Languedoc

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Languedoc (English pronunciation: /ˌlɒŋɡəˈdɒk/; French: [lɑ̃ɡdɔk]; Occitan: Lengadòc [ˌleŋɡɔˈðɔ]) is a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées in the south of France, and whose capital city was Toulouse, now in Midi-Pyrénées. It had an area of approximately 42,700 km² (16,490 sq. miles).

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Geographical Extent

The traditional provinces of the kingdom of France were not formally defined. A province was simply a territory of common traditions and customs, but it had no political organization. Today, when people refer to the old provinces of France, they actually refer to the gouvernements as they existed in 1789. Gouvernements were military regions established in the middle of the 16th century and whose territories matched those of the traditional provinces. However, in some cases, small provinces had been merged with a large one into a single gouvernement, so gouvernements are not exactly the same as the traditional provinces.

Historically, the region was called the county of Toulouse, a county independent from the kings of France. The county of Toulouse was made up of what would later be called Languedoc, but it also included the province of Quercy (now département of Lot and northern half of the département of Tarn-et-Garonne) and the province of Rouergue (now département of Aveyron), both to the northwest of Languedoc. At some times it even included the province of Agenais (now eastern half of the département of Lot-et-Garonne) to the west of Languedoc, the province of Gévaudan (now département of Lozère), the province of Velay (now the central and eastern part of the département of Haute-Loire), the southern part of the province of Vivarais (now the southern part of the département of Ardèche), and even all the northern half of Provence. After the French conquest the entire county was dismantled, the central part of it being now called Languedoc.

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