkeby, and Vik Muniz.See the site of the Museums of Toulon on the Toulon City Web Site (in French) {{Webarchive|url= |date=10 February 2010 }}


Toulon has a conservatory (Conservatoire TPM, part of Conservatoire à rayonnement régional de Toulon) which taught music, theater, dance and circus and an art academy called École supérieure d'art et de design Toulon Provence Méditerranée. Toulon is also home to a number of institutes of the University of Toulon, known until 2013 as University of the South, Toulon-Var.


Toulon figures prominently in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables. It is the location of the infamous prison, the bagne of Toulon, in which the protagonist Jean Valjean spends nineteen years in hard labour. Toulon is also the birthplace of the novel's antagonist, Javert.One portion of the wall of the old bagne, or prison, where Jean Valjean was supposedly held still stands to the right of the entrance of the Old Harbour. {{Citation needed|date=April 2008}}In Anthony Powell's novel What's Become of Waring the central characters spend a long summer holiday in Toulon's old town. Powell himself stayed at the Hotel du Port et des Negociants on two occasions in the early 1930s and writes in the second volume of his memoirs The naval port, with its small inner harbour, row of cafés along the rade, was quite separate from the business quarter of the town. A paddle steamer plied several times a day between this roadstead and the agreeably unsophisticated plage of Les Sablettes.Joseph Conrad's last novel, 'The Rover', is also set around Toulon.The last half of Dewey Lambdin's historical fiction novel, H.M.S. Cockerel, (the sixth novel in his Alan Lewrie naval adventure series) details the Siege of Toulon from Lewrie's perspective, as he commands a commandeered French barge carrying sea mortars against Lieutenant-Colonel Bonaparte's forces.


(file:2016 Toulon - Hafen.jpg|thumb|Harbor with ferry)Toulon is served by the Gare de Toulon railway station, offering suburban services to Marseille (1 train every 15minutes during rush hour), Nice, Paris and regional destinations. The port of Toulon is the main port of departure for ferries to Corsica. The nearest airport is the regional Toulon-Hyères Airport. The A50 autoroute connects Toulon to Marseille, the A57 autoroute runs from Toulon to Le Luc, where it connects to the A8 autoroute.

Points of interest


Local food highlights include:
  • cuisine from the Mediterranean and from Provence
  • the cade toulonnaise, a local speciality composed of chickpea flour and which is equivalent to the Socca of Nice
  • the Chichi Frégi, a type of donut from Provence.
  • Smash Sandwiches, a common sandwich available from street vendors throughout Toulon.


The most successful of the city's clubs are the rugby union team RC Toulon and the women's handball team Toulon St-Cyr Var Handball, both playing in the top division of their respective sports. The basketball team Hyères-Toulon Var Basket play in the second division of the French championship.The city hosts the final four of the annual Toulon Tournament, an international under-21 football tournament.Toulon's main football team is Sporting Club Toulon, which plays in Championnat National, the third level of French football. Famous players such as Delio Onnis, Jean Tigana, Christian Dalger, David Ginola and Sébastien Squillaci have all played for Sporting.The city has been chosen by Groupama weblink" title="">Team France as the venue for the fifth event in the Americas Cup World Series 2016, alongside international cities such as Portsmouth & New York.{| class="wikitable"! Club! Sport! League! StadiumRC Toulonnais>RC Toulon| Rugby union| Top 14| Stade Mayol| Toulon St-Cyr Var HandballTeam handball>HandballChampionnat de France de handball féminin)| Gymnase Vert Coteau| Hyères-Toulon Var Basket| Basketball| LNB Pro APalais des Sports (Toulon)>Palais des Sports and Espace 3000| Sporting Club Toulonassociation football>Football| Championnat NationalStade de Bon Rencontre)| Sporting Treiziste Toulonnais| Rugby league| National Division 1| Stade Delaune

Notable residents

Toulon is the birthplace of:

International relations

{{See also|List of twin towns and sister cities in France}}

Twin towns – sister cities

Toulon is twinned with:WEB,weblink Jumelages: Toulon et ses villes jumelées, Mairie d'honneur de Toulon, French, 2015-02-15, {{Colbegin}}
  • {{flagicon|ITA}} La Spezia, Italy, since 1958
  • {{flagicon|GER}} Mannheim, Germany, since 1958WEB,weblink Partner und Freundesstädte, 2013-07-26, Stadt Mannheim, German,
  • {{flagicon|USA}} Norfolk, United States, since 1988
  • {{flagicon|RUS}} Kronstadt, Russia, since 1996

See also



{{See also|Timeline of Toulon#Bibliography|l1=Bibliography of the history of Toulon}}
  • Michel Vergé-Franceschi, Toulon – Port Royal (1481–1789). Tallandier: Paris, 2002.
  • Aldo Bastié, Histoire de la Provence, Editions Ouest-France, 2001.
  • Cyrille Roumagnac, L'Arsenal de Toulon et la Royale, Editions Alan Sutton, 2001
  • Jean-Pierre Thiollet, Le Chevallier à découvert, Paris, Laurens, 1998
  • Maurice Arreckx, Vivre sa ville, Paris, La Table ronde, 1982 ; Toulon, ma passion, 1985



External links

{{Commons and category|Toulon}} {{Cities in France}}{{Préfectures of départements of France}}{{Var communes}}{{Use dmy dates|date=May 2011}}{{Authority control}}

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