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Montepellier City Info

Montepellier Hotels

Montpellier is the capital of the Languedoc-Roussillon region and also its largest city. Mostly found in the town centre, Montpellier acts as a reminder of the great periods of history and the ordeals that the city has witnessed, from the Middle Ages to modern times. It also shows the city's early vocation for medicine and trade, the daring and genius of some of the lords, bishops and worthy citizens who have shaped its destiny, and the enthusiasm and courage of its inhabitants.

A thousand years of trade and intellectual activity have made Montpellier a teeming, energetic city. Benjamin of Tudela, the tireless twelfth-century Jewish traveler, reported its streets crowded with traders from every corner of Egypt, Greece, Gaul, Spain, Genoa and Pisa. A few hiccups - like being sold to France in 1349, almost total destruction for its Protestantism in 1622, and depression in the wine trade in the early years of the last century - have done little to dent this progress. Today it vies with Toulouse for the title of most dynamic city in the south. The reputation of its university especially, founded in the thirteenth century and most famous for its medical school, is a long-standing one: more than 60,000 students still set the intellectual and cultural tone of the city - the average age of whose residents is said to be just 25.

Montpellier has grown since the last war from a lazy provincial town to a commercial metropolis, with a major wine trade as well as being the home for many technology-based companies, including IBM. The Montpellier University is one of France 's largest and oldest, founded in 1289 and is especially noted for medicine and chemistry. The wide central square, the Place de la Comedie, with its paved piazza, is a smart meeting place and close by is a modern shopping centre - the Polygone. Modern Montpellier however has not lost its old seigneurial charm: on a hill within the inner ring boulevard, the delightful narrow streets are lined with elegant 17th and 18th century residences. The Rue Foch leads to the Arc de Triomphe, built in 1691 in honor of Louis XIV. Just beyond is a formal garden, the Promenade du Peyrou, which affords wonderful views of the mountains and coast. On the Montpellier Tourist Office site you'll find a host of information about upcoming attractions and activities.

Montepellier Tourist Attractions

Photographs from across the world

This photo gallery on the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle presents temporary exhibitions lasting more or less 6 weeks on various themes. At Easter 2000 the gallery presented a collection of photographs of eggs and then an amusing exhibition on Mexican cities. The gallery also hosted the photographic collection of Yan Fabre with work by Helmut Newton among others.

Art gallery in a former church

The soaring steeple of the church of Saint Anne is one of the most visible landmarks of Montpellier. Situated in a pedestrianized zone of the city centre, the church is no longer used for religious worship and today houses a city art gallery which regularly exhibits the work of artists from Montpellier and elsewhere. The artwork tends to be contemporary, including painting, photography and sculpture.

Regional history

The museum is housed in an architectural masterpiece that was a former residence of Jacques C'ur, built in 1632 and renovated by the state. The Archaeological Society of Montpellier (one of the oldest scholarly societies in France ) was established here in 1901 and the society's collection of pottery and sculptures comes from digs at various archaeological sites in the Languedoc. Most objects date from ancient, medieval and classical periods while certain go back to prehistoric times.

A stroll through the past

Come to the Museum of Old Montpellier to get to know Montpellier better and discover the tumultuous and peaceful past of the city. The museum's abundant collection includes furnishings, objects and clothing from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the French Revolution. It's the opportunity to learn about the gradual transformation of the city once called Mont Pestelario in the 13th century. If the prosperous capital of the Languedoc still carefully conserves many architectural features of its past, only a visit to this museum lets one truly immerse oneself in the history of the city.

Theatrical events for young and old

Drag your children away from the TV and video games and take them to see some real-life spectacles. The events organized by this theatre will appeal to the youngest and oldest members of the family. The programme includes puppet shows and circus acts as well as storytelling, song and dance. Performances take place in a comfortable air-conditioned hall of the Hôtel de Ville situated on the left bank of the canal, facing the sea.

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