Montauban

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Montauban

Coordinates: 44°01′05″N 1°21′21″E / 44.018056°N 1.355833°E / 44.018056; 1.355833


Montauban (Montalban in Occitan) is a commune in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Midi-Pyrénées region in southern France. It is the capital of the department and lies 31 miles (50 km) north of Toulouse.

The town, built mainly of a reddish brick, stands on the right bank of the Tarn River at its confluence with the Tescou.

Contents

History

Montauban is the second oldest (after Mont-de-Marsan) of the bastides of southern France. Its foundation dates from 1144 when Alphonse Jourdain, count of Toulouse, granted it a liberal charter. The inhabitants were drawn chiefly from Montauriol, a village which had grown up around the neighbouring monastery of St Théodard.

In the 13th century the town suffered much from the ravages of the Albigensians and from the Inquisition, but by 1317 it had recovered sufficiently to be chosen by John XXII as the head of a diocese of which the basilica of St Théodard became the cathedral.

In 1360, at the Treaty of Brétigny, it was ceded to the English; they were expelled by the inhabitants in 1414. In 1560 the bishops and magistrates embraced Protestantism, expelled the monks, and demolished the cathedral. Ten years later it became one of the four Huguenot strongholds under the Peace of Saint-Germain, and formed a small independent republic. It was the headquarters of the Huguenot rebellion of 1621, and successfully withstood an 86-day siege by Louis XIII. It did not submit to royal authority until after the fall of La Rochelle in 1629, when its fortifications were destroyed by Cardinal Richelieu. The Protestants again suffered persecution after the repeal of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.

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