The area between the boulevards and the Garonne forms the historic nucleus of Toulouse. Originally part of Roman Gaul and later the capital for the Visigoths and then the Carolingians, Toulouse was one of the artistic and literary centers of Europe by AD 1000. Although defeated by the lords of northern France in the 13th century, it quickly reemerged as a cultural and commercial power and has remained so ever since. Religious and civil structures bear witness to this illustrious past, even as the city's booming student life mirrors a dynamic present. This is the heart of Toulouse, with Place du Capitole at its center.
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