Place du Capitole, Toulouse, Midi-Pyrenees, France

Toulouse’s magnificent main square is the city’s literal and metaphorical heart, where Toulousiens turn out en masse on sunny evenings to sip a coffee or an early aperitif at a pavement cafe. On the eastern side is the 128m-long façade of the Capitole, the city hall, built in the 1750s. Inside is the Théâtre du Capitole, one of France’s most prestigious opera venues, and the over-the-top, late 19th-century Salle des Illustres (Hall of the Illustrious).

To the south of the square is the city’s Vieux Quartier (Old Quarter), a tangle of lanes and leafy squares brimming with cafes, shops and eateries.

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