Montauban has been a member of the Art and History Town and District network since 1998. It stands guard over the River Tarn in the ancient province of Quercy at the heart of a vast agricultural region in Aquitaine.
Montauban in the Middle Ages : The Comte de Toulouse founded the town of Montauban on a rocky spur overlooking the Tarn in 1144 to strengthen the northern part of his territory. Shielded by fortifications, laid out around a large square and benefiting from an advantageous charter, the town grew rapidly thanks to intense commercial activity.
A Protestant town : Converted to Protestantism in 1561, Montauban asserted itself as one of the main Huguenot strongholds during the Wars of Religion. The future king Henri IV visited the town on several occasions and it became an important cultural centre.
A restructured town : in the 17th and 18th centuries, the town enjoyed great prosperity founded on the textile and milling industries and was transformed under the joint action of bishops and intendants. In 1808 it became the capital of the Tarn-et-Garonne département and modernised itself during the 19th century despite the decline in its industry : railway stations, botanical gardens, barracks and schools became part of the urban landscape. During the two World Wars, the town harboured numerous refugees, notably Spaniards and Italians. After the war, the local economy picked up, fired by the strong growth of the service sector. The rural exodus, baby boom and the massive arrival of people repatriated from Algeria caused a major increase in population and the town gradually spread to the neighbouring countryside. Today Montauban covers 13,500 hectares and has 58,000 inhabitants.
Sightseeing in Montauban
Museum Victor Brun : Opened in 1854 in the former palace of the Cour des Aides, the museum has a fine collection of mammals, fish and insects as well as 2,661 stuffed birds including almost all of the European species. Pont-Vieux : Planned in the town’s foundation charter in 1144, construction of the bridge was finally begun at the beginning of the 14th century with the backing of King Philippe le Bel and completed in 1335. Théâtre Olympe de Gouges : In the mid-18th century, the Consuls equipped Montauban with a theatre but it was too small and was rebuilt in 1849 in the style of an Italian theatre.
How to get to Montauban
By road :
Autoroute A20 via Paris and Limoges
Autoroute A62 via Bordeaux
By bus : to Montauban
By rail : to Montauban
Discover Tarn-et-Garonne with Gites de France Tarn-et-Garonne : Moissac, Destination Midi Pyrénées"