TOULON, too-lon, France, a fortified sea port town and naval arsenal, in the department of the Var, on the Meriterranean, 42 miles southeast of Marseilles. The port is separated from the roadstead by bomb-proof moles and comprises two parts: one, including the mer chant shipping; the other, the dockyard, slip, arsenal, foundry, etc. The fortifications are very complete. The cathedral was founded in 1096. This, the hotel-de-ville and a capacious theatre are the chief of the old buildings; more recent are the Musee Bibliotheque, Marine School, library and observatory, the lyceum and botanical gardens. The Place de la Liberte con tains a splendid monument to the heroes of the Revolution; Le Place d'Armes, the Boulevard Strasbourg and Jardin de la Ville are prom inent promenades. It has modern fortifications of the first class and is headquarters for one of the five maritime arrondissements carrying stores for the Mediterranean fleet, with impor tant shipbuilding interests. The bay or harbor
is defended by torpedoes and commanded by six forts. On the hills north of the city very strong forts are located. Toulon was known to the ancients as Telo Martius or Telonion. The Saracens sacked the city in 889 and Charles V captured it twice in the 16th century. Louis XIV gave Toulon its importance as a naval station, making the dockyards and arsenal the finest of France. Toulon first became famous as a stronghold in the 16th century. Here the English were defeated by the fleets of France and Spain (1744) ; and in 1793 Napoleon forced the English and Spaniards to evacuate the posi tion—his first memorable victory, while com manding the French Republicans. In time of peace about 600,000 tonnage is entered and cleared annually. The principal trade is in wines, fruits and oils. There are metal manu factories and lace works. Pop. about 107,000.