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I live in Toul, and my wife has a Bookshop here. Any additions/corrections you could make would be very gratefully received.


Hi T. Would be best to open the article by saying what Toul is & where.

Ah. Mmm. Not a bad point.


I speak and write in British English and use British English spellings. If spelling from American English is preferred, I don't mind using them.

Somebody changed 'Cult of Apollo' to 'worship of Apollo.' This just isn't the same thing. The 'Cult of Apollo' is a specific Politico-Religious cult much like Freemasonry that grew steadily in power towards the end of the Roman Empire. Linking to an article about the classical 'Apollo' is therefore nonesense. I will add an article about the cult later, bit in the mean time, I shall add a cross ref to the historical Apollo...


Toul's history, prior to the Franco-Prussian War is something of a forgotten subject locally.

Interesting choice of words. Could this awkwardness have anything to do with the fact that Toul used to be a part of the medieval German empire? Bastie 20:00, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Possible additions to this entry[edit]

I hail from Dommartin-les-Toul, was educated in the English speaking world, and have made many sentimental return visits there.

The cathedral is in appalling condition, but was used for Catholic worship and concerts as recently as the 1970s. It was heavily damaged in 1940 (as was most of Toul within the ramparts), but restored in the 1950s. Its current dilipated condition is wholly the result of the neglect of recent decades, presumably a consequence of the huge recent decline in Christian faith. Europe is on the brink of ceasing to be Christian in any sense other than that it is not anything else. Within our lifestimes, Islam will become the largest single religion in western Europe.

I suggest that the entry should mention the following facts.

Toul sits on a sharp bend in the Moselle River. Until some time in the Pleistocene, the Moselle upstream from Toul was the upper reaches of the Meuse River. Then the Moselle carved a new bed for itself, joining the Meurthe River north of Nancy. This is an instance of stream capture.

The region about Toul, the "Toulois," is not renowned for its scenery or gastronomy. Local wine production is insignificant, in part because summers are cooler than in the wine growing parts of France having a similar latitude, namely Alsace and the Champagne district. Toul contains almost no traces of the feudal and manorial eras, because there was no local lord. Until France annexed it in 1552, Toul was one of the "Three Bishoprics" of eastern France, where the bishop was also the temporal leader.

Toul was the nearest small city and bishopric to Domremy, where Joan of Arc grew up.

The ramparts were built in the late 17th century, and designed by Vauban.

Toul indeed sits on the east-west canal connecting Paris and Strasbourg, and the maximum barge size that can navigate the Moselle River was substantially increased in the 1970s. Nevertheless, canal barge traffic is light. The fate of France's remarkable canal network is in tourist cruises and as a houseboat highway. Much more important is that since 1855, Toul has been a stop on the Paris-Strasbourg railway line. Trains from Metz and Nancy to Dijon, Lyons, and Marseilles also stop in Toul. When France laid out its system of numbered highways early in the 19th century, the highway from Paris to Strasbourg (now the Nationale 4), was routed through Toul. Since 1972, a motorway connects Toul and Nancy, making it easy to reside in Toul and commute to greater Nancy.

Toul was long perceived as a strategic location, because of a persistent French fear of an invasion from the East. Hence Toul and its environs have been the location of many forts, barracks, and military bases. Germany defeated the French army in Toul during the Franco-Prussian War. In World War I, the front got within 20km north of Toul, which thereby became a major staging area and supply depot, and the site of a major military hospital (where my great-grandfather was a surgeon). Between the wars, the population of greater Toul was about half military personnel and their dependents. Unlike most French cities during the Blitzkrieg of May-June 1940, Toul was heavily damaged by a full scale German assault.

After the war, the feared enemy changed from German to Russian, but the Cold War in no way diminished the perceived strategic importance of the Toul region, which was only 300km or so from the Fulda Gap. Toul became the site of a new French air base (Ochey) and several American NATO bases (Toul-Rosières Air Base). The American bases became French ones in 1966 and American military personnel were sent packing, both at the request of the French government. With the end of the Cold War, the military importance of Toul's location is perhaps less than at any time since the outbreak of the Thirty Year's War in 1618. (talk) 15:37, 16 November 2008 (UTC)