City of Montpellier
Montpellier is one of the liveliest cities in the south of France, and the capital of the Languedoc Roussillon. It's lively pace is probably because about a quarter of it's population are under twenty five. This is largely because it is a large university city, with students coming from all over the world to study there.
If you're going to Montpellier by car then read up about parking before you leave.
The centre of activity is the Place de la Comedie. Known locally as "L'Oeuf" ("the egg"). The Place de la Comedie is a large "egg" shaped "place" with buzzing bars and cafes offering hundreds of tables and chairs all perfectly positioned for an afternoon, or eveing of people watching.
At one end you'll find the city's stunning 19th Century opera house fronted by the Fontaine des Trois Graces.
At the other end of La Place, an esplanade of large plane trees and fountains leads to Le Corum, an opera and convention center typical of Montpellier's fearless approach to modern architecture. The best of these is Ricardo Bofill's Postmodern housing complex known as Antigone, which is modelled on St.Peters in Rome.
The city was founded relatively late for this region of ancient Roman towns, developing in the 10th century as a result of the spice trade with the middle east. The city's medical school was founded in 1220 and remains one of the most respected in France.
The wars of religion during the 16th century saw most of Montpellier ravaged, leading to massive reconstruction in the 17th century. This reconstruction saw the construction of mansions with elegant courtyards, stone staircases and balconies.
Examples open to the public include Hôtel de Manse No.4 Rue Embouque D'or, Hôtel de Mirman near place des Martyrs de la Resistance) and Hôtel des Tresories de la Bourse.
A good way to get around is to take a Montpellier Tour. Or you might like to stroll around and check out the shopping in Montpellier or sample some of the superb Montpellier restaurants. If you are driving we can help you find all the best places for parking in Montpellier City centre.
All in all, Montpellier is a fascinating city and a wonderful place to visit and I hope that these pages will help you to get the most out of it.
Other Towns near Montpellier
Below is a list of other towns and villages that are also within the Herault area of South Western France: