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Bouquières Area of Toulouse

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The Bouquières neighborhood is - for some unknown reason - a less visited area of the old center of Toulouse. However, it is arguably the most fascinating parts of the city for the history loving sightseer.
Situated roughly between the Rue Alsace Loraine, Rue Ozenne and Jardin Royal and the Saint Etienne Cathedral, Bouquières is a maze of narrow streets and alleys bordered by old townhouses some of which were in past centuries the residence of some notables of Toulouse.
The name Bouquières comes most probably from the Occitan language word "boquièr" which means butcher for it is known that the Mage Square, situated in the heart of the neighborhood, was in the Middle Ages the location of a butcher's market!
One of the most famous mansions in the area is "Hôtel d'Ulmo" located at 15 Rue Ninau. The beautiful "hôtel particulier" was built in the first half of the 16th century by Jehan d'Ulmo, a notorious character once a General Attorney of Toulouse. Recognized guilty of corruption in 1537 d'Ulmo was iron branded and imprisoned in the fort of Saint Malo in the far away Normandy. There he was caught forging some of his documents and finished by being hanged in 1549. The Ninau Street's name is also reminiscent of a major historic event that took place in 1213 in Toulouse. The street was initially called Rue Unaut after the name of Guilhem Unaut, Senior of Lanta, an army leader that fought against the royal forces during the Albigensian Crusade, during the battle that took place on the location of the nowadays Montoulieu Square at one end of Ninau Street.
Another outstanding "hôtel particulier" is the ancient residence of Pierre Paul Riquet, the creator of the Canal du Midi, at 16 Rue Velané. The massive townhouse, that is now an antique dealer's shop, was also the home of Jean-Baptiste Count of Villele an ultra-royalist with an outstanding political career during the French Restoration of the 19th century.

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Latitude:43.598136
Longitude:1.448706
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