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Montauban

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Carte Midi-Pyrénées
Flag region Midi-Pyrénées

Montauban
Administration & Statistics

Administration
Region Midi-Pyrénées
Departement Tarn-et-Garonne
Postal code 82000

Statistics
Elevation 72-207 m
land area 135 km2
Population 57,150 (2008)
Density 423 /km2
Situated in the southern part of France, Montauban is a commune in the region of Midi-Pyrénées. Politically, it acts as the capital of the department of Tarn-et-Garonne. Lying 31 miles north of the city of Toulouse, Montauban occupies the right bank of the River Tarn.

Montauban has the distinction of being one of the most well-known towns in southern France. This is because the fortified township was amongst the first to be built in this part of the country. The only other town that is as old as Montauban in this regard is Mont-de-Marsan.

The history of this beautiful French city dates back to the 12th century. Its earliest inhabitants were people from the tiny village of Montaurial. In the century after its inception, Montauban was swept away by the warring forces of the church. By the 14th century, however, it was able to stand back on its feet, and was turned into a diocese head thereafter. The St. Theodard’s Basilica was turned into the cathedral for this diocese.

Over the centuries, Montauban underwent frequent religious, as well as political changes. It was ruled by the British at one point, and then taken away from them again shortly after. Similarly, in the 16th century, the town embraced Protestantism and discarded Catholicism completely, even demolishing St. Theodard’s Basilica in the process.

A number of beautiful sights dot this popular French town. The Pont Vieux is one of them, and is easily a favorite with visitors as well as residents. Pont Vieux literally means ‘old bridge’, and was built way back in the 14th century. The bridge connects Montauban with the nearby suburb of Villebourbon. It owes its significance to the fact that the French king Philip the Fair inaugurated it, and that it was constructed in a way so as to counter the harsh floods of the River Tarn.

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