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Toulon

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Toulon is a city in southern France and a large military harbour 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 the fifteenth-largest city in France. It is the centre of an urban area with 559,421 inhabitants (2008), the ninth largest in France. 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 Navy aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle and her battle group. The French Mediterranean Fleet is based in Toulon.HistoryPrehistory to the Roman EraArchaeological excavations, such as those at the Cosquer Cave near Marseilles, show that the coast of Provence was inhabited since at least the Paleolithic era. Greek colonists came from 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.
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